Five Imperatives for Application Lifecycle Management


members have more work than the others.  4

2.     An electronic taskboard view can be used across geographic locations by agile teams.


3.     A roadmap illustrates tasks over days and weeks in a more traditional view.

The IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management Solution offers fully integrated real time planning. The image below shows a Release Plan in Rational Team Concert containing links to a related Product Backlog, a collection of requirements in Rational Requirements Composer , and a test plan in Rational Quality Manager . 6

4.     Planning includes taking the requirements and test plans into account

Traceability isn’t simply one of those “nice to have” capabilities in the software development lifecycle. Traceability helps you understand what everyone else on the team is doing. For example, while the requirements analyst knows very well what requirements she has written, she still needs to know whether a given requirement will be addressed during a specific development iteration and, if so, which one. Or she wants to know if the implementation of that requirement has been tested and with what result.

An ALM solution that allows for lifecycle artifact traceability helps teams to answer the hard questions about requirements and risk management. By linking related artifacts, teams are better equipped to answer questions such as “which requirements are affected by defects?” and “which work items are ready for test?”  7

5.     Important questions answered by an ALM solution

Traceability helps the requirements analyst understand what the rest of the team is doing and how it impacts the overall workload. If you are working in a regulatory compliance environment, traceability helps you answer auditor’s questions such as “What changes went into this build, tests where run and with what result?” Here are typical dos and don’ts associated with traceability:



Work in disconnected project repositories, or cobble together a disparate set of tools.

Seek products built with open interfaces. Seek vendors who understand and support the ALM integration challenges. Invest in tools with a longer-term integration roadmap in mind.

Enter links manually after the fact, it’s easy to forget, hard to enforce.

Integrated tools make it easy to establish as the project executes. See image of linked Defect 76 below.

Build your own integration based on proprietary API’s.

Choose a solution with open services (OSLC) for linking data across the lifecycle.

Choose a one-size-fits-no-one solution.

Invest in a loosely coupled, integrated ALM solution that is built to scale and support open and flexible integrations. A single ALM repository will not scale to fit your needs over time. Times change, new products emerge; your ALM solution needs to be flexible enough to move with the times. Do you really want to face that data migration challenge?

Do traceability for traceability sake.

Identify a few meaningful questions or set one goal and institute a “just enough” approach for linking related artifacts. For example, link requirements and test cases, link test cases and development work items. Try one and get good at it before doing more.

Rely on reports that go stale after you’ve created them.

Leverage a system that shows the traceability links directly on the plan, or that uses queries that identify gaps, such as “Plan items without requirements” and “Plan items without test cases”, and “Defects blocking test.”

Ignore, hide from or hope to pass regulatory audits

Invest in an ALM solution that makes traceability easy to do, maintain and report against.

The image below shows a traceability view in Release Plan containing links to requirements and test cases. It also has a column to identify defects

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