Configuring SpiraTeam for Testing in Validated Environments (Part 2)

November 29th, 2017 by inflectra

At Inflectra we like to make the lives of customers easier and share knowledge. We have lots of customers in the life sciences industries using SpiraTeam to manage and test medical device systems and products. Since such products have to follow the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 requirements, we thought it would be useful to highlight some of the best practices we have for configuring SpiraTeam in such environments. This is the second article in the blog series, and covers the configuration of the requirements workflows.

Configuring the Requirements Workflow

In the previous article we described how to setup the roles and permissions in SpiraTeam for a validated project. Now that this is in place, the next step is to configure the requirements workflow. To access the requirements workflow, log in as a project administrator and go to the Administration > Requirements > Edit Workflows screen:

You can have different workflows for each of your different types of requirement, or simply use the same workflow for all of them. We shall illustrate the recommended workflow configuration for a life sciences customer, you can then apply it to the appropriate requirement types.

By default, SpiraTeam is configured with a pretty unrestricted requirements workflow designed for agile software development projects (vs. validated life science projects), so that means in most of the transitions and states we have:

  • A large selection of roles that can execute most of the transitions
  • The owner/detector can execute most of the transitions once the requirement has been assigned
  • Most fields are listed as:
    • Not required
    • Visible
    • Enabled

This also allows the items to be easily and quickly moved between priorities, statuses, people and releases/iterations on the Agile Planning Board that is included with SpiraTeam.

So, we recommend that you make the following changes to your workflow:

1) Restrict the Roles/Permissions in the Transitions

Firstly you should click on each of the requirement workflow transitions and view the list of users that can execute such transitions:

Typically most of the requirements transitions will be set to allow:

  • The Author to be able to execute
  • The Owner to be able to execute
  • The Project Owner and Manager roles to be able to execute.

You should now review your test validation process to see how the different roles in SpiraTeam and the steps in the process will be aligned to ensure that the correct personnel can approve the requirements. For a life sciences customer we would recommend:

Requested > Under Review Author & Manager Only
Requested > Accepted Remove this Transition
Under Review > Accepted Owner Only
Accepted > Planned Manager Only
Planned > In Progress Owner Only
In Progress > Developed Owner Only
Developed > Tested Owner Only
Tested > Completed Manager Only
Completed > Obsolete Manager Only


We have only listed our suggestions for the forward transitions, make sure you have also determined the correct permissions for the reverse ones.

2) Add Electronic Signatures to Specific Transitions

Now that you have updated the permissions, you can now set the Electronic Signature options to the appropriate transitions:

We would recommend applying the electronic signature to the following forward transitions (typically the reverse ones do not need to be signed):

  • Under Review > Accepted
  • Developed > Tested
  • Tested > Completed

3) Restrict Field Editing by Status

Finally you will want to update the fields in the system so that certain fields are required at specific stages and other fields become read-only once they have been approved:

We would recommend the following field configurations for use in validated life science projects:

Requested Most fields should be visible and enabled. You should make the Name, Owner and Importance required at least
Under Review Most fields should be visible and enabled. You should make the Name, Owner, Comments and Importance required at least
Accepted All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.
Planned All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.
In Progress All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.
Developed All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.
Tested All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.
Completed All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.
Obsolete All fields should be read-only (disabled = Yes) at this point.


You have now configured your requirements workflow for a validated life sciences project. In our next article in the series, we shall be configuring the test case workflows.


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