IBM Engineering Workflow Management Review

Great inbuilt traceability reporting; unfortunately, the solution is heavily vendor dependent


What is our primary use case?

We are customers of IBM and I'm the manager of digital engineering.

What is most valuable?

There is a value in certain things like traceability, from high level requirements to low level requirements, to a test case, to a test plan, to a work item, to a change request, which is very essential to have for any OEM trying to not just create data, but also enable tracing. All those things are valuable. It's helpful that the traceability reporting is inbuilt and includes all your requirements, management and test management. There are also  certain integrations with code repositories, to a level where you can trace back and see who actually tested it, whether it was a pass or fail, the length of the test and steps behind it. Anyone coming in will automatically know that something has changed.

What needs improvement?

Unfortunately, the solution is very heavily vendor dependent. It requires a strong partnership with IBM, and you rely on them for fixes or access to certain things. There are new fixes all the time and each new fix can bring in a new functionality. The development aspect is not well aligned. There's a requirement tool, a testing tool, a project management tool, a reporting tool. They are separate but all work on one platform although they don't function that way. It can take some time to figure out where the responsibility for a problem lies. They need one team rather than inefficient multiple teams. Another issue is that the solution is not yet supported on Docker.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for over 10 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In general, it's stable and you won't have many issues. The issue is that it's always customized, the solution is built for that. Workflows, plugins, extensions are created. This can sometimes create performance issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable but you can't really containerize it, like a newer solution would support.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good and provides value to the solution. It also requires a backend application management team for upgrades, and on the front end, a team to work with users and create processes, templates and workflows. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not that complex, the documentation gives you all the help you need. User adoption is a problem because it's not as intuitive as JIRA and it requires proper training, to understand where things are aligned. Especially in the RTC part of the CLM, or maybe RQM part. There are sometimes bottlenecks. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is not a cheap solution but it does include the standard support that IBM offers through their portal, and the support is good. IBM has multiple licensing models, and there is a floating license model, where you buy a fixed number of licenses and you pay for them no matter what. Then there's a flexible, token-based license, where you have, let's say,100 tokens, and based on your usage, these tokens will be distributed amongst users and you can scale up as necessary. 

What other advice do I have?

I think there are probably better and more nimble solutions available on the market. If a company is starting from scratch, it doesn't really need such a heavy solution. If you're in the automobile, healthcare, aerospace industries and the like, where you have a lot of legacy data, and your requirements are crucial and you might be audited, then you do need to have a system which offers safe certification and a few other things. It should support agile templates and a few other things. 

I rate this solution a seven out of 10. 

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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