Before considering the importance of application lifecycle management, let’s look at “what is ALM?” and its benefits.
Today, businesses of all sizes and risks have been utilizing technology as much as possible to improve their productivity and refine their business approach to sustain themselves in such a competitive market. Hence, speed is of the essence when it comes to software, which every company understands.
Therefore, most of the flourishing companies in the market, whether fintech-based organizations or e-commerce, whose business solely depends on their software performance, deploy software regularly. Hence, to achieve this level of efficiency and productivity for the business, one needs to develop an excellent strategy where software development tasks are from the start to its retirement.
Here, Application Lifecycle Management comes into play. Often popular with its acronym, ALM helps the business properly manage their software and provides them enough room to execute a strategy used to manage the software more efficiently.
Importance of Application Lifecycle Management
ALM is the process of managing a software product’s life from the stage when it’s only in the concept to the phase of its retirement. Furthermore, it has some relevancy to Software Development Lifecycle but is immense than SDLC as it only includes the stages of development. In comparison, ALM consists of governance, development, maintenance, and the software’s retirement stage.
Furtherly, ALM falls under two categories depending on the manner that one chooses for software development. Otherwise, just like DevOps, it can also be integrated into a normal delivery process. Therefore, at the most basic level, Application Lifecycle Management is broken down into three major components, i.e., governance, development, and operations.
Here are some benefits of ALM
Provides a Better and Guided Direction
One of the most significant benefits of ALM is that it helps provide a precise direction to the app even when it is in the designing phase. Accordingly, the organizations can build a more effective business case, efficiently utilize their resources, and discover the application’s lifespan before the development stage has begun.
Overall, it assures minimum mistakes during the application process, which helps save the organization lots of time and money.
Gives Speed and Agility to the Application Process
In this competitive market where speed is essential, being lazy and tardy will not help one sustain. Application Lifecycle Management provides the development team momentum and agility that is very much needed to maintain the lead in this market.
Consequently, it provides a platform for an integrated system that provides much more efficient results than unconnected tools and various processes across multiple teams. Therefore, integration lessens the communication gap between the other groups, and this way, the application is produced by keeping the software objectives and business goals sidewise.
Help in Building Better Decisions
ALM uses various enhanced tools during the operation. Hence, it is also available with unbelievable features like version control and real-time planning that support the team in quickly developing their applications. It also pins down the future of the app.
Therefore, these help a lot when the company is involved in the project of multiple application development. Thus, it makes it a lot more useful than any other software management program in the market.
Requirement management is the primary ALM stage that helps one document, analyze, track, prioritize, and agree on requirements. Hence, it is a constant process that will continue throughout a project life cycle.
Design management is a process that assists in enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by increasing usability. Therefore, it also presents the interaction between the customer and the product.
Build Management, also known as code management, converts source code files into a standalone software component. Hence, in this stage, an application idea changes into an actual application.
Furtherly, the application is built, tested, and deployed, and the tester starts preparing their tests-cases and writes a test script for the testing phase.
Software Configuration Management is another ALM stage where the development team orderly organizes, manages, and controls the variations in the documents, codes, and other entities during the Application Development Life Cycle process.
Operations and maintenance are the subsequent phases. Therefore, in the ALM phase, monitoring, management, and the development of the applications will begin.
In this stage, one finds and resolves bugs. Hence, this phase helps one to plan and prioritize the following updates to the product.
In the testing phase, the testers require to verify that the application complies with the requirements defined in the initial steps of the process.
Maintenance or user experience is traditionally the most prolonged stage of ALM. However, it is also the one where the assistance of the testing and development teams is usually the lowest.
Hence, after the application development, the role of the users begins. They verify the entire application and share their experience base on their feedback.
Reasons why Application Lifecycle Management is important:
Developing an app involves more resources than only an app developer, simultaneously with standardized processes and documentation. Therefore, these processes and documentation can readily be embedded in the ALM tool, using it as a central hub to store all information linked to the app development lifecycle.
As discussed, the ALM tool manages the lifecycle of application development. The while the client shares the project requirement, the planning phase comes into play for aligning the business requirements in the project and choose a solution accordingly.
Therefore, resource planning becomes efficient with the ALM tool and specific tools for different requirements that can support traditional waterfall projects, agile development projects, or both.
When a client reaches out to develop an app, the first phase is handling the finances with a business or financial analyst.
Sometimes, an app developer opts for sandbox testing, which entails developing an isolated environment for testing the code by the developer only. In such situations, the IT budgets and productivity gets drained.
But integrating software development with ALM eliminates the requirement of different environments for testing. And subsequently, it saves both expense and productivity.
Numerous times, different members of the team in a company are at separate locations. However, they require to work in close association with other team members for software development.
Therefore, a company working on ALM software need not worry about the lack of communication. In ALM, every team member can trace real-time strategies, changes requirements, and project status. Thus, remote teams and work management become relaxed.
Keeping track of every team member’s work growth and status, if not appropriately collaborated, increases the chances of loopholes or driving the deadlines, or compromising the product quality.
Therefore, when a project operates on ALM software, the integrated tools deliver high-quality user requirements. Consequently, the project remains up to date and error-free.
Throughout the software development process, from the planning to its deployment, there are chances that the project gets stuck somewhere. And to reiterate the process, some apt choices require to be executed.
ALM includes resources and processes in one tool, which helps determine solutions at each phase during the software development process.
The advantage of ALM in terms of employee satisfaction is that it gives the freedom to use the tools of own choice. Therefore, it keeps the employees motivated, satisfied and maximizes productivity throughout the software development lifecycle.
The team’s potential is the ultimate requirement for a successful outcome in any project. Therefore, among ALM integrated software development projects, distributing and allotting the task is one part; however, tracking the work productivity, quality, and progress report is another side that is important for the quality outcome.
The testing of an application or software is to make sure that it’s bug or error-free. Therefore, an ALM tool implements a platform where development and testing are united, i.e., a significant interaction of both teams.
The benefit of this communication is reflected by time-to-time issue detection and fixing the same with a quick solution.
Every service provider aims to satisfy their customer’s needs. Therefore, in software development, it’s simple to achieve the same through ALM software.
Hence, an ALM tool maintains tremendous visibility and transparency between the client and the service provider.
Consequently, any organization working with the ALM tool can carry out their work presentation in front of their customers anytime and modify their requirements during the development process.
The plenty of benefits that ALM provides has become the critical element of software developing organizations. It helps give the right direction, but it also helps make the development process more agile and productive.
Using the ALM tool will satisfy the clients and help them provide a quality product in the defined timeline.