Software development or application development is a complicated process that involves various phases such as research, requirements gathering, analysis, design, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance. When the software development team completes all these phases neatly and perfectly, it results in software products that satisfy all user requirements. But is it as simple as that? Let’s take a peek into the software development process in a typical application development environment.

Every software product is the result of the joint effort of a team of stakeholders such as business analysts, architects, developers, testers and managers, who put in all that they have i.e., Their expertise, hard work and experience in developing a product that complies with customer requirements. However, the fact of the matter is though all the stakeholders are working towards developing a high quality software application, there exists no actual collaboration between the various stakeholders. Moreover, the different functional tools that the stakeholders use for performing various activities do little to improve the quality of software development process. This is because although these are highly expensive best of breed tools they are actually sealed tools with no effective collaboration and synchronization between them to ensure consistent quality. The result is last minute surprises that cause irreparable damage to the software being developed. Let’ look at some of the challenges faced by the software team involved in agile software development.

  • Team members not on the same page with respect to work item priorities

  • Lack of real-time collaboration

  • Lack of visibility of the whole project, forming silos and general misalignment

In agile software development, cohesiveness and a shared understanding within the team are imperative to achieve success. This can be achieved through application lifecycle management (ALM). According to Forrester, application lifecycle management is “the coordination of development life-cycle activities, including requirements, modeling, development, build, and testing, though:

  • Enforcement of processes that span these activities;

  • Management of relationships between development artifacts used or produced by these activities; and

  • Reporting on the progress of the development effort as a whole.

Application lifecycle management thus helps to develop software applications of high quality at a faster rate by synchronizing the various development activities. It integrates the disparate tools and thereby provides up-to-date real time information to the various stakeholders involved in the software development process. This helps the stakeholders to gain greater visibility into the progress and quality of development projects.

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