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Agile ALM

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Bob AielloWith the new year upon us, it is good to reflect upon our accomplishments, mistakes made and, of course, the obstacles that are ahead. This is a very challenging time for technology professionals. There are many factors impacting success along with demands for talent, skills and commitment to "raising the bar" to achieve our desired goals. Developing software and systems has become a remarkably complex task with many factors impacting the success of the development effort. Teams may be located in one specific “war” room or distributed across the globe, working at different hours of the day with varying languages, cultures and expectations for how they will operate on a daily basis.QuotationTeams may be located in one specific “war” room or distributed across the globe, working at different hours of the day with varying languages, cultures and expectations for how they will operate on a daily basis.Quotation
The competition for specialized technical resources motivates many organizations to allow flexible work arrangements including telecommuting along with choosing office locations convenient to attract local candidates. Technology professionals choose between the demands of high paying (and often stressful) opportunities and trying to maintain a work-life balance. All the while learning new development frameworks and adapting legacy systems to meet the need for continued growth and flexibility. The internet has clearly become the backbone of commerce and companies are expected to continuously align themselves with growing web capabilities in order to achieve and maintain success.

Dealing Successfully with Complexity

It is clear that successful organizations need to support complex technologies, most often with a significant web presence. Even companies going out of business are expected to have a functioning web presence capable of handling the peek transaction requirements of customers and other users. In practice, these complex development efforts necessitate effective processes and methodologies to meet the demands of today and those that will surface in the future.

Agile CM and ALM

Agile Configuration Management (CM) and, by extension, Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) have become two of the most popular software development methodologies in use today. Agile has resulted in indisputable successes boasting improved productivity and quality. My career has always involved 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 the 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 process improvement 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 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 the year and beyond.

Your Turn

There is more to the story of course and please drop me a line and let me know what you think of Agile ALM and how it may or may not impact your technology development efforts!

 

 

 



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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.
Hi, I am excited to invite you to subscribe to our new online publication which provides guidance on Configuration Management Best Practices, Agile Application Lifecycle Management (including videos) and, of course DevOps. Our publication explains hands-on best practices required to implement just enough process to ensure that you can build software and systems that are reliable and secure. Based upon our new book, Agile Application Lifecycle Management - Using DevOps to Drive Process Improvement, the Agile ALM DevOps Journal seeks to promote a dialogue that is really needed in the industry today. We will discuss practical approaches to implementing the Agile ALM using DevOps best practices including continuous integration, delivery and deployment. We will also discuss process improvement strategies that work in large organizations that must comply with federal regulatory guidelines, along with smaller teams that may very well grow as they become successful. We are taking this journey together and our goal is to ensure that you have a voice and can share your experiences along with learning from other colleagues too. Enjoy Leslie Sachs's amazing column: Personality Matters and Bob Aiello's column: Behaviorally Speaking. We will also report on major incidents where organizations clearly need to improve on their ability to develop and deliver software effectively, including the recent Southwest systems glitches which resulted in thousands of flights being cancelled and thousands more being delayed. We will also bring you exciting technical product announcements such as jfrog's new xray, which helps to scan your runtime objects, including docker images, for vulnerabilities. This is an exciting time to be in the technology field. Join the revolution! You can submit your articles for publication to share your own knowledge and experience!  Subscribe to receive your copy and register so that you can comment online Bob Aiello http://www.linkedin.com/in/BobAiello @bobaiello, @agilealmdevops, @cmbestpractices This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
 
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