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TrackVia

With TrackVia, powerful workflows are just within reach. TrackVia is the low-code platform built with intuitive drag-and-drop tools to fit your specific needs and unleash the potential of businesses in most industries, including c...Read more about TrackVia

4.5 (33 reviews)

19 recommendations

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f...Read more about Wrike

4.3 (2487 reviews)

11 recommendations

ClickUp

ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts and a task toolb...Read more about ClickUp

Google Cloud

Featuring G-Suite and GCP, Google Cloud is a platform that provides a reliable and easy-to-use set of solutions that can be used to tackle the toughest challenges in any type of industry. It provides secure storage options, integr...Read more about Google Cloud

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Aha!

Aha! helps companies build lovable software. We provide the world's #1 product development tools — Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Notebooks, and Aha! Develop — which are used by more than 700,000 builders. Product teams rely on o...Read more about Aha!

Favro

Favro is a project management and collaboration tool with which developers, marketers and executives can plan, track and evolve ideas. Designed to suit the size and needs of any project, Favro allows users to add features and inte...Read more about Favro

OutSystems

OutSystems is a high-performance low-code platform that achieves serious productivity, creating serious apps with continuous innovation. Visual development tools and automation powered by AI help customers tackle strategic challen...Read more about OutSystems

Open DevOps

Open DevOps is Atlassian’s DevOps solution, powered by the integration of Jira Software and your team’s favorite tools. By connecting seemingly disparate tools, Jira Software becomes mission control for your software toolchain, gi...Read more about Open DevOps

Zoho BugTracker

BugTracker by Zoho is a cloud-based bug tracking solution designed for businesses of all sizes. Key features include bugs automating, bugs viewing, file sharing, bugs dashboard, forums, time tracking and user administration. ...Read more about Zoho BugTracker

Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is an all-in-one low-code application development software platform that is designed to help businesses digitize their business operations without the hassle of traditional development. The solution enables profession...Read more about Zoho Creator

SpiraTeam

SpiraTeam is a project management solution that offers collaboration and quality assurance tools for businesses of all sizes and within all industries. The solution can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premise and is compatib...Read more about SpiraTeam

Patch My PC

Patch My PC is a product that allows system administrators to easily publish and deploy patches to third-party applications in Microsoft Configuration Manager and Intune. Our product can also package third-party applications that ...Read more about Patch My PC

PACE Packager Hub

PACE Packager Hub is an out-of-the-box workflow management solution designed exclusively for application packaging teams of various sizes. App packaging engineers use the solution to automate the end-to-end application packaging p...Read more about PACE Packager Hub

PACE Suite

PACE Suite is an easy-to-use solution that helps teams simplify and optimize their application packaging routine to deliver high-quality software to their users faster across thousands devices. PACE Suite allows you to effective...Read more about PACE Suite

Centercode

The Centercode Platform transforms how you collect and analyze pre-release customer feedback. Our delta testing system uses intelligent technology like plug-and-play project planning, engagement automation, and smart reporting to ...Read more about Centercode

Advanced Installer

All-in-one Application Packaging Tool for Developers and IT Professionals. For independent developers, software developing companies, and ISVs - The Professional and Enterprise editions are designed to support generating advanced...Read more about Advanced Installer

monday dev

Built on top of monday.com Work OS, monday dev equips product and development teams with the tools to seamlessly manage all development processes and achieve their goals faster in one easy-to-use platform. With monday dev, develop...Read more about monday dev

Dynatrace

Dynatrace is an AIOps solution designed to help businesses automate multi-cloud processes and streamline collaboration across multiple teams through purpose-built use cases. Its filtering capabilities enable supervisors to search ...Read more about Dynatrace

ACCELQ

ACCELQ is a cloud-based platform for continuous functional & API automation testing which utilizes ‘natural language programming’ and application abstraction to enable testing at any stage of app development. Out-of-the-box suppor...Read more about ACCELQ

Orcanos

Orcanos is a cloud-based platform designed to help businesses of all sizes manage and automate all document workflows, from initial approvals to final signoffs. The centralized platform enables users to publish approved document v...Read more about Orcanos

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of organizations will have shifted from a project management model to a product management one to manage technology investments in digital business.

"Because of the agile emphasis on taking a product perspective, organizations now have the opportunity to more tightly couple their application portfolio to their investment portfolio, and, instead of all investments being 'projects,' many (if not most) of them will become 'new product releases.'"

