Polarion Helps Solve Remote Workforce Project Management Challenges

Author: John Fargo | April 19, 2021

Imagine, if you will, life a year from now: the pandemic has subsided and life and work are slowly going back to normal. The fact is, the last year has been a tough one (to say the least). But as we set our sights on a brighter tomorrow, we can look at what’s working and what’s not in the current environment—and plan accordingly.

In the blink of an eye, the workforce went remote. At the time, most of us believed it was temporary—just a few weeks, or maybe a month, until we flattened the curve. A year later, it’s become pretty clear that the predominantly remote workplace is here to stay.

It turns out there was much to be gained by the new model. No longer limited by physical boundaries, businesses began recruiting talent across the globe to support the better use of human capital and, ultimately, greater product innovation.

But this new, globally diversified workforce also created a series of collaboration challenges for project teams. Facilitating communication across time zones, maintaining approval, version and design control across international borders and assuring stakeholders that a project was running smoothly all became that much more difficult to accomplish.

Today, we’ll walk you through the top six project management challenges globally diverse project teams are facing today with guidance on how an application lifecycle management tool like Polarion can help.

Challenge 1: Task Management

The Problem – Task management is one of the biggest challenges project teams face when working remotely. For example, project managers might grapple with how to optimize their expanded pool of global resources while engineers are confused about who’s working on what, when and how. And without streamlined traceability protocols in place, the QA team has a harder time ensuring compliance and reducing risk.

The Solution – With a tool like Polarion ALM, you can get your entire project team in the same proverbial room despite being separated by time and distance. Offering robust task management functionality, Polarion can help you ease the transition to socially distanced collaboration with the ability to view project plans, status updates and project metrics, assign and view tasks, see who is working on what and facilitate traceability between tasks and the requirements implemented.

Challenge 2: Approvals, Document Controls and Requirements Management

The Problem – Documentation is often thought of as a necessary evil in engineering management—and it can be overwhelming. In fact, many project teams cite document control as one of the biggest sources of frustration. Chasing down emails, synthesizing comments and working off of—or, in some cases, approving—old or incorrect document versions can cause headache-inducing project delays and inefficiencies. These challenges are hard enough when members of the team are under the same roof (or even in the same time zone), let alone on the other side of the country—or the world!

The Solution – With an application lifecycle management tool in place, you can bring it all together under one umbrella with one version of the truth. Get real-time information about a document’s version or signatories, control the documents and review processes, see what’s changed from previous versions and maintain a coherent and compliant collection of documents, all in one place.

Challenge 3: Design

The Problem – Oftentimes, engineering management firms use different tools for requirements management, design and even testing, making it difficult to trace artifacts through the entire lifecycle.

The Solution – With Polarion, you can establish mapping and traceability across multiple platforms, thanks to the tool’s open API. For example, you can draft your designs and store them in tools like Enterprise Architecture or Solid Edge, then trace those designs back to the requirements.

Challenge 4: Traceability

The Problem – The mere word, “traceability,” conjures up disturbing images of spreadsheets upon spreadsheets and rows upon rows of data to be cross-referenced and checked. Not only is this time-consuming task mind-numbing, it’s also highly prone to human error—which, in a compliance-based industry, is not an option.

The Solution – Polarion lets you create links from requirements to the test cases that verify them, or trace tasks to the design pieces you implement. Once those relationships are established, you can build reports that reveal gaps or assess the impact of a potential change, then export the information into a PDF to share with stakeholders or regulatory bodies. Using an automated approach to traceability, you’ll spend less time digging through dizzying data and more time innovating.

Challenge 5: Verification

The Problem – When it comes to the verification process across a remote team, monitoring who tested what and when and pinning down results of multiple executions of test runs can prove challenging. The time required to coordinate the disorganized process cuts into the time required to meet release timelines. What’s more, tracking defects and anomalies requires meticulous and constant monitoring to ensure critical issues are evaluated and addressed at the appropriate times.

The Solution – An all-in-one ALM tool automates and simplifies the verification process, letting you plan, build and execute test runs. With Polarion, you can add test cases manually from your specification documents, automatically pull test cases into a test run, assign test cases to different users, view the test reports and instantly see any issues generated from each failed test case. Offering bug management capabilities, Polarion also helps you conserve vital resources and overcome the challenges of executing tests remotely.

Challenge 6: Reports and Project Management

The Problem – For many project teams, obtaining something as simple as a status update requires the maddening task of wading through data, emails and documents. Gone are the days of being able to walk down the hall to get a quick answer to a quick question.

The Solution – With Polarion’s LiveReport feature, you can define your own reports and create your own project dashboard. Instead of forcing you to work with the pre-built metrics some tools provide that you may or may not need, Polarion offers an easy-to-use interface that displays real-time project data that’s analyzed in a way that is meaningful to the team.

As the in-person workforce moves further into the rearview mirror, leveraging forward-thinking solutions that facilitate smart collaboration across the globe is not a nice-to-have; it’s essential. Whether you’re concerned about managing your team’s tasks, tracing project artifacts or having a single source of the truth for all aspects of the product development lifecycle, Polarion can help guide your team into the future.

Interested in learning more about Polarion and how it can help you overcome your project manangement challenges? Join our webinar, Polarion: Leading You into a New Era of Product Development, on May 4th at 12:00pm as our team shares the value of product lifecycle management tools and how they can be used to streamline your development process. Register now.

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    Dan Sterling Photo of Dan Sterling President
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