Change control is a function of project management and quality control. It encompasses a formal process used to ensure that changes to a product or system are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner. Cradle’s (Configuration Management System) CMS includes Review, Baselines, Change Requests,Change Tasks and a Change Log.
The art of a carefully crafted sentence with beautiful ink on a crisp page is becoming a rarity. Handwriting day serves to remind us of that skill.
These days we can even create ‘handwriting’ in our electronic documents with cursive fonts. We can Digitally sign documents using a pass-phrase. However, there is still room for a quick hand written posty note, a card or a signature on a document as a stamp of authority.
Storing Handwriting in Cradle
There are a few ways that you could store hand written information in Cradle.
Whether it is a handwritten requirement / letter / alteration from your customer or an authorisation signature, you can store them in Cradle. As part of Change Management you may wish to record a picture of a whiteboard discussion, a snapshot of the back of that envelope or even a scan of the letter sent by a customer.
In this month’s newsletter we asked you to email us when you last “hand wrote a date”. There’s still time to drop us a line and get a mention next month. Or if you really want to practice your writing for handwriting day 2018, drop us a letter.
Requirements Management Isn’t Just For The Big Players.
Your boss says “Don’t be ridiculous you don’t need, requirements management for windows and doors!”…
Your client has asked that the new Town-Lodge is fitted with UPVC doors, windows and fascias throughout. All fire regulations for a medium occupancy building must be adhered to. Locks must have master key and single key access. Glass must meet the company’s privacy specification. And so on….. Whether you are building a spacecraft with millions of parts with hundreds of engineers, or you’re a firm of three fitters running a building service, you have requirements to manage. The HID (Hierarchy Diagram below) shows that a large number of interdependencies, even for the supply of simple items, quickly builds. Consequently the complexity of managing those requirements becomes more of a task. The requirements for windows and doors to a 20 room Town-Lodge involves glass specifications and safety constraints. These may differ depending on the location and size of the window/door. Planning, using a tool can simplify the traceability of any job.
The quotation has been accepted by the Town-Lodge. However, you were careful enough to note that the price was ‘subject to regulatory change’. When Ref 125-ere-2008 comes up for review and an amendment is raised, it is easy to trace what this impacts. Running a query on the Safety Regulations and showing the linked items, furthermore, it can be seen these refer to the Emergency Access Windows. The trace shows these are linked to Customer RequirementCR6 and CR8. Finally it is a simple case of writing the email to the Town-Lodge and explaining regulatory change requires thicker glass and this will change the price for these two windows. Then await their approval. Therefore, in answer to your boss, “I can see the future for a tool to give us requirements management for windows and doors – can we buy a copy of Cradle ?”
Validation and Acceptance
The Lodge has agreed that they will pay when the work has been completed satisfactorily. Prior to starting work you have agreed a set of acceptance criteria. There could be endless tweaks or subjective “I don’t think that’s finished” conversations unless clear acceptance criteria and associated validation techniques have been agreed. Imagine you have a noise reduction requirement, “The noise reduction between the window open and window closed shall be 6dB”. Record the pre-agreed acceptance method as a Cradle item, and link this to each of the requirements with noise acceptance criteria. (This requirement in turn is linked to the rooms that it affects)
Noise Reduction Measurement. A white noise generator shall be sited at 1m from the window. The position will be adjusted until a measurement of 80db or more is detected inside the room with the window open at a distance of 1m inside the room. A second reading shall be taken with the window shut and this shall be subtracted from the first reading.
Running a query against the noise test will find all the rooms that this applies to. Now you can make your measurements and record your findings. You now have full traceability for each aspect of the product being delivered to The Lodge. “Dear Boss, Submit the invoice, Cradle aided demonstration to The Lodge site manager that all our acceptance criteria had been met. I think we’ve proved a use for requirements management for windows and doors.”
An item often has a number of Change Requests raised against it. These may result in new Change Tasks being raised. Multiple Change Requests may be covered by one Change Task. Since there are many influences on a project the timing of these requests can not be predicted. For either timing or operational reasons it may be better to keep the changes in separate tasks, baselining the reviewed alteration between each. This can result in a number of Change Tasks being associated with an item. Selecting the item and using the “Show Associated Change Tasks” option will produce a report detailing the CHTs linked to it.
When having large projects with a lots of data. Ensuring that the recently created data isnt too difficult to find can be very important for businesses. Especially when trying to review projects. But how would you be able to find this relevant data without having to scroll through endless ammounts of information?
Most projects need to review what has changed over a period of time, often the past month. These reports are typically called change logs.
Using a change log enables you to set up some instructions to only find data within a set peroid of time. You can;
– Run a query that finds all items whose last modification date is between the start of last month and the end of last month
– Display the results using a view that displays the change history, shown either as a summary or in full detail
To find the modified items, use the ‘Dates’ tab in the query definition and set the start and end dates. There are several choices
– Start of this week
– Start or end of last week
– Start or end of last month
– Start or end of 2 months ago
– Start or end of 3 months ago
– A specified date
To view the modified items, you can design a view, or use the Automatic scope view ‘XXX – History’ created by Cradle. Here XXX is your item type, so for an item type called issue, Cradle will have created the view ISSUE – History. This view shows the items’ identity, name, key and full details of the changes.
Running the query with this view produces the change log, as shown in the figure. By using relative dates (such as ‘Start of last month’) you will never need to change the query, it will work correctly every month.
You could combine the query and view into a report, and then add a shortcut to this report into your phase hierarchy or into a start page. Remember to save the query and report as Project scope, so that they are available to everyone in your project!