December 12, 2016

Of all the use cases potentially supported by Syndeia, links between systems engineering and project management are among the most intriguing. With Syndeia 3.0, a new interface to JIRA’s issue tracking repository offers a window into some of these possibilities.

JIRA, widely used in agile software development, is organized by project and issue. As well as collecting comments, screenshots and other artifacts, each issue identifies status, assigned personnel, expected time of completion and other attributes related to the engineering process. At the simplest level, Syndeia can create a reference connection from any SysML element to an existing issue with a simple drag and drop operation. Once established, such a connection can enable the Syndeia user to open the JIRA issue (Figure 1) directly from the SysML model browser and diagrams, as well as the Syndeia dashboard.


Figure 1 JIRA interface, showing issue attributes including activity and status

If no issue exists already, the same drag and drop operation can create the issue and the reference connection at the same time. When the SysML element is connected to more than one issue, the user can choose which to display or generate a summary of the connected issues, as in Figure 2.


Figure 2 Summary of connected JIRA issues for a SysML block

The same functionality can be applied to multi-level hierarchies of requirements, activities or blocks. The activity UAV Project shown in Figure 3 is decomposed into three actions of type Task1, Task 2 and Task 3. Task 1 is further decomposed into b1: Subtask 1A and so forth.



Figure 3 Multi-level Activity Structure

Dragging and dropping UAV Project into a JIRA project using Syndeia creates seven new issues, with each having a reference connection to the corresponding SysML activity. Syndeia also creates a set of JIRA internal links between the new issues. While JIRA does not support hierarchies of issues like the SysML activity decomposition, it uses “related to” links, as shown in Figure 4 to the issues directly above and below Task 1.


Figure 4 Section of JIRA interface showing JIRA “relates to” links between issues in UAV Project hierarchy

In Part 3 of this blog post, we combine the Data Map connections described in Part 1 with the multilevel issue generation in Part 2 to offer a new approach to creating and managing work breakdown structures.

Contact us at to request an evaluation license of Syndeia to try out your own innovative ideas.

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Dirk Zwemer

Dr. Dirk Zwemer ( is President of Intercax LLC (Atlanta, GA), a supplier of MBE engineering software platforms like Syndeia and ParaMagic. He is an active teacher and consultant in the field and holds Level 4 Model Builder-Advanced certification as an OMG System Modeling Professional.