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Introduction to Application Lifecycle Management

Modern businesses are under pressure to deliver high-quality products faster than ever before. Software development teams have adopted agile methodologies with a scrum approach and lean principles in response to this challenge. In Scrum, teams work in short cycles and have an unfinished product at the end of each cycle. If you’re working in an agile environment, your team has adopted critical principles like continuous integration, cross-functional teams, and test-driven development.

Adopting these principles has led to many organizations implementing Agile Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) for their DevOps practices. With the extensive use of technology and collaboration tools today, it makes sense for software development teams to implement modern processes and strategies for operating at peak efficiency. These principles allow them to eliminate waste from the process to produce higher quality code more quickly.

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What is Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)?

Application lifecycle management (ALM) is the set of strategies, processes, and tools that help you manage your software development, testing, and deployment lifecycles. It helps you plan, design, and manage the application’s development lifecycle. A software lifecycle is a process that begins when a business person or user (a “customer”) requests a new piece of software and ends when the software is no longer helpful to the customer and is removed from use. Every software lifecycle has five phases:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Testing
  • Deployment

Application lifecycle management (ALM) is a hybrid of the two. It mixes software development lifecycle (SDLC) and software development process (SDP). The software development lifecycle (SDLC) is an oversimplified representation of the software development process (SDP). On the other hand, the software development process (SDP) is the collection of activities (activities are what is being done) that transform raw materials such as requirements, designs, and implementations into finished goods (the software) via a production process.

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Why Agile Application lifecycle management is important?

Most businesses that have adopted agile methodologies have also adopted DevOps practices. A common practice in agile DevOps is the implementation of ALM. It is the most widely applied lifecycle in the software industry and has been adopted by many businesses to manage their software development projects. It is essential to understand that agile and waterfall approaches have different lifecycles. When working on an agile project, you’re not following a lifecycle designed for waterfall projects. If you’re mixing waterfall with agile, you’re only going to create a mess. This is why businesses need to select the right lifecycles for their projects.

Pros and Cons of Agile Application Lifecycle Management in Agile Environment

As mentioned above, the implementation of ALM in an agile environment brings many advantages. On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages of implementing this lifecycle in an agile environment. Let’s take a look at both.

Pros of Agile Application Lifecycle Management in Agile Environment

There are many advantages of implementing ALM in an agile environment.
Here are some of the most significant ones:

  • It brings visibility to project status. This is one of the main advantages of implementing ALM in agile. Project visibility is essential in agile, and it is often overlooked. You can manage status by using project management tools. This will help you and your team members stay on track and be more productive.
  • It facilitates communication. Good communication is key to project success. The more you communicate, the smoother the project will go. And the same goes for your team members as well. Implementing ALM in your agile environment can facilitate communication between stakeholders, team members, and other essential parties.
  • It helps manage risks. Managing risks is essential in any project. If you are not managing risks, you are taking risks. If you are not implementing any lifecycle in your project, you will have difficulty managing risks. But if you are implementing an appropriate lifecycle, you have a better chance of managing risks.
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Cons of Agile Application Lifecycle Management in Agile Environment

There are also some cons to implementing ALM in an agile environment.
Here are some of them:

  • It is resource-intensive. This is a big con of implementing Application Lifecycle Management in agile. While it is true that it brings many advantages to the table, it is also a very resource-intensive lifecycle. It would help if you had the right tools. You need to have the right people on board and the right approach for the project to be successful. 
  • It is complex. It is essential to choose the right lifecycle for your project. Lifecycles are like recipes: they are a list of ingredients and how to mix them by following a recipe. Depending on your project, you may have to mix and match different lifecycles to create the perfect recipe. This can be a bit complicated and time-consuming.

Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) in Scrum Framework

In the context of software development, a scrum framework is a set of rules and conventions that help teams deliver products on time. There are specific roles, artifacts, and events in the scrum framework.
A scrum master manages the team's workflow, while the product owner is responsible for setting the priorities. An important aspect of the scrum framework is the prioritization of work. The team members prioritize their work depending on the product owner’s priorities.

The scrum framework also has a set of rules related to the product’s lifecycle. They are as follows:

  • The product owner is responsible for managing the product backlog. The team decides what goes into the backlog. The product owner decides what comes out of it.
  • The team is responsible for sprint planning. It is done at the start of each sprint.
  • The team is responsible for the daily scrum meeting. It is done every day.
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Principles of Scrum-Based Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

In the scrum-based ALM, the team members are responsible for managing their work and prioritizing what goes into the backlog. They use the product backlog to track tasks and manage the project. The product owner is responsible for managing the product backlog when it comes to the product lifecycle. The team members decide what goes into the backlog. The product owner decides what comes out of it. Visibility is an essential aspect of the scrum-based ALM. It is also a major advantage of this lifecycle. You can track and monitor project status at any time. You can view project plans, track hours spent on tasks, and view other important details and statistics related to the project.

Conclusion

In short, application lifecycle management (ALM) is the set of strategies, processes, and tools that help you manage your software development, testing, and deployment lifecycles. It helps you plan, design, and manage the application’s development lifecycle. Modern businesses are under pressure to deliver high-quality products faster than ever before. Software development teams have adopted agile methodologies with a scrum approach and lean principles in response to this challenge. In Scrum, teams work in short cycles and have an unfinished product at the end of each cycle. If you’re working in an agile environment, your team has adopted some fundamental principles. They include visibility, simplicity, and focus on value. You can make your software life cycle more efficient and productive with these three principles.

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