A Look Ahead to the Third Generation of CM Tools


In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.

If ease-of-use has been properly addressed, training requirements should begin to disappear for end-users, or at least be replaced by a few hours of interactive computer-based training. That will improve productivity for anyone introducing a third generation solution. Administrative training should be far less in a near-zero admin tool, and possibly will be outsourced to the vendor, administering from a remote location. CM automation will ease the burden on CM managers and make decision making easier and more clear for all.

So what should we expect to see from a cost perspective for a third generation tool?

·         Low risk deployment in one day to one week, including loading of pilot project data

·         Cost per user for a full ALM solution ranging from $1000 to $2500

·         Negligible additional infrastructure costs

·         Training for users in the order of 1/2 day to 1 day

·         Training for administrators in the order of 1 day

·         Training for configuration managers in the order of 2 to 4 days

·         Training for customization and process tools in the order of 2 to 5 days

·         Consulting and customization service requirements in the order of 2 to 10 days

This compares very favorably with second generation tools which cover a smaller portion of the ALM solution. The long roll-out path is replaced with a rapid deployment, along with iterative improvement, using the solution to help with the process definition and customization.

One of the biggest problems with today's second generation solutions is the risk. You pay out your money, roll out the solution and see if it works. Even if it doesn't, you pay consulting fees to correct it. You may come to a point where you think you're getting less than you expected, but your budget is eaten away and your credibility is on the line, so there's no going back. Rapid roll-out eliminates such a risk. Because of the rapid process, the vendor is more likely to allow you to complete your evaluation prior to full payment. You're likely to consume fewer resources and, if necessary, there's still time to switch to an alternate solution.

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