What is ALM?

by Gabriella Martin

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) describes the complete lifecycle of an application from the initial idea to decommissioning. Sometimes Application Lifecycle Management and Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) are equated. However, ALM is more comprehensive than SDLC.

The three areas of application lifecycle management

So what is ALM more precisely? ALM can be divided into three clear areas: Governance, Development and Operations:

Nach Quelle: David Chappell & Associates

The life cycle of the application starts with an idea. After the application is created, it is released, and the application is introduced into the productive environment. As soon as it no longer brings any business benefit, the application reaches the end of its lifecycle and decommissioning follows.

The governance area is where the project management of the application is located, where all important decisions are made. This area covers the entire lifecycle. The Development area maps the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). This is where the process of actually developing the application runs, from idea to release. The Operations area includes the activities required to execute and manage the application. This starts with the release and then runs uninterrupted until the decommissioning.

ALM Tools

The three ALM areas of Governan

ce, Development and Operations are closely linked. To get the maximum benefit from an application, the three areas require clean support, which is a major challenge. Today, these challenges can be more easily overcome with the right tools. Such tools support the organization in linking the three ALM areas. The tools should not only be integrated horizontally in one area at a time, but also vertically.

For example, the project management tool should be connected to the development tools, which in turn should be connected to the operations tools. Innovative ALM tools enable the three ALM areas to work together neatly. They combine the functionality of Agile tools, project management tools and helpdesk software. They link the three areas and allow agile application development, with ALM integrated with project management and helpdesk.

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