Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
What Tools Do You Really Need to Deliver Your Products and Applications?
While the Agile Manifesto might value individuals and interactions over processes and tools, modern product delivery SDLCs are automated. Unfortunately, there are a lot of tools and vendors creating confusion as they compete for a share of your wallet. Here is a quick checklist to evaluate what you have and what you really need.
There are many competing models and ways of categorizing the product and application delivery and management tools out there. In many cases, such as XebiaLab’s beautiful (if slow to load) Periodic Table, they focus on a particular area such as DevOps. Our research has shown us that your tooling decisions must consider the whole toolchain in the context of a modern SDLC.
When you consider how you will automate and integrate your SDLC here are the different categories of tools you need to consider:
- Application Lifecycle Management – Broader tools and suites that incorporate features from many of the categories below such as TFS/Azure DevOps, IBM’s ALM suite, and Micro Focus ALM. Jacks of some trades, masters of none.
- Product, Requirements, and Design Management – A more specialized toolset, often incorporating both requirements management and visual design tools that includes TopTeam Analyst, Blueprint/Storyteller, Jama, and Sparx EA. These are critical for traceability in highly regulated industries, collaboration for distributed teams, and reusing valuable product requirements and design artifacts.
- Delivery Work Management – This space is in flux as more agile, product-centric tools such as JIRA, CA Agile Central, VersionOne, and ServiceNow displace more traditional project-centric tools such as CA PPM, Microsoft Project, and so forth.
- Build Management – Source-code control, continuous integration, and containerization are all key considerations when you build code, and tools such as GitHub, Subversion, Jenkins, and Docker can be a key part of your toolchain.
- Test Management and Automation – This is a hot topic for our members. FitNesse, Selenium, and Cucumber are just a few examples of tools that are making automated test execution and management a possibility.
- Deployment Management – Code isn’t worth much before it’s in production, so tools such as GoCD and Spinnaker are an important part of your toolchain.
- Issue Management – Service Desk tools such as ServiceNow and Remedy are increasingly integrated into the toolchain, tying in incident, issue, and problem management capabilities with the toolchain you use to fix them.
- Value Chain Orchestration – Last, and most important. Bleeding edge tools don’t integrate. Leading edge tools do. Tools such as Tasktop, OpsHub, and Kovair turn delivery tools from disconnected buckets of bits into an integrated toolchain that to provide the insights into the value you create.
Tools alone are not going to make your delivery and management practices more efficient. However, they are partners in the people, process, and tool equation. You can’t deal with these factors one at a time. An integrated approach is required because it is actually harder to introduce tools into an established practice after the fact.
Want to Know More?
- Info-Tech’s Modernize Your SDLC and Transition to Product Delivery blueprints have the information and exercises to help you define the delivery practices you need to deliver exceptional value and experiences every day.
- Explore Seven Reasons You Need a Data-Driven Approach to Application Lifecycle Management.
- Learn more about Application Lifecycle Management on SoftwareReviews.
Traditional accounting practices are tailor made for waterfall project management. Organizations that have transitioned to the use of standing product teams using Agile and DevOps need to transform their accounting practices as well or they will leave valuable capital expenditure dollars on the table.
IBM is changing the terms of its ubiquitous Passport Advantage agreement to remove entitled discounts on over 5,000 on-premises software products, resulting in an immediate price increase for IBM Software & Support (S&S) across its vast customer landscape.
So you’ve gone Agile. You do daily scrums, retrospectives, and all the “right” Agile ceremonies. But still your organization isn’t quite convinced. It is now critical to balance the drivers and goals of both Agile and traditional thinking in order to achieve organizational success.
Do you feel like your Agile teams are treading water – going through the motions but never going anywhere? It’s a risk, and practices such as daily standups, retrospectives, and demonstrations need to be used wisely or you risk losing discipline to meeting fatigue.
Stakeholders expect the speed and responsiveness of product delivery does not come at the expense of quality. QA tools offer retailers the ability to continuously ensure both business and technical quality standards are upheld, but these tools should not be viewed as a silver bullet.
No matter how good your product roadmap and backlog are, they are only as good as your audience’s ability to understand your vision and priority.
The scrum master is like the conductor of an orchestra, ensuring that every piece fits together at the right time to create something greater than the sum of the parts. You don’t have to know how to play each instrument, but you do have to understand what each part contributes to the overall masterpiece.
Tools are important to product teams, but only when they support solid people and processes.
Aha! introduces scenario planning to give product owners the ability to create and compare multiple release approaches based on team capacity and backlog priority.