Centralized Requirements and Issue Tracking
Parasoft's solution is designed to simplify and enhance project planning, process monitoring, and team participation by grouping
project requirements, defects/enhancements, and tasks into a single system. It integrates with most bug tracking systems (BTS),
requirement management systems (RMS), and Microsoft Project to enhance functionality and make associations between components.
In addition, Parasoft ships with its own requirements repository, which also serves as a product backlog. This repository offers
backlog-item prioritization and supports a requirement hierarchy.
Parasoft Project Center helps teams plan reasonable release goals for functionality and scheduling expectations. Requirements and
issues are split into actionable, measurable work tasks. For each task, the cost and the time required to complete it is estimated by team members.
If a specific deadline must be met, the system helps the team determine what functionality can reasonably be completed by that deadline,
given the current resources. When the deadline is more flexible, the system provides on-the-fly assessments of how long it would take
to complete different sets of functionality. The team can then work with stakeholders and management to determine a viable course of action.
Next, the tasks can be scheduled into iterations or sprints. Using the estimates provided by the team, Concerto helps the team divide
the release into iterations by providing on-the-fly calculations of the working time required (and estimated deadline) for different
combinations of tasks.
Before issuing a release, the team needs to assess whether the user stories slated for that release were implemented correctly.
Parasoft assists with this at multiple levels. First, it monitors whether the related development and testing tasks are marked as
completed. Moreover, it also exposes the results and coverage of tests that validate specific requirements–and it continuously
monitors whether the related code meets expectations regarding reliability, security, performance, and compliance to applicable
guidelines. This provides objective reassurance that the work is done correctly.
Parasoft also assists with the scheduling, tracking, and documentation of user acceptance tests. These tests can be completed using
the manual testing interface, which adds consistency and repeatability to the manual testing process. In addition, teams are
alerted if the functionality covered in manual acceptance tests from previous releases might have been impacted by code
changes–and those tests need to be rerun.
Automated Task Distribution
The planned tasks are automatically distributed to the team members to which they have been assigned (via business rules or via
manual assignment). Tasks are accessible via the Concerto Web interface or within the development IDE where developers perform
most of their work. This gives developers easy, constant access to an exact plan of attack. They know the overall project goal,
their own tasks to complete to help achieve that goal, and the deadline for each task.
Automated Task Monitoring
When a developer is ready to start working on an assigned task, he or she marks it as "in progress," works on the task as normal,
then marks it as "done" when it's completed. Without interrupting the developer's workflow, the task distribution technology works behind the scenes to track what files are related to the given task and how much time is spent working on these files. This is important for change-based testing. It also allows the team to compare the actual time spent on tasks versus the expected time allotted for each task, and then update the time estimates for the overall iteration as needed.
Flexibility to Add Tasks and Adjust Estimates
The team member who was assigned a task has the flexibility to submit a new time estimate or create a new task if he or she determines that more work needs to be done. It is the nature of the software development business that initial time estimates for specific tasks are often impossible because there is always hidden work that nobody can foresee... until a team member begins to dig into the code.
In such cases, managers are immediately notified that new work has been added or suggested, and they are given the flexibility to carve out new tasks and distribute the work among the team. This capability allows for better, more accurate information to flow back to the management team.