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Application lifecycle management: a quick guide

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Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the combined efforts of various development activities such as modeling development, building and testing, and requirements by:

  • Managing relationships between different development artifacts that are produced or used by these activities.
  • Enforcing the process of these activities.
  • Making progress reports of the development cycle.

ALM can be divided into three different areas: governance, operations, and development. Governance encompasses the project management and decision making for the application. Operations are the work that is required to complete and manage the application, and happen after the deployment stage and runs continuously until the app is finished from its service.

On its turn, development is the process needed to create the application. It happens between the idea and deployment stage of the project. For most apps, the development process reoccurs in multiple parts of the app’s lifetime, for new versions and for upgrades.

Once you place these three factors into your ALM process, you will find it easier to manage and complete applications. Make sure that your team is on board with this process to ensure that your project is launched at a reasonable time.

The Importance of Requirements Management

ALM tools should be designed to help you understand the requirements and the tools should be adaptable to your processes and methodology instead of the other way around.

Some tools support the management and capture of the of system use cases as apart of the requirements definition process. These use cases can be placed in their system alongside their associated scenarios and links to other requirements that are defined by the use cases.

Depending on your project needs (do you need simple CRUD data entry or complex multistep processes) this might be an important feature.

Benefits of ALM

Here are some benefits of using the ALM process:

  • Reduces time to adapt and develop applications.
  • Simple integration to speed up the development process.
  • Smooth collaborative work and information flow to help break boundaries.
  • Sharing the best practices that increase worker productivity.

While you can go without ALM, it will be harder for you to complete your project. You will find it difficult to link requirements to issues and tests. As a result, this will lead to a lack of productivity, and you will not be able to provide traceability to show compliance. You will know what is going on in some parts in application development. But, it will be difficult to figure out the full picture.

Team collaboration – especially with teams that are spread around the world – will be difficult. Without ALM, it will be a full-time job trying to get your team on the same page.

In the end, the quality of your apps will depend on how you manage them throughout the project. While you can try other methods, ALM is the best way to ensure that your development team can work together, surpass roadblocks, and reduce the time it takes to deploy the app to the public. Even if it is for the smallest app, you should take this process to consider if you want your large projects to be handled professionally and efficiently.

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24 y/o, born and living in Portugal. Majored in Biology, but tech and computers were always a passion. Wrote for sites like Windows.Appstorm and MakeTechEasier.

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