Application Life-cycle Management System (ALMS).
Planning and making decisions are an essential part of software production. Team members can work more effectively when the software product and it’s production process are agreed, planned and managed. An Application Life-cycle Management System (ALMS) refers to the system used for this purpose and is the big brother of all the systems used to produce software products.
An ALMS covers all areas of the product’s workflow including development and deployment. It goes further than Software Development Life-cycle (SDLC) by adding to SDLC people and process.
ALMS for testers.
One of the first ALMS requirements a tester has is a method of communicating issue reports, then something to alert the tester when solutions are available to test. Then they need to receive any information of the nature of the solution to re-test. This could be an update to code or documentation for example.
ALMS for eveyone.
Product Owners can use the information they gather about product issues and consider these alongside other product and project priorities. It all leads to teams being more informed when making decisions. Agile teams who expect to regularly adapt and respond to change can remain focused.
An AMLS has other advantages for teams producing software products such as monitoring throughput, to identifying and improving processes that typically become impeded.
Choosing an ALMS system.
An ALMS system needs to cover these business requirements:
- Project requirements, planning & estimations
- Source code management
- Test and Q.A.
- Deployment (DevOps)
- Maintenance and support
- Version control
- Marketing & portfolio management
- Real-time planning and team communication
It’s a big ask of any one system to satisfy all these tasks. Teams may have some items already covered with tools already in use. The good news is that software tools like many services are moving to the cloud with Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) to integrate with other tools. Multiple projects can be managed and dependencies linked between products.
Testers should make themselves very familiar with their teams ALMS and discuss best practices with their teams. Process and workflows can be setup and managed to direct tasks through the systems most effectively. Task effort estimations are recorded and can be delegated evenly across the team members to prevent bottlenecks and individuals becoming over tasked.
It takes planning and time to get a system running that works for all. The advantages the effort of devising an effective ALMS brings such as efficiency and better decision making become greater over time by monitoring and improving system processes to better suit the team members, and the product requirements.
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