ALM tools evolve in face of agile processes

Jeff Feinman
January 15, 2010 —  (Page 3 of 7)
Rally’s Leavitt added that with agile development, the amount of project details that developers have to manage is “microscopic” because cycles are much shorter compared to what was the case in the past. Software that was managing thousands of pieces of inventory in traditional software methods, such as defects and other project artifacts, is now managing merely dozens, so the purpose of the tooling changed a lot, he said.

“Agile development also involves scheduling that directly ties to the requirements, and defects and testing will be tied to scheduling,” Leavitt said. “Tools need to be integrated. There will be a common interface, and there will be visibility about the status of all inventory items. Everyone involved in requirements, defects and test knows about each other. That’s a dramatic change.”

Even if a team isn’t completely submersed into agile development (which is the case for many organizations, according to several ALM providers), they still may be looking to make parts of their process more agile. Anders Wallgren, CTO of Electric Cloud, noted that one possible hindrance to agile adoption for some developers and organizations is that they are much more willing to bring in a new tool than bring in a whole new process.

“If I hear about this thing called agile, I’ll say, ‘Well, where do I buy the agile software package?’ And it’s a little more difficult to get people to change their processes,” Wallgren said. “There’s politics involved and the normal human drama of change. But once the tools start to appear that we’re using to make ourselves more agile, I think the transition from one team to another will help people make that change.”

Some companies might not move to agile because they’re working on projects that are more appropriate for a traditional waterfall method, such as projects that involve government regulation. Jeff Johnstone, senior director of sales with TechExcel, said organizations designing software systems for something like nuclear power plants spend many months defining requirements and getting government approval on those requirements.

Related Search Term(s): agile, ALM

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