It’s not quite easy, to define and state, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) as different people and vendors put up different perspectives towards it.
Still, giving it an understanding is important as it drives us through the process of converting our ideas into a high-quality product.
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) – Definition
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the process of managing the entire life cycle of a product or application or software right from the inception stage to the end of life.
ALM incorporates requirements management, software architecture, computer programming, software testing, and releases management. ALM stages in simple terms go like,
- Defining requirements
- Development of the product
- Testing and quality assurance
- Continuous maintenance and improvement of the product
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
SDLC approach concerns the management of application development and testing. The process involves three phases like the design, product management, and project management.
Interrogative Scenarios ??
ALM VS. SDLC: Are They the Same?
From the above definitions, it is can be stated that ALM and SDLC are not the same. In short, ALM covers the entire life of an application, from the initial idea until the end. Whereas, SDLC only covers the development of an application and testing.
Therefore, ALM inherently includes SDLC but SDLC covers only a fraction of ALM. ALM is much more than SDLC, which withdraws us from equating ALM with the software development lifecycle (SDLC).
Note: ALM should not be confused with API Lifecycle Management as well.
Is ALM Only For Waterfall Model?
ALM being a framework accepts the characteristics of any development methodology used. This means that you can practice ALM, with the traditional method, like Waterfall or with Agile methodologies.
ALM Stages – Brief
A need for the right purpose is from where the whole of the things gets started. It begins with an idea leading to an application.
The next big thing followed up is the deployment of the application. And finally, the product stays in the market as long as its business value is alive. Based on this, the entire working of ALM falls under three stages.
Governance (Requirements Definition And Design)
This stage comprises of all the decision making and project management required throughout the application period.
This stage of creating the application gets done between the span of idea generation and app deployment. In certain cases of application, the process reappears for upgrades and new versions.
This stage of running and managing the application starts shortly before deployment and runs continuously.
The ALM gets the best of visibility and traceability by integrating ALM tools into the development process.
Most importantly ALM,
- Provides On-time quality release of the product
- Ensures the app to stay on path with the decisions made
- Aligns all the team members to stay on the same page
For instance, in a project, if the initial governance aspects go wrong by the misconception of business needs then, no matter how well the organization does development and operations, the project won’t provide much of the business value. Similarly, the scenario repeats when either of the stages goes wrong.
So, having a broad view of ALM can help organizations avoid such problems. Also, this article, clarifies that ALM supports any development methodology and that practicing ALM in projects helps to build impactful applications while governing the teams with a clear view of the development status.