Home ALM Journal - Vol 5 - Num 12 - December 2016
Bob Aiello,

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We are pleased to announce that our new on Agile Application Lifecycle Management - Using DevOps to Drive Process Improvement will be available June 2016 New website coming! Pre Order our new book using Discount Code Agile35 Integrate Agile ALM and DevOps to Build Better Software and Systems at Lower Cost Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is a comprehensive development lifecycle that encompasses essential Agile principles and guides all activities needed to deliver successful software or other customized IT products and services. Flexible and robust, Agile ALM offers “just enough process” to get the job done efficiently and utilizes the DevOps focus on communication and collaboration to enhance interactions among all participants. Agile Application Lifecycle Management offers practical advice and strategies for implementing Agile ALM in your complex environment. Leading experts Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs show how to fully leverage Agile benefits without sacrificing structure, traceability, or repeatability. You’ll find realistic guidance for managing source code, builds, environments, change control, releases, and more. The authors help you support Agile in organizations that maintain traditional practices, conventional ALM systems, or siloed, non-Agile teams. They also show how to scale Agile ALM across large or distributed teams and to environments ranging from cloud to mainframe. Coverage includes Understanding key concepts underlying modern application and system lifecycles Creating your best processes for developing your most complex software and systems Automating build engineering, continuous integration, and continuous delivery/deployment Enforcing Agile ALM controls without compromising productivity Creating effective IT operations that align with Agile ALM processes Gaining more value from testing and retrospectives Making ALM work in the cloud, and across the enterprise Preparing for the future of Agile ALM Today, you need maximum control, quality, and productivity, and this guide will help you achieve these capabilities by combining the best practices found in Agile ALM, Configuration Management (CM), and DevOps.  
Micro Focus Completes Acquisition of Serena Software, Inc. Application Lifecycle Management Acquisition Boosts Micro Focus’s DevOps Capability ROCKVILLE, Md., May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L) today announced the completion of its acquisition of Serena Software, a leading provider of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software, under the terms of the definitive agreement disclosed on March 22, 2016. "Our customers continue to look at DevOps as a way to deploy critical applications and services quickly and with greater reliability to meet business demands," said Stephen Murdoch, CEO, Micro Focus. "The Serena acquisition extends our ability to help customers meet these challenges so they can drive greater innovation faster with lower risk." According to industry analyst firm Gartner, "DevOps implementations utilize technology, especially automation tools, that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective."1  The experience and expertise which the Serena business brings will enable Micro Focus to help its customers develop and release applications and services faster, with greater speed and accuracy. Serena adds capabilities in software application development; software configuration and change management; and business process management to Micro Focus's portfolio of ALM solutions spanning mainframe environments, distributed systems and cloud. The combination of Micro Focus and Serena allows companies to better: Design and build business applications and services with greater accuracy, reliability and predictability; Continuously deploy existing core business applications on a wider variety of platforms to meet changing business needs; and Improve the speed and efficiency of new business services through automated release and deployment solutions. About Serena Software Serena is among the largest Application Lifecycle Management vendors with more than 2,500 enterprise customers. Serena helps the highly regulated large enterprise move fast without breaking things – increasing velocity of the software development lifecycle while enhancing security, compliance, and performance. More information is available at www.serena.com. About Micro Focus Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L) is a global enterprise software company helping customers innovate faster with lower risk. Our software helps customers build, operate and secure IT systems that bring together existing business logic and applications with emerging technologies to meet increasingly complex business demands. For more information, visit: www.microfocus.com. 1I&O Must Combine ITIL and DevOps to Deliver Business Value for Bimodal IT," by George Spafford and Ian Head, March 18, 2016.

