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Should enterprise ALM strategies be standardized?

Find out how enterprise ALM should relate to independent project management strategies.

An enterprise application lifecycle management (ALM) strategy should be standardized across the organization in order to provide for comparable reporting across programs and projects. However, it must be flexible enough to accommodate tailoring project management strategies to the individual programs and projects within the organization's portfolio. For example, a program based on building an enterprise data warehouse might require a completely different project management approach than a program akin to corporate websites. However, the reporting requirements during and post production remain the same.

This concept of standardization with flexibility becomes even more important as organizations move from waterfall to Agile to continuous integration, continuous delivery and finally continuous deployment methodologies. As the software development lifecycle becomes progressively shorter, the ALM enterprise strategy must become leaner; optimizing the use of their tool suite.

Since Agile and continuous delivery methodologies involve extended teams including devops and sysadmin, all the ALM tools in use in the organization must be integrated. Most of the ALM tools on the market today offer either their own suite of tools that are completely integrated or offer integration in the form of plug-ins to complete the integration. Some of the integrated suites include HP's ALM, IBM's Rational and Microsoft's TFS. However, with the wide availability of plug-ins, it is possible to integrate even open source tools.

Overall, the design of the enterprise ALM is more important than the choice of tools. An organization should begin by designing an ALM strategy that provides for standard reporting across all projects while allowing latitude in the individual project management methodologies.

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Enterprise ALM governance strategies

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