The ethos behind every creative and innovative development of software companies is to provide the best solutions and ease the work flow of all kind of organization. This leads to an increase requirement for high-quality software development services. To maintain the quality organizations follow a certain set of processes like planning, designing, developing/configuring, testing, deploying, operating, and optimizing business applications to improve lifecycle collaboration and software development efficiency.
Application Lifecycle Management is not a new term in software development; it is one of the key processes that start with the initial idea, followed by execution to the end of the application’s life. The key here is to have sync between start to end process.
For software companies creating something new and unique is always been a compelling process and to be competitive among the competitors required a sustained and cumulative planning. Every new application is astoundingly complex and to maintain its utility teams have to overcome lot of challenges like time constrain and limited budget all of this with quality output. A solution to this dilemma is to improve Lifecycle Collaboration with Application Lifecycle Management.
ALM, in fact acts as a bridge that holds the development Life Cycle together. ALM as a tool category began with source control tools, but with the growth of software development process different types of tools added in the ALM space.
It is pivotal to pick tools. But tools aren’t the only focus; the focus is how the tools connect to achieve the end result. The main purpose for using ALM tools is to help and execute a project according to a plan and to gain control over a project. It is implemented to bridge the gap between team members, provides full traceability between projects artifacts, and eliminates the need for unnecessary documentation hassles. In a simple word it is like balancing ALL phases of the application lifecycle in one tool that includes configuration management tool, a requirement tool, a bug tracking tool, or any integration between the different phases with full treatability between all project artifacts.
There are two key approaches to go with an ALM framework. The first approach is to congregate ALM tools and as per the requirements integrate them to build a customized ALM platform. The second approach is to install a full-fledged ALM platform.
Which method of approach is more resourceful it all depends on the organization requirements; nonetheless there are a few guidelines that should be taken into consideration while picking a particular approach.
The first approach is all about selecting the right set of tools or integrated platform that will remove the major bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the process. The main concern here is integration cost. Even though assembling a set of tools gives more flexibility to support organization’s ALM process, the cost of integration needed to be taken into consideration for building the required ALM framework.
The other approach is going for a complete set of ALM platform. The key here is to make sure the platform is flexible enough to fit the bill i.e. organization’s process. An important aspect that we need to consider is that these processes usually has many tacit rules; it’s not just what’s written in the manuals. One of the easy way of approaching is to look for the ability to “break the rules” on the ALM platform. If we decide to go with this approach we need to make sure that we should be in a situation to bend the pre-defined process if needed, to try innovative and creative ways to do the process, or to handle an exceptional situation as and when required.
It is a fact that over the years with development of technology and with the demand of high quality software, ALM tools have been divided into broad category. But with the right ALM process, we can identify the areas where we need to be more proactive to remove inefficiencies and then select the right tools for the job.
The purpose of having an ALM tool must cover at least the following components: Requirement Management, test management, project management, issue management, change management, release management, iteration Management and collaboration management.