Organizations realized there were practices that could get their teams to collaborate together. The variety of tools helped with consistency and allowed ALM to overcome process, technology and functional barriers, and ALM really gave opportunities to organizations to communicate effectively, according to Tye Davis, senior product marketing manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).
The integration of things such as agile and DevOps, QA, development and product management has resulted in a wider team responsible for delivering software. The challenge is that the old tools can’t handle the scale of collaboration and visibility needed, said Brenton. Companies must use a comprehensive platform that provides a way to show different stakeholders the big picture, while also allowing the flexibility of different source-control systems, DevOps tools, and tracking systems that the individual teams are currently using, he said.
While some define agile as a culture and some call it a movement, the change the industry has been experiencing has been brought about by new principles and procedures, not by a strict set of rules.
“This means that every organization adopts agile at its own pace and with its own twists, and so the application life-cycle management also must be adopted to each individual organization,” said Alex Haiut, vice president of R&D at BlazeMeter. “I do not see any solution that gets closer to a one-size-fits-all. If someone looks at ALM in a few different organizations, the steps and stages might be the same or similar, but the flow and tools are different.”
Developers and ALM
The new development world has changed ALM, but it’s also changed the role of the developer. The environment looks and feels different, and for someone who has been coding for a long time, this new way of working can come as a struggle.
Kelly Emo, director of life-cycle and quality product marketing at HPE, said that developers want to become more successful and do their jobs better, but they don’t want additional overhead. Developers want to focus on the tools they want to work in, and focus on their code. ALM can help developers ensure that what they are developing is better, but if additional steps are being created for them before they can even code, she said this is considered to be just more roadblocks.
“As organizations embrace DevOps, code becomes everyone’s problem, and so developers are starting to care more about ensuring that what they are contributing to the business and that the application is going to give them amazing user experiences and have that great quality,” said Emo.
ALM was never intended to be static or inflexible, said Brenton, so developers need to start thinking about ALM as building “more collaboration”—not simply with other developers, engineers and project team members, but with teams working on corporate plans, broader portfolios and business owners. Visibility and transparency are two key buzzwords that will help organizations that want truly fast-moving ALM teams.
“When they are partnering in the selection of an ALM solution, [developers] should insist on a platform that allows them to use their tool set as it exists today or that allows the to migrate to different tools, or adopt new tools as they change the way they operate,” said Brenton.