Requirements in Jira has long been a wish for many Jira users. Many have tried it and many have failed because Jira is not designed to work with controlled requirements. Because of this I have always suggested to work with requirements in Confluence, but with RTM from Deviniti, I might change my mind about that.
I am a certified requirements analyst and as someone who works in all positions in a development process I know the importance of good requirements. While good communication is key for a good workforce it does not remove the need for controlled requirements. In Jira you can setup requirements as part of a workflow or as a separate issue type, but the experience is far from controlled.
When I saw RTM from Deviniti for the the first time I was intrigued. It looked very similar to older systems like HP QC (now Micro Focus Quality Center) in it's structure. I installed it on my Jira instance and have played around with it for a while now. So far I am very impressed, especially since Deviniti have confirmed that some of the things I miss are in their roadmap.
Requirements & test management in Jira
RTM comes with five main modules, plus a bunch of reports. The modules are all customizable so you can define what issue types you want to map with what module. This is great because that way I can map towards already existing issue types, or custom make new ones if needed. For Defects I can even map multiple issue types, which is great if you like me use both Defect and Incident. This is also possible for Requirements which is necessary for working with multiple types. In my setup I only have functional and non-functional requirements, but you can add more if you like.
The RTM Requirements module
This is the exciting part of RTM! Working with requirements in RTM feels just like in ALM or other older systems, but with the ease and great usability of Jira. You can quickly create a tree structure and rearrange the tree is easy and fast with drag and drop. Existing requirements can be imported using the import function that is located in the left column where the tree is under the three dots.
You can customize the tree structure in the RTM configuration that is located under project settings. There you can select if you want auto numbering and if you want the issue number to be written out or not.
While we still miss a few things (see below) this is really a great start. It is by far the best requirements app for Jira I have seen so far.
The RTM Test Cases Module
Test cases are reusable tests with test steps that you use in the test plans to perform tests. RTM is competing with some big shoes in the test department, but they hold up pretty good here. I like the configuration for the test steps that you have in the RTM configuration under project settings where you can modify the columns for the test steps. This allow me to define what columns I want with ease. You can also select what the starting status is, but right now you can not add or edit the standard statuses.
As with all modules you can import existing test cases using the import function above the tree structure where you see the three dots.
The RTM Test Plans Module
Test plans are equally easy to create and manage. In the test plan you connect test cases and test executions to get the full overview of the test scope and result. In the overview of the test cases connected to the test plan you can change the order, create new test cases or add test cases.
To me this gave a very good overview of the scope, what was actually tested and I have plenty of room to describe the test plan without cluttering things up.
The RTM Test Executions Module
The test executions module allow you to quickly execute test plans and you can structure them the same way as all the modules. You can re-execute test executions, which then create a new test execution that you can place in a folder directly. This is great for example smoke test that you want to run frequently.
There are some things I think can be improved visually, but overall this works pretty well.
The RTM Defects Module
The Defects module give you an overview of the defects in the projects. If you are adding RTM to an existing project where you already have defects, then you can easily import them using the import function. It is a bit hidden, but you find it in the left column under the three dots.
The Good and The Bad
There is not a whole lot to say on the negative side of this because it works very well. I tested this with Portfolio for Jira and the result is amazing. You easily get the structure you need for a full parent-child tree structure and the modules in RTM provides a great focus area for requirements and test.
What I miss are the version management that absolutely must be there. This is one of the things that are on the roadmap for the future. Hopefully this can tie into some form of approval process to better control changes. This is important for large organizations, but also for non-functional requirements that usually are global.
This is also a thing that is currently missing and also on the road map for future updates. If these could work the same way as the test steps work today, or maybe even having them as separate entities like test cases, then this would be amazing. This would allow for really powerful connectivity between not just requirements and test, but also defects and requirements.
Import from other projects
One of the things I miss is the ability to import from other projects. This is especially useful for non-functional requirements that are often shared between many projects. I would like to be able to import these as read only so I can have them as part of the requirement structure, but not be able to edit for example legal requirements. I can make a requirement in the existing project and link for now, but I think import as read only would be a better solution.
Quickfilters in Defects module
The only thing I miss here is the possibility to add quick filters, just like in boards. This would allow me to better use this view based on my need. I found myself jumping to filters a few times to get a more focused view and with quick filters that would not be necessary.
The Module Templates
While the modules are not terrible in terms of visual they could improve a bit. Things are a bit cluttered and the tabs are not super obvious at first glance. Here I would like to see a slight update using Jira standards, but we also need templates to add custom data for example. Based of the structure with tabs I think it would be possible to use the standard view design and just split it in the different tabs for starters.
Better integration with Confluence
If I add a Confluence link directly into the issue itself, then it show up as just Wiki page. This is not very good as I want to see the name of the page so I know what page it is referring to.
Other Apps support
Right now I can't add other apps to the modules view, which is a bit of a problem for the requirements part especially. I often add designs using Invision prototypes and if that is not shown in the modules view, then I have to jump back and forth between the issue view and the module view. That is not good and I think this need to be added to the modules template designs.
Test Executions UX and Visuals
The test executions are a bit clunky when it comes to the UX. I find myself getting a bit lost as things happen without me being in control and I sometimes end up in the test issue view instead of the execution view. I would like to keep the execution summary in the header so it remain consistent and so I can come back to the execution overview instead of the issue view.
The statuses are not tied into a workflow, which means that you need to skip back and forth to manage your test executions. A mapping in the settings would be nice so I can map execution statuses to workflow statuses. Also, there might be a good idea to separate statuses from resolutions to keep in line with Jira standard.
This is just a cosmetic thing, but I like to be able to differentiate folders using colors and icons. This makes it a whole lot easier to quickly find the correct are, especially for large trees that often occur in requirements for larger systems. it would be very nice to have the option of selecting colors of the folders and special icing on the cake if I can select an icon as well. It would be easy to just use FontAwesome for example and allow the user to pick the icon from the font set.
My opinion on RTM from Deviniti
This is by far the most complete solution for a functional way of working with requirements and test in a controlled way. It still need some work here and there, but I will recommend this to all my clients as it stands today. Even without version management or dedicated sections for acceptance criteria it is still far, far better than what most people have today.
When this product get more polished I think this will be one of the must have apps in pretty much every Jira instance.
I like it. A lot.