Answer

The role of "idea management" in the application lifecycle

Are "idea management" tools considered part of ALM?

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Short answer: I don’t think so. However, like all things ALM related, I expect we will see some of the “Idea Management” vendors try and align with the ALM space. For me, it all comes back to defining where the boundary of the application lifecycle sits. 

For example, no one argues that requirements management is a component of ALM; it’s just a given. If you consider idea management as the “front end” to requirements management -- requirements are the nuts-and-bolts that drive an application development cycle forward, while ideas help get requirements off the ground -- then you might want to say that these tools are part of the ALM space.

On the other hand, I think the current wave of idea management tools are more about collaboration and trying to leverage insight from your community. They are very social and really outside of the actual application lifecycle. Here is a list of tools I found that look interesting:

At my company, OutSystems, you can find a freeware application called Wisdom of the Crowds that we have used for idea management. It is an online brainstorming tool that allows you to tap into the brainpower of your community. 

I look forward to hearing from the idea management experts on where they are heading and if they think they fit into the application lifecycle management space.

This was first published in January 2011

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