Three projects are related by derivation (P1, P2, P3). Assume that a defect was discovered and resolved in rev1 of P2. The first task in defect containment is to determine which designs are at risk. The design data management system is queried to discover that out of all the projects under management, only P1, P2, P3 need to be considered. A further evaluation of the dependencies reveals that only rev2 of P2 and the active development state of P3 require further action. For each of these a derived defect is created and linked to the originating defect, for further investigation.
If the initial bug resolution is believed to be sufficient to fix the problem in the derivative designs, the design management system should be capable of propagating the fix to the derivative design points for verification and ultimately for clearance by binding the design resolution state to the bug.
Companies that utilize a unified design data management and bug tracking methodology will reduce the effort required to resolve and contain defects over their design set. By binding the bug state to the design state, bug tracking and management become a complete entity. By linking these two systems together, the value of each system to the design team is increased.
The ability for teams to explicitly define and reproduce the bug and resolution states will improve communication about the design, as well as providing design team members with realtime notices regarding bugs that may impact them. This is especially true for designs which span a large organization or geographic space.
Roger March is Chief Technology Officer for IC Manage, Inc., where he created their current design data management solution and continues to improve its performance and scalability for global multisite use. He has a BSEE from San Jose State University.