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Checklist Guide: How to Select and Evaluate an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Tools

Checklist Guide: How to Select and Evaluate an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Tools

Table of Contents

Checklist for Selecting a Suitable ALM Suite

An application lifecycle management (ALM) suite is a critical tool that helps organizations manage the entire software development process from planning and design to deployment and maintenance. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right ALM suite for your organization. Here is the checklist for selecting a suitable ALM suite:

  1. Scalability: An ALM suite should be scalable to accommodate the growth of your organization. It should be able to handle large projects and scale down for smaller projects as well.
  2. Integration: The ALM suite should integrate with the tools that your organization already uses. This integration will reduce the time and cost of training and ensure that there is no duplication of data entry.
  3. Customization: The ability to customize the ALM suite to fit the unique needs of your organization is important. Customization ensures that you can create workflows, processes, and reports that match the specific needs of your organization.
  4. Collaboration: An ALM suite should facilitate collaboration among the different stakeholders involved in the software development process. Collaboration tools such as messaging, commenting, and notifications should be included.
  5. Reporting and Analytics: The ability to generate real-time reports and analytics is crucial. This helps project managers to make data-driven decisions, track progress, and identify issues early on.
  6. Security: Security should be a top priority for any ALM suite. It should have features such as access control, encryption, and audit trails to ensure that sensitive data is protected.
  7. Usability: Finally, the ALM suite should be easy to use and navigate. It should have a clean and intuitive user interface that makes it easy for all stakeholders to use.

In conclusion, choosing the right ALM suite is essential for the success of any software development project. By considering the factors mentioned above, organizations can select an ALM suite that meets their unique needs and requirements.

What is ALM?

Application Lifecycle Management is a complex procedure that involves different parties, recurrent processes, and various instruments that are used for regulating the complete lifecycle of the project from the very beginning to the end. ALM ensures the smooth running of the established methodologies of an organization and higher productivity through integrated tools.  

In simpler terms, Application Lifecycle Management, abbreviated as ALM,  is the procedure of specifying, designing, documenting, and testing the application. It covers the whole lifecycle from the start to the end of the project. It begins with the idea of the application throughout the development, goes to testing, deployment, support, and finally, the user experience. 

Adopting application development lifecycle management is essential for organizations in order to ensure prompt plus good quality releases keeping in mind the budget. Also, using traditional methods for lifecycle management like MS Office on one hand makes sense as it is cost-efficient as well as easy to get used to. But on the other hand, there are several drawbacks of using MS Office such as too much manual work, detecting issues can be a nightmare, and providing compliance is next to impossible. Hence, it is essential to use the right ADLM solution and give up traditional methods like MS Office.

Why is it important to use ALM?

The following 10 points will make you understand exactly why ADLM is important.

  1. Smooth Development Process The development of any application requires standardized processes and documentation. Here, the ALM tool can be used as the sole centralized hub where we can keep all our resources. ALM enables any organization to streamline all the processes and resources in a single place and also provides an overview of the whole development process. This results in higher accountability, timely updates, and improved traceability.
  2. Preparing and Organizing the Development Process ALM tools help manage the application development lifecycle. The planning phase begins as soon as the clients share their project requirements. With the help of ALM tools, you can draw up your plans more efficiently along with tools that fit your specific requirements. They can either support waterfall methodology or agile methodology or both. 
  3. Maintain Budgets & Productivity The first step in any planning is to set up a financial budget. Choosing methodologies that can potentially drain budgets and productivity is simply a stupid move. ALM integration eliminates the requirements for varied environments for testing. Also, with all-in-one software, review, and management become easier too. 
  4. Team Management Communicative and coordinated workspace deeply suits efficient and smooth software development. ALM can keep all the members on the same page with real-time strategies, changed requirements, and regular project status. Remote jobs are highly and positively affected by this. 
  5. Speed + Quality If the team does not collaborate appropriately, the chances for loopholes, delayed deliveries, and low product quality can increase. When you operate your project on ALM software, the integrated tools deliver the user requirements successfully, that too with high quality.
  6. Carrying the Load There are high possibilities that the project might get stuck at some point. In such cases, apt choices and decisions are needed. ALM comprises the resources and processes in one tool which consequently, benefits the determination of solutions at each step. 
  7. Employee Satisfaction Employees show their dedication and interest through their productivity levels. Appreciating their efforts and choices is a must. ALM provides the freedom to the employees to use the tools and make their own choices and decisions. This keeps them motivated and satisfied, enhancing their productivity. 
  8. Enhanced Team Productivity Team productivity is of the utmost importance for a successful outcome in any project. ALM-integrated software helps in distributing and allocating tasks easily. Also, it helps to track productivity, quality, and progress regularly too. 
  9. Fixing Bugs Testing is done to make sure that the application has as few bugs as possible. ALM tools provide a platform for uniting the development and testing processes. This helps reduce the chances of loopholes and enhances the quality of the application.
  10. Customer Satisfaction Every service by every organization strives in order to satisfy its customers. ALM tools help maintain high visibility and transparency among the service provider and the clients.

