Top 9 RM Tools for Aerospace and Defense: Pros And Cons

Top 9 RM Tools for Aerospace and Defense: Pros And Cons

What is Requirements Management?

Aerospace and defense is an industry where there is no space for mistakes or defects. Safety, quality, and reliability are the most essential elements here. Hence, Airborne systems must be made using the right tools keeping in mind the regulations and compliances that must be followed. 

According to Ian Sommerville, “Requirements management is the process of managing changing requirements during the requirements engineering process and system development.”

In other words, requirement management is a way of collecting, analyzing, refining and prioritizing all the products or requirements, in the development phase. 

The major purpose of requirement management is to ensure clear, concise, and error-free requirements to the engineering team so that they can make sure to detect errors in the system and potentially reduce the project cost as well as risk. 

Top 9 RM Tools for Aerospace and Defence:

Practically, there is an abundance of great tools that helps requirements management in the market it is now difficult to choose which one is the best. So, we have brought you a list of top 5 requirements management tools that can help you increase your efficiency and production. 

  1. Visure Solutions – Visure is one of the most trusted ALM platforms that is well known for its amazing services in requirements management for the aerospace and defense market.  
  • Pros:
    • Standards and Traceability – Visure supports various standards like DO-178B/C and DO-254. These standards are dynamically traced throughout all the stages of development ensuring that each requirement is properly mapped to a specific test case and vice versa. 
    • Better Collaboration – Visure offers customizable user interfaces on the basis of the project you are working on. All the information is properly organized on these interfaces allowing all the individuals to work together while remaining on the same page. 
    • Multi-tier Collaboration – Visure supports XML-based standards, like ReqIF and XRI, that help us in exchanging requirements between various different customers and suppliers. 
    • Security – Visure ensures proper security of information and requirements. We do this through our rigorous access policy where only certain people can access the artifacts even at the elementary level. 
    • Quality Analysis – Visure’s Quality Analyzer allows you to perform semantic analysis of the requirements to identify the quality of the requirements. Therefore, it becomes easier to prevent the requirements from moving to the next phase in the development cycle. 
    • Free Trial – Visure offers a free 30-days trial that can be downloaded from the website itself. Other details about pricing and demo can be found on Visure’s website. 
  • Cons:
    • Sometimes, users complain about the out fashioned interface and unsatisfactory performance when managing over 50,000 items at a time. 
  1. IBM Doors – IBM DOORS is one of the oldest requirements management tools in today’s market. The best thing IBM offers is great compatibility with other tools in the field. IBM offers flexible solutions suitable for large-scale enterprises along with a high-level granularity and configurability. 
  • Pros:
    • DO-178C – IBM supports the DO-178C standard to provide guidance to the organizations developing airborne software systems in order to ensure that it performs their desired tasks successfully. 
    • Easy Operations – IBM allows you to easily create baselines, track versioning when detailed requirements are involved, and interlink the change requests directly to the initial documents. 
    • Collaboration – IBM works to provide solutions for better collaboration, automation, and reporting in accordance with the needs of the standard DO-178C. 
  • Cons:
    • The interface is quite outdated and dull. 
    • Importing images, pdfs, and text files can be a pain sometimes.
    • Does not offer integration outside the IBM technology ecosystem making it difficult to adapt to other tools.
    • Too expensive for small or medium organizations. 
  1. Jama – Jama is an application lifecycle management solution that provides a nice platform for risk and test management. Jama assists you in building complex products and systems by improving cycle times and hence, enhancing the quality. 
  • Pros:
    • Standards – Jama follows DO-178C/ED-12C standards for commercial avionics software development and DO-254/ED-80 standards for commercial avionics hardware development. 
    • Interface – Jama offers a quite modern and intuitive interface along with features like live traceability and an effective notification system. 
    • Easy Integration – Jama can be easily integrated with other tools like Jira and Azure DevOps. It also supports various development methodologies like Agile. 
  • Cons:
    • Jama lacks visualization features that are used for understanding how the product matures over time. 
    • People also often complain about Jama not being capable of creating proper documentation and providing a good storage place. 
  1. Siemens Polarion – Polarion is a well-known RM tool in the aerospace and defense industry. Polarion is highly admired for saving time and effort, improving quality, and ensuring safety for complex systems. 
  • Pros:
    • DO-178C – Polarion follows the DO-178C standard to help you untangle the complexities of development processes on a granular level and thus, speeds up the development process.
    • End-To-End Traceability – Polarion guarantees end-to-end traceability between all the requirements and test cases ensuring the requirements and test cases are mapped to each other properly. 
    • Easy Import/Export – Polarion’s traditional features like versioning, dashboards, and an open API are what make it stand out in the crowd. The import-export of information on Polarion is pretty easy and intuitive. 
