ALM, we're not just dealing with files, as in Source Code Control. We're dealing with a multitude of data records. We're also dealing with a multitude of data relationships. For the purpose of evaluation here, ignore records dealing strictly with relationships. So if you have an RDBMS, and you need a separate table to relate change packages to problems, you can ignore those records. Instead, count how many problems, documents, file issues, change packages/updates, activities/tasks, requests, test cases, test case results, etc. that you have. How many records can be supported by your solution before you have to add a new server. Again assume 100 average users doing their queries, CM work, etc.
- > 10M
20: Ease of Use
If you have a great CM tool that is difficult to use, you may get by with appropriate training, although you may simply have rebellion. If you have a great ALM tool that is difficult to use, it's not a great ALM tool. ALM crosses too many disciplines to be tollerated. A number of the factors here have appeared above in various places. This is an overall consideration of ease of use. This is where the biggest focus has been and will be in ALM, and indeed in all technology, over the next decade (as well as the past).
Scoring Factors (1: low, 5: high)
- Speed of tool response
- User/Role-specific user interface
- Customization of terminology to corporate culture
- Minimal number of key clicks per operation
- Use of intelligent and recently used defaults in forms
- Good on-line process and tool guidance
- Small training curve to use the tool
- Needed information visible / single click away
- Point-and-click traceability
- Role-based dashboards instead of multiple panels/queries
- Personal customization of tool interface
21: Cross Platform User Capability
This one is straightforward. What platforms can your users use. There are some excluded here (notably mainframes, smartphones). These are less significant at this point in time than Unix (including Linux), Windows, and Web interfaces.
5: Similar Web and Native Windows/Unix interfaces
4: Web Access and Either Windows/Unix Interfaces
3: Exclusively Web or exclusively Windows/Unix Interface
2: Web-only Interface
1: Windows-only or Unix-only Interface (or other native interface)
22: Cross Platform InterOperation of Server and Client
We know where the clients can be from above. Now for the server, and related client restrictions. ALM is interoperable if servers and clients can, during normal operation, mix and match platforms across the 3 boundaries: Windows/Unix, 32-bit/64-bit architectures, and Big-endian/Little-endian architectures. Partial interoperability comes if servers and clients can mix and match across at least two of these functions. Platform independence means the ALM solution can run on any platform (but not necessarily interoperably). If you're stuck on the platform you start with, than that's worse. Keep in mind that proper operation assumes that line end characters work properly (i.e. for interoperable or switchable solutions).
5: Fully interoperable Win/Unix; 32/64, Big/Little Endian
4. Partially interoperable (2 of 3)
3: Can run on/switch to any platform but not interoperably
2: Can run on any one platform but not interoperably
1: Must run on a specific platform
OK. There's 21 areas of ALM that are significant. A Next Generation (3G) solution will excell in these areas and will typically have a score in excess of 80 (out of a possible 105). A 4G solution will approach 100. However, keep in mind that these criteria alone do not make a Next Generation solutions. There are dozens of other criteria that must be met when the functions are examined in detail: workspace support, developer-oriented capabilities, project management capabilities, branching,