“That’s still a very important project in terms of connecting what the business analysts and the marketing folks are expecting to see in the product and what actually shows up when it’s released,” said Hammon. “With the shorter cycles, it’s more important to get it right.”
Tools, methodologies and rules of ALM
Rethinking ALM in this modern software development world means keeping those same steps and building on top of them as the company moves toward a more agile way of operating. Hammon said that there are examples of people losing their way in the sometimes chaotic world of shorter release cycles. Formally documenting requirements and having a validation step to them is one rule companies should be concerned about.
While there are many rules or best practices of ALM, there are a few crucial components that testers or project managers should follow. Emo said companies must maintain visibility as they progress through the life cycle, ensuring consistent continuous quality. She said that one of the ways to get continuous quality, security and performance is by making sure you have those ALM capabilities built in and engineered into the DevOps pipeline.
In terms of methodologies, more and more organizations are paying attention to lean principles and their workflow, said Bjork. He said that streamlining methodologies is the next big movement. Since Scrum and many agile methodologies taught companies to work faster, now they can learn how to do that at scale while also eliminating waste.
When it comes to choosing the right ALM tool, Haiut said to think about what integrates well into your company. He said everyone hates surprises, especially stakeholders who are outside of the development team. The best tools are not only what’s comfortable for the team, but what can also provide transparency for the stakeholders, management, and other team members, he said.
One principle to follow is to define a cadence that fits the culture that’s been established, and have it fit into the delivery pipeline, said Bjork. “If you want to move quicker, you’ve got to be able to deploy quicker, and you’ve got to be able to deploy with confidence,” he said.
And while companies might have their Dev and Ops teams working closer, the modern software development world allows companies to constantly stay engaged with its customers. Customers are the people that will give feedback on what you are and are not doing well, said Bjork, so it’s healthy to have a channel to talk to customers.
What’s in the future for ALM?
Tools are more flexible and can add value to ALM, but with the new pace of technology and innovation, the industry is rapidly approaching the point where the amount of information that gets generated through ALM is both valuable and a problem, said Emo. She said that because of this, there are going to be Big Data problems and solutions for ALM, sparking a huge jump in efficiency and effectiveness.
ALM will also need to become more strategic as teams leverage the flexibility to securely adapt and adopt what is best for their team, said Brenton. It will have to work best for the team so they can deliver quality at speed, and the ability to deliver working software products rapidly is a “critical weapon for a company to be successful in fast-changing markets,” he said.