  • Cons:
    • People criticize Polarion for using unfitting interface design and icons. 
    • Also, Polarion does not offer any free trial or free version to try out the product before actually paying for it. 
  1. Helix ALM – Helix is a known requirement management tool in the aerospace market. Helix helps in developing quality airborne systems while ensuring complete safety and compliance with the standards. 
  • Pros:
    • Regulations – Helix complies with the DO-178C and DO-178B regulations for developing airborne systems. DO-330 is complied with for sorting the requirements for the airborne system and DO-254 is followed for design assurance. 
    • Fits Everywhere – Helix is a flexible tool that fits in all kinds of small as well as complex processes making it easy to use. 
    • Reports and Bugs – Helix captures all the test reports and bug reports in one place and also provides a time-to-time update for keeping the application up to date. 
  • Cons:
    • Importing and exporting items from MS Excel or Word can be a bit clumsy. 
    • Test Run system is not quite adaptable for mechanical testings. 
    • Report creation is poor.
    • Helix does not support Scrum methodology either. 
  1. CodeBeamer – CodeBeamer is a tailor-made ALM tool by Intland Software for advanced products and software development. This tool comes up with pre-configured templates and compliance for Agile and DevOps-oriented organizations. 
  • Pros:
    • Compliance – CodeBeamer follows compliance with various aerospace standards like RTCA DO-178C (EUROCAE ED-12C) and DO-254 along with other FAA, CAA, and DOD regulations in order to ensure the airworthiness and safety of the product. 
    • Traceability and Collaboration – CodeBeamer offers a unique workflow that helps in maintaining a collaborative work environment. The tool allows you to connect all the development tools in order to provide your team with a personalized central development hub. 
    • Risk Management – CodeBeamer integrates quality risk management and helps in identifying, analyzing, and managing the risks associated with the product and development cycle. 
  • Cons:
    • CodeBeamer does not support import/export via ReqIF format.
    • The user management is not a piece of cake either.
    • It can be challenging to debug why a user is unable to execute a task given the intersection of 1) license constraints 2) project permissions 3) tracker permissions 4) field permission
  1. ReqTest – ReqTest is an ALM tool that offers requirements management, test management, and bugs and issues tracking. This is a full-cloud-based solution that requires no set-up or installation or training for that matter. 
  • Pros:
    • Free Trial & Version – ReqTest offers a free trial and a free version of the tool unlike many other tools in the market. Also, the price of availing of the tools is also not so expensive either. 
    • User Interface – The user interface of the tools is said to be quite fresh and modern. It is customizable and fits almost all the needs of a requirements management system. 
    • Quality Testing – ReqTest provides a wide standard for quality testing at a very reasonable price. The audit trail of the tool is very much liked among the customers. 
  • Cons:
    • Standards – The tool does not offer any specific compliance to the standards for the aerospace and defense industry products like DO-178 and DO-254. 
    • The reporting capabilities of the tool on the agile board can be better.
    • High cost has to be paid in case more than 10 users need to be involved. 
  1. Spira Teams – Spira Teams is another ALM platform that helps you in managing your requirements, releases, tests, issues, and tasks in a single integrated environment. It also offers an incorporated dashboard with important metrics of the project.
  • Pros:
    • DO-178B/C – Spira Teams offers solid compliance with the DO-178B/C standard. Therefore, all the testing and verifications are done according to the standard itself and also ensure that the development is done in accordance with the whole certification process. 
    • Easy Integration – The tool is known to make the automation and integration process quite easy which makes it one of the most preferred RM tools in the market.
    • Traceability – Spira Teams also provides end-to-end traceability for all the requirements, test cases, defects, development work, and source code. 
  • Cons:
    • For people using Spira Teams, it is not easy to move the requirements or artifacts from one tool to another.
    • Validation against AD is said to be difficult to set up as well.
    • Spira Teams is also not quite suitable for big firms because of limitations like a single database, and difficulties in attaching bigger files.
  1. Tuleap – This is an ALM system that majorly facilitates agile methodologies, V-model, requirements management, and IT service management. This project management platform enables the organizations to meet the required standards like CMMI and ITIL.
  • Pros:
    • Compliance – Tuleap provides compliance with the DO-178B standards used for guidance related to Equipment Certification and software consideration within airborne systems.
    • Traceability – Tuleap ensures end-to-end traceability from initial requirements to test campaigns and final deliveries. It connects all the requirements, test cases, and other artifacts to ensure full traceability. 
    • Easy to use – Tuleap is quite easy to use and set up, thanks to the cloud version of the tool. It allows you to create a workflow corresponding exactly to your needs. 
  • Cons:
    • The document management interface is not as good as compared to other tools.
    • Some of the user interfaces features like copywriting and moving documents are not intuitive.
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