or issue tracker ensures a the capture all discussion relevant to changes in the software. Modularity and framework boundaries are naturally aligned with team boundaries, allowing API layers to facilitate dependencies and collaboration. But major gaps exist in the today’s open source ALM stacks. Responsiveness to the community often takes precedence over planning, and as a result there has been a distinct gap in project management features within the open source ALM tool space. There is also no single integrated open source ALM stack, instead open source projects glue together their own best of breed solutions, and layer customizations on top, as is the case with the tools built on the Eclipse Bugzilla repository needed to support the Eclipse Development Process. Integration with requirement, product, project and portfolio management tools is generally non-existent, as the planning cycle of open source projects rarely involves that level of sophistication. Quality management tools are also a major gap.
While open source developers will continue working very happily with their limited open source ALM tool set, this impedance mismatch with the ALM needs of large-scale organizations spells major problems for those expecting a straightforward integration of open source tools with the rest of their ALM stack.. The mismatch exists between both the toolset and the cultural differences between open source and enterprise development. There is enough of a gap in the toolset that organizations already deploying open source tools ALM at the enterprise scale have needed to set up their own ALM tool engineering teams. These teams create point solutions for authentication and access control, provide third-party ALM tool integrations, and implement support for features such as linking existing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tools. Due to the pace of change in open source ALM tools, they are fighting a losing battle. Large organizations that fail to integrate already deployed open source tools into their existing ALM and PPM infrastructure will see a dramatic reduction in the predictability of their development process, since their process relies on a connectivity between development and planning tools that was present in the more traditional ALM tool stack.
There is hope. The benefits of open source ALM tools are fundamental. The ease with which they allow developers to work makes engineering happier and more productive. The velocity of successful open source projects demonstrates how effective these tools are at supporting the delivery of high-value software that is responsive to the needs of the customer community. On the flipside, enterprise ALM tools provide management and planning facilities critical for the predictability of delivery as well as the planning features necessary for software delivery at scale. These two worlds must be integrated into a cohesive whole, especially as more Agile teams find themselves at the intersection of open source and enterprise ALM. Failing to automate the connectivity between the new breed of open source ALM tools and the established enterprise ALM tools will mean that organizations falls back to less reliable communication formats such as excessively long email threads, more tedious meetings, and the excessive wearing office carpets as stakeholders walk back and forth between cubicles. Whether driven by the deployment of Agile or the acceptance of open source tools in the ALM and CM stack, 2011 is the time to reconnect the software planning process to a new breed of tools that support lean and high velocity delivery, to connect them to the planning and management tools needed for predictability at scale, and to start bringing the benefits of open source development practices to the enterprise.