Source: Predicts 2017: PPM Leaders (content available to Gartner clients)

To keep pace with this shift, many organizations are investing in application lifecycle management (ALM) tools to create business processes that govern the full lifecycle of software projects and portfolios.

ALM tools combine project/product management with business process management, and are designed to serve a variety of business needs, from starter systems to robust full-service solutions. As such, it can be difficult to know exactly which type of ALM tool is the best fit for your business.

We've created this guide to help you better understand all that ALM encompasses, so you can make a more informed investment decision when choosing ALM software.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Application Lifecycle Management?

Common Capabilities of ALM Software

What Type of Buyer Are You?

What Is Application Lifecycle Management?

Application lifecycle management is a defined set of processes that govern how an organization manages software projects and investments, from concept to completion.

In this way, ALM fits within the larger IT project and product management markets, but speaks to a greater connectivity between business processes and software engineering.

ALM tools create an integrated environment that helps connect teams and improve the flow of work through each stage in the software development lifecycle (SDLC):

Software Development Lifecycle Stages

Software-Development-Lifecycle-Stages

Although work is designed to flow from one stage to the next, the process can move backward or forward as needed. For example, work will move from development to testing, then back to development then onto testing again, before reaching deployment.

  • Plan/gather requirements: In some models, “planning" and “requirements gathering" are separate stages, but we've included them together because these steps inform one another. This involves stakeholder analysis, defining the scope of the project, identifying any known risks and setting budget and timeline benchmarks. The functional and technical requirements (as well as the subsequent requirements review and approval by stakeholders) inform the project plan.

  • Design: Involves putting the application requirements into a design specification plan. Includes the interface design and proof of concept, as well as the design review and approval by all stakeholders.

  • Develop/build: Involves taking the design specs and actually building the application, i.e., generating the code, to meet the original requirements.

  • Test: Involves testing the code for defects and fixing them to ensure the final, approved product meets the original requirements and specifications for the end user.

  • Deploy: Involves rolling out the application to end users, i.e., product release. Depending on feedback from users, and approval from stakeholders, changes may be made to the application to better meet end user needs.

  • Maintain/support: Involves sustaining applications and maintaining their performance until application retirement. Includes application support, systems support and end user support.

ALM tools connect teams at each of these stages, improving visibility and collaboration. From planning through maintenance, they are important for tracking changes and providing an audit trail for retrospectives. This transparency plays a large role in helping teams reach their goal of continuous delivery and improvement.

These tools range from comprehensive suites designed to manage applications from inception to retirement, to products that specialize in one phase, e.g., planning or test, to simple agile solutions or wikis designed to monitor application progress or code review.

Common Features of ALM Software

While features will vary from system to system, ALM tools typically contain some or all of the following capabilities:

Project management (or product management)

Plan and track software projects, commonly following agile workflows. Streamline task management, time tracking, resource management and scheduling, dashboards, reporting and analytics.

Requirements management

Define end-user requirements, break work down into actionable sequences, plan backlogs and schedule iterations.

Design and development

Track works-in-progress. Often, agile teams develop software in two-week iterations, or sprints. This allows for more frequent testing and review.

Bug tracking

Process, track and report on bugs in the application. Also called defect or issue management.

Quality assurance (QA) and testing

Document and track application testing to ensure quality and function meets predetermined requirements.

Release management

Support application deployment. Oversee software release, intake of end-user feedback and planning/initiating maintenance and improvements on application.

Process review and optimization

Monitor and audit various stages in software development lifecycle with the goal to optimize processes (build, testing, release, application performance etc.).

Collaboration

Enable users to connect and collaborate within the tool to facilitate group work. Can include content management wikis, group forums or activity streams, user logs, user mentions as well as chat.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

The two most common development methodologies are waterfall and agile, although agile is increasingly becoming the de facto software development model. Several variations on these models exist, including the big bang and spiral models.

Waterfall. A more traditional project management method, the waterfall SDLC model works best for smaller, risk-averse projects where the requirements are clear at the start and not likely to change over the course of the project. Work flows from one stage to the next, sequentially, with the output of one phase becoming the input for the next.

Agile. The agile SDLC model works well for projects of any size, where requirements may not be clear at the start or are likely to change over the course of the project. The application is broken down and completed in cycles, over numerous releases. Testing and feedback on each release is then incorporated into the next version.

Which SDLC model you chose is largely dependent on the size and scope of the project as well as the customer's requirements. ALM tools should support your team's workflows, not dictate them. It's important to choose a solution that aligns with your team's current processes, but is flexible enough to support multiple SDLC models.