Popular articles by Bob Aiello

Random articles by Bob Aiello

Retrospectives help to drive the entire process improvement effort, especially in terms of defining application lifecycle management (ALM). This may not seem apparent at first, but your ALM must define the steps required to achieve success and solve problems. Retrospectives are very effective at helping us to understand exactly what went well and what needs to be improved. ALM should be defined in an Agile iterative way. Process improvement is hard. But, identifying the processes supporting the application lifecycle are critical for your success. So how exactly do you go about achieving these goals? The most basic retrospective involves an open and honest discussion on what went well and what needs to be improved. What went well? Starting with the positive and upbeat discussion of what went well is often essential for a successful retrospective. Obviously, putting people on the defensive doesn’t motivate anyone to be open and honest about mistakes made and things that could be improved. I have found that asking people about what went well, often helps them to feel comfortable talking about what needs to be improved. It is important anyway to identify what went well for a number of reasons. The first is that you do not want to fix something that is not broken. The second is that it is important to avoid making invalid assumptions that result in heading off in the wrong direction. What can be improved? The answer is usually that there is much room for improvement. Retrospectives conducted well are an essential tool in continuous process improvement. In coming articles, I will discuss how to structure and run an effective retrospective. Your Turn! What do you believe works well in a retrospective? What are the things that should be avoided (e.g. finger pointing)? Please share your views and opinions!  
Tools for Application Lifecycle Management by Bob Aiello I always enjoy attending conferences and learning about the best practices promoted by my colleagues employing the latest products and tools. In my opinion, many vendors are doing an excellent job of raising the bar for tools that support Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). The leading tools today not only come with great features, but also often include process models heavily influenced by the experiences of many tech savvy (and demanding) customers. You need to understand how to benefit from today's leading tools that have matured in the competitive space of application lifecycle management (ALM). Process Over Tools As an (MA-level) industrial psychologist, working in software engineering, I have always focused on software process and process improvement. The mantra that I learned early on was that process was a lot more important than tools. ALM actually changes the game though. In the ALM space, tools can make or break the entire software development effort. Configuration Management is one of the most important areas where tools are just as important as the process[1]. Whether you are using Agile, Waterfall or another methodology, tools may very well be the key to your success. This is especially true when implementing CM for Agile development. Agile CM and ALM Agile Configuration Management (CM) and, by extension, Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) are extremely effective. Agile has resulted in indisputable successes boasting improved productivity and quality. My career has focused on Software Process Improvement with a particular focus on Configuration Management for over twenty five years. As a practitioner, I am completely tools and process agnostic. I have seen projects that successfully employed Agile methods and other efforts that thrived on an Iterative Waterfall approach. Still most organizations need a reliable and repeatable way to manage work, allowing full traceability and clear, complete communication. Years ago, we looked to the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) to guide us, although process documentation often sat on the shelf along with the outdated requirements specification from the latest software or systems development effort. Many companies struggled with improving programmer productivity and some tried to use the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM). These efforts often had limited success, and even those that succeeded had limited return on their investment due to the excessive cost and effort involved. The SEI chartered a series of Software Process Improvement Networks (SPINs) throughout the United States which provided speakers and opportunities to meet with other professionals involved with software process improvement. I had the pleasure of serving for many years on the steering committee of one of the SPINs located in a major city. Today, most of the SPIN presentations have a focus on Agile practices and most of the attendees are interested in establishing SCRUMs, iterative development and Agile testing. Agile has certainly had a major impact on software process improvement. Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) has also had a major impact upon how software development is conducted, particularly in large scale distributed environments. Application Lifecycle Management Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) developed from the early days of software development lifecycle (SDLC) to provide a comprehensive software development methodology that provides guidance from requirements gathering to design, development all the way through to application deployment. In practice, ALM takes a wide focus with many organizations establishing an ALM to manage their entire software and systems delivery effort. Some organizations successfully implement ALM in a way that would not be considered Agile using a Waterfall model that has a heavy focus on completing the tasks in each phase before moving on to the next. Configuration Management, consisting of source code management, build engineering, environment configuration, change control, release management and deployment have been a key focus of ALM for some time now. Another key focus has been applying Agile principles to support and improve Configuration Management functions. Agile CM in an ALM world Agile Configuration Management provides support for effective iterative development including fast builds, continuous integration, and test driven development (TDD) that is essential for successful Agile development. In a demanding fast-paced software or systems development effort, Agile CM can make the difference between success and failure. Establishing effective Agile CM and ALM practices can help you achieve success in your current (and future) projects. Conclusion Attending conferences and networking with colleagues is a fantastic way to learn about industry best practices. Vendors have done an amazing job of integrating toolsets to support the entire application lifecycle. You need to enjoy the benefits of these integrated approaches to ALM. Make sure you drop me a line and share your best practices too! [1] Aiello, Robert and Leslie Sachs. Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods that Work in the Real World. Addison-Wesley, 2010.

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