Five Imperatives for Application Lifecycle Management

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affecting the plan items. This demonstrates an integrated plan with traceability reporting. Rather than relying on stale and occasionally run traceability reports, using an integrated plan with a built-in traceability view makes the gaps are obvious and easy to address through out the project.

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6.     A release plan with coverage across the development, requirements and test teams

When traceability links are established, the IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management solution leverages these links to automatically create traceability links on defects. The image below shows a defect with traceability links. The traceability links to the test result, test case, test plan, plan-item and requirement, are automatically generated when a defect is submitted by a tester.

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7.     Lifecycle links on a defect illustrate the impacted test cases, plan items and requirements

Development Intelligence

According to Capers Jones, [1] projects with strong measurement practices have much better success rates than those that do not.  11

8.     Projects with measurement practices have a better chance of succeeding

For example, the three measurements listed below are practiced by less than a 50% of all organizations in the Capers Jones study:

  • Quality measures:              45%
  • Productivity measures:        30%
  • Complete measures:           15%

Here are our suggested dos and don’ts regarding measurement practice:

     Don’t

     Do
 

Ignore performance measures.

Define performance metrics that are appropriate for your organization. Simple metrics such as Build Duration, Build Pass/Fail rate are simple place to start if you haven’t already.

Take a ‘big bang’ approach to instituting measures and metrics.

Identify a weak spot. Choose a practice to implement improvement. Determine how you will measure the improvement. Choose a tool that collects and reports on the team’s activity using the data from integrated planning (Imperative 1 above)

 

 

Expect to get it right the first time.

Conduct retrospectives and identify the next set of improvements.

Try to manually collect data by hounding the team for status reports.

Use live dashboards that provide transparency of information and dashboard reports based on data coming from the team’s activity.

The image below shows reports on the development team within a project dashboard. As work items are updated, the reports reflect the activity and trends of the team.  13

9.     A dashboard with reports and metrics to measure improvement

Dashboards and reports are key part of an ALM solution for measuring and responding to a team’s progress.

Collaborate and Automate
Collaboration isn’t just about being friendly and collegial with each other. Collaboration contributes to higher quality and improved value to the stakeholders, which means that team collaboration is a key to innovation. Collaboration tools within an ALM solution can improve a team’s ability to connect with each other, to respond to changing events, and to improve project predictability.

Collaboration tools can also help teams focus on what matters. Teams should seek every opportunity to automate manual, non-creative tasks. A good ALM solution enables build and test automation, but automation can also apply to status reporting and information access. Project and personal dashboards play an important role in bringing automated information to the team by providing transparency into their work and access to real-time data with team reports and queries. A well-designed user interface automates access to information, by bringing information to the user instead of forcing a manual ‘context switch’ to access another application. This form of automation naturally leads to better collaboration.

     Don’t

     Do
 

Create an environment of silo’d teams and disconnected data that is hard to access by other members of the team.

Track all tasks across the disciplines across the life cycle.

Unified team

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