The market is full of different software nowadays. That is why companies employ Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) in their software development projects. So, what is ALM and why do software companies need them? Read on to know more.
The biggest software companies typically release updates on their app every day. To efficiently manage software development and distribution, these companies employ Application Lifecycle Management strategies. However, before delving deeper into ALM, it is critical to know more about the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Stages of SDLC
Most of the time, developers tend to focus on one or two stages of the SDLC. But for better coordination and efficiency, everyone in the software development team must know the whole SDLC. Below are the seven stages of the software development life cycle:
This should always be the first step in undertaking new projects. During this stage, the project is laid out, including cost estimations, requirement procurement, and task assignments. All stakeholders should understand the plan before proceeding to the next stage.
Requirement Feasibility Analysis Stage
During this step, the project managers, architects, and developers work with relevant stakeholders to make sure requirements are functional . The team ensures the proposed requirements and solutions match the overall goal of the project.
This phase is when designers and developers map out a prototype or a solution. The prototype will help in getting feedback and making informed decisions.
Software Development Stage
It is during this phase where developers turn the requirements and prototypes into working code. Developers will work with the testers and product owners during this stage.
Software Testing Stage
This phase involves the testers checking software. The testers will examine the code for 1) quality, 2) completeness, and 3) performance. Most teams do testing through a mix of manual and automate checking.
After testing, it’s time to build the code into a usable product. It is during this stage where the team focuses on deploying the software and creating documentations like a user manual.
Operations and Maintenance Stage
Throughout this phase, the developers will constantly look out for defects or bugs in the software. When finding bugs, the developers or testers create a bug report for maintenance. It is also during this stage that opportunities for starting the software development life cycle again.
Throughout the SDLC, constant and clear communication between stakeholders and teams is important. Mastery of all of the stages will help you and your team develop the best possible application. One of the best ways to achieve this is through Application Lifecycle Management.
What is Application Lifecycle Management?
Application Lifecycle Management is an umbrella term that encompasses different management in the development, implementation, and distribution of a software. To put it simply, ALM provides a standardized environment between software development teams and other relevant stakeholders. ALM allows teams to have better communication and collaboration throughout the software lifecycle.
So, why is Application Lifecycle Management considered essential? Before ALM, most companies would let their software development teams work independently using the waterfall approach.
However, companies found out that this approach was inefficient, resulting in missed deadlines and cost overruns. As a result, companies shifted to a more collaborative software development system. Thus, ALM started becoming popular.
The Advantages of Application Lifecycle Management
Whether fintech or e-commerce, big companies frequently release new software updates. To keep up, businesses must become more efficient with their resources and strategies. This is where ALM comes in. Below are some of the benefits that your company can have with Application Lifecycle Management:
Preparation and Organization
ALM allows teams to initiate projects with methodologies and price estimations in place. It also allows teams to do resource planning, which will help project management. With ALM, teams can use specific tools that fit either waterfall or agile projects.
Collaboration with Multiple Teams
Companies that operate in multiple locations need a network for collaboration between teams. ALM enables every DevOps team member real-time tracking of the project’s status, strategies, changes, and requirements. With Application Lifecycle Management, teams will work with real-time information for better communication and collaboration.
Real-Time Decision Making
Most ALM features real-time planning, information, and version control. These tools will empower businesses to make timely decisions through integrating people and processes. ALM helps determine the skills, methodologies, requirements, and goals during the when, which, and what of the development project. With this information, businesses will know which route to take to finish project goals.
One of the advantages of integrating ALM is transparency, which is critical when managing big teams. It is easier for software development managers to monitor task assignments, progress, and quality. And with real-time information, project leaders will be able to mitigate problems quickly without losing quality and time.
Strengthens Testing Practices
Application Lifecycle Management gives organizations solutions for end-to-end development and testing. Teams must identify issues quickly to provide resolutions on time. With ALM, testers and developers can integrate their works seamlessly. As a result, developers can consolidate their works without drawback, and testing will be quick and on-point.
Improves Employee Support and Customer Satisfaction
Customer’s changing requirements can cause delays in fulfillment and dissatisfaction. ALM solution allows teams to integrate, adapt, and support the applications for faster updates.
ALM also provides tools and supports for individual contribution. The ALM tools balance employee requirements with the business goals.
Visibility and Transparency Across the Whole Project Lifecycle
All the advantages stated above will result in visibility of where the project is. Also, it will enable all relevant stakeholders to know the real-time status of the project. In turn, every member will be up-to-date with the progress of the project or when changes occur.
To summarize, Application Lifecycle Management helps everyone involved in the project development to be on the same page. ALM promotes collaboration and transparency to deliver quality releases with respect to time and budget.
The Future of Application Lifecycle Management
With the increasing competition in the software development industry, many companies integrated ALM into their DevOps. The trend will continue in the future as companies aim to adjust their products to the ever-changing customer needs. Therefore, it is important to have an ALM that works for you and caters to your business goals.
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