Your native guide in the ALM forest

August 3, 2010 Jack Repenning

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is hard. If you're reading this blog, you probably already know that. ALM is not primarily about the individual tools (the "trees"), important as they are, it's all about the forest: pushing business management into wider and wider expanses of the development process. Vendors and practitioners have been driving traceability, governance, reporting, and repeatability through their processes for a couple decades, and there's a long way yet to go.

I hope you'll excuse me, then, if I sound a bit of an alarm: as Forrester's Dave West has just pointed out, ALM complexity is exploding in other directions as well. All sorts of other directions: 

  • Open-source software: everyone's using it (yes, you are!), but how do we manage it?
  • Collaborative, partner co-development
  • Ownership and licensing in open-source and partner-provided products
  • Cloud services: solves so many problems, creates so many more
  • Rapidly accelerating pace, demanding true Agile processes
  • Integration with partner and open-source systems for development, tracking, and reporting
  • Security concerns multiplied by all of the above

What this really means is that the forest just got bigger: even taking into account the whole development and deployment pipeline, you've only covered a small grove inside. The forest now extends to communities, partners, outside hosting facilities, and government regulators. Your traceability needs extend outside your tools, outside your work group, and even outside your company. And like the folks in the Forrester report,your attention is likely shifting from the hard internal problems you had almost mastered, to the sweep of new problems you're only just beginning to tackle.

CollabNet has been doing open-source, collaborative, distributed, secure, cloud-hosted development for a decade: 

So, if you're feeling a little lost in the woods, it's understandable. But welcome to the newer, larger forest. We've been here a while, this is our home. Let us show you around!

(Update: corrected some links.)

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