Smart engineers work smart by using tools that are readily available and that they know how to use. Wise engineers work wisely by first evaluating the options, analyzing the results and making a strategic decision not only for the current project but, more importantly, for upcoming projects as well.
Recently, a customer developing avionics systems came to us with their frustrations in managing FPGA requirements. They managed higher level requirements, such as line replaceable unit (LRU) and circuit card assembly (CCA) requirements, in IBM DOORS. The FPGA requirements, test cases and their traceability to HDL design, testbench and simulation results were managed using Word and Excel. Since DOORS lacked the capability to trace to FPGA design and verification elements necessary for DO-254 compliance, the customer felt they had to choose Word and Excel.
Why? Because Word and Excel are readily available and the team members already know how to use them. But as their projects grew in complexity increasing the number of requirements to be managed, they found that Word and Excel have many shortcomings and realized that they are not the right tool when it comes to requirements management and traceability.
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