Components/Stages of ALM:

ALM has a few stages as well. They include:

  1. Requirement management – This is the first and foremost step in the ALM cycle. During this stage, requirements are documented, analyzed, tracked, and prioritized. This process goes on throughout the whole lifecycle of the project.  
  2. Design – During this stage, the usability of the project is improved in order to enhance the satisfaction and loyalty of the customers. 
  3. Build Management – During this stage, the source code files are converted into standalone software components. Basically, the idea of the application turns into an actual application during build management. Application is built, tested, and deployed during this stage and testers commence drafting the test cases and test scripts for further testing of the application. 
  4. Software Configuration Management – Abbreviated as SCM, is a stage when the deployment team works on the systematic organization and management of the project. They also control the changes that are made in the documents, codes and other entities during the ADLM. 
  5. Operation and Maintenance Management – During this stage, the whole application is monitored and bugs are identified and resolved. Through this, you are able to plan and prioritize the following update on the project. 
  6. Test Management – This stage is also known as the testing stage. The testers verify that the application is properly complying with the requirements stated during the initial processes.
  7. User Experience – This can be said as the longest stage in the whole ALM procedure. In this stage, the major participation of testers and developers is not required. Instead, the participation of users is highly important. They basically check out the whole application and share their feedback. After that, the final application is launched or delivered.

Why Choose Visure as your ALM tool?

Visure is one of the most trusted ALM platforms that specialize in requirements management for organizations of all sizes across the globe. The major partners of Visure include business-critical and safety-critical companies. Visure integrates through the whole ALM processes including risk management, issue and defect tracking, traceability management, change management, and various other areas like quality analysis, requirements versioning, and powerful reporting. 

The features that are like the most about Visure include:

  • Flexible User Interface Visure guarantees the integration of the solutions with other tools that have already been implemented with open standards and connectors. Visure also provides personalized technical support to its clients and helps them implement initiatives that will help them improve their requirements management procedures. 
  • Pre-Built Templates Visure offers pre-built templates for you as a starting point. This saves a lot of time for our customers when they want to start fresh. These templates are customizable and can be changed according to one’s requirements. 
  • Affordable Prices As compared to other ALM tools like Jama and IBM DOORS, Visure is quite affordable and offers great features as well. Visure starts at $1500 per year and thus, is not a problem. Moreover, the support and interaction that we provide to our customers are highly admired by our customers. 
  • Quality Assistance Our clients receive the best quality assistance from writing down your requirement models and providing on-premises services. Visure assists you when you can not trust the cloud for your private data. We also provide quality analysis for the requirements processes in your organization in order to ensure for things run as smoothly as possible. 
  • Standards – Visure supports standard compliance templates for ISO 26262, IEC 62304, IEC 61508, CENELEC 50128, DO-178B/C, FMEA, SPICE, CMMI, etc.
  • Integration – Data analysts can create relationships, generate hierarchies, manage traceability, and automatically capture requirements from MS Excel, Outlook, and MS Word. Visure also supports integration with other ALM tools like IBM DOORS and JIRA through Requirement Interchange Format OMG standards.
  • Data Models – Visure supports many development processes like Agile, V-model, etc. At Visure, we ensure to analyze the specific problems that are inherent in business models and provide a solutional data model for each specific need. These data models are customizable to relate to the client’s internal processes and can be enforced as required.

Conclusion

The importance of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) cannot be ignored in today’s IT world. Keeping this in mind, it is absolutely essential to choose the most suitable ALM Platform that has all the features your team needs for successful project execution. Our checklist listed above should help you find the best ALM suite for your needs, such as Visure Requirements ALM Platform. All feature-rich and scalable, Visure Requirements brightens business outcome and supercharges development teams. With a truly global presence, great customer support and industry partnerships,Visure Requirements brings industry’s best practices closer to you. Timely insights with traceability are among its top priorities while providing perfect project governance. And what’s better? Try out the free 30-day trial if you’re keen on exploring Visure Requirements more!

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The High Cost of Poor Requirements Management

June 06th, 2024

11 am EST | 5 pm CET | 8 am PST

Louis Arduin

Louis Arduin

Main Speaker

Impact & Solutions for Inefficient Requirements Management

Explore the significant impact that inefficient requirements management practices can have on project costs and timelines.