Gasoline Systems-Electronic Hybrid Customer Interface with Tasktop Sync

The Approach

Managing Change Requests and Defects was critical to the success of an OEM Gen3 Inverter Project at a major automotive supplier in GS-EH. Back in 2014, Change Request and Defect data was synchronized across a historically grown application landscape consisting of OEM’s HPQC and JIRA installations; the major automotive supplier's JIRA and RTC installations; and three different Interface Technologies tying it all together. The information exchange process was characterized by lack of specification, workflow inconsistency, errors, conflicts, out-of-sync data and manual rework. This environment created inefficient communication between this major automotive supplier and the OEM, adding unnecessary cycle time to each project iteration. At the end of 2014, the Supplier-OEM Steering Committee for the Gen3 Inverter Project asked IBM to re-structure the interface architecture and harmonize the processes by the end of Q1 2015.

The goal was to replace the legacy systems with a single interface between the major automotive supplier's RTC and OEM’s JIRA. IBM started by specifying the target architecture, attribute-, value-, resolution- and complex workflow mappings for four different work-item types. Then the OEM and Supplier Key User as well as the OEM’s Central IT Department provided valuable feedback, which we took into regard during the formal review process. Upon the released specification and our experience, over 50 functional, non-functional and vendor requirements for the Interface Evaluation were derived. Three potential interface vendors were identified for the short-list. After reviewing each one, Tasktop was selected as best meeting the requirements.

After the final decision of the GS-EH ALM Change Control Board, the OEM, the Supplier, IBM and Tasktop had six weeks left to deploy the new interface. IBM coordinated the communication between these companies and regularly reported the status in the OEM-Supplier Steering Committee. Tasktop provided all necessary RFEs in the time and quality required, including an Adapter for the direct connection over the OEM B2B Portal. Furthermore they supported the internal Interface Team during those six weeks in daily deployment sessions with technical guidance. The major automotive supplier's RBEI did the developer tests and the key-users of the OEM and finally approved their requirements during Key-User Validation Testing. For migration IBM developed a program that transforms old RTC work items types into new work-item types with harmonized workflows and attributes. On 27th of March we successfully performed the Go-Live, whereby we migrated over 1400 active Work Items within one-day downtime and substituted the three legacy systems for the interface. In the end, the Steering Committee achieved its wish to harmonize the process, thereby increasing the consistency of the data, enabling better communication between the OEM and the major automotive supplier and driving down synchronization times to less than 10 seconds.

Amin Jbabli, IBM: Senior Consultant

 

Why Tasktop?

During Proof of Concept, Tasktop Sync was already able to demonstrate average synchronization times of less than three seconds between the major automotive supplier and OEM Test environments. It provides the capability to have multiple Work-Item Type Mappings for multiple Repositories, whereby each Mapping can have its own Workflow configuration. The technology needed no plug-in to be installed on the OEM’s Jira or the supplier's RTC Server, as it directly fetches and synchronizes the data from the APIs. Tasktop Sync reads out the Schemas of the different ALM Repositories and Projects, which makes the configuration easy to configure and to maintain. It was important for us, that the interface is capable of connecting future ALM Repositories of new Customers (OEMs). Tasktop provided that technology. A single Tasktop installation can connect up to 32 major ALM technologies. Monitoring and Reporting is easy, as Tasktop provides a Web Service where every User can monitor the interface as well as E-Mail notification mechanism. A critical point was that Tasktop committed to deliver the identified RFEs in Q1 2015 and proofed their capabilities through reference customers, e.g. NASA or premier automotive manufacturer.

Jörg Spranger, GS-EH/ESS

 

Tasktop Sync Technology

Tasktop Sync is an integration server that provides fully automated enterprise-grade synchronization among the artifacts created and managed within the disparate tools used in software development and delivery organizations. Defects, requirements, user stories, test cases, time, tasks, trouble tickets and more are synchronized across these tools in near real-time. Tasktop Sync works in the background, keeping the flow of information among the practitioners and their tools constant. Everyone works in their tool of choice, but has real-time access to the changes other team members are making in their tools. Practitioners are better informed and save time. Management has greater visibility across the entire project team, providing information for better decision making and planning. Tasktop Sync understands, mirrors and synchronizes artifacts and the relationships among them across the entire software development and delivery lifecycle. Sync integrates on-premise, on-demand and hybrid infrastructures and provides advanced conflict resolution–handling simultaneous updates and conflicts resulting from differences in workflow rules among endpoint systems. And Sync operates even when endpoints are disconnected or offline. Over one million users employ Tasktop’s ALM integration technology to transform software delivery by connecting the development, testing, Agile planning, PMO and operations functions into a unified software development and delivery team.

Michael Jahn, Tasktop: EMEA TechSales Lead 

 

Summary

Nowadays the problems in Managing Change Requests and Defects are solved. It is a pleasure to see thousands of data updates are being exchanged smoothly in real time.

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