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ALM Tools


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Smartsheet logo
 
Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
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Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
 
One2Team logo
 
One2Team is a project and collaboration management solution recommended to enterprise companies in industries such as construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and food & beverage. One2Team’s software includes... Read More
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One2Team is a project and collaboration management solution recommended to enterprise companies in industries such as construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and food & beverage. One2Team’s software includes... Read More
 
Sciforma logo
 
Created using English and Latin derivatives, Sciforma means “the science of planning”. In 1982, they introduced the first project management solution to the market, a Project Scheduler, and for the past three decades, they have... Read More
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Created using English and Latin derivatives, Sciforma means “the science of planning”. In 1982, they introduced the first project management solution to the market, a Project Scheduler, and for the past three decades, they have... Read More
 
Easy Projects logo
 
Easy Projects is a cloud-based project management platform for midsize organizations. The platform enables users to collaboratively initiate, approve, plan and execute projects, assign resources, track progress, monitor spend and costs,... Read More
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Easy Projects is a cloud-based project management platform for midsize organizations. The platform enables users to collaboratively initiate, approve, plan and execute projects, assign resources, track progress, monitor spend and costs,... Read More
 
Workfront logo
 
Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams  to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
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Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams  to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More

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Wrike logo
 
Wrike offers a cloud-based, scalable project management and collaboration platform. Key features include social collaboration tools so users can organize their projects using a single dashboard. Users can assign tasks, track deadlines... Read More
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Wrike offers a cloud-based, scalable project management and collaboration platform. Key features include social collaboration tools so users can organize their projects using a single dashboard. Users can assign tasks, track deadlines... Read More
 
KPI Fire logo
 
KPI Fire is a cloud-based collaboration tool that provides team members with a dashboard view of shared company objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). It is suitable for large and midsize companies in all industries. The... Read More
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KPI Fire is a cloud-based collaboration tool that provides team members with a dashboard view of shared company objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). It is suitable for large and midsize companies in all industries. The... Read More
 
SmartCore logo
 
SmartCore from Ninth Wave is a Web-based project management solution designed to allow users to collaborate and share information in an adaptable environment via dashboards and reports. Within SmartCore, users gain access to several... Read More
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SmartCore from Ninth Wave is a Web-based project management solution designed to allow users to collaborate and share information in an adaptable environment via dashboards and reports. Within SmartCore, users gain access to several... Read More
 
Targetprocess logo
 
Targetprocess is a cloud-based, modular project management solution that allows users to visualize and manage projects using any combination of Kanban, Scrum or the user’s own preset work solution.  The solution features an array... Read More
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Targetprocess is a cloud-based, modular project management solution that allows users to visualize and manage projects using any combination of Kanban, Scrum or the user’s own preset work solution.  The solution features an array... Read More
 
Trello logo
 
Launched in 2011, Trello is a visual collaboration tool for planning tasks and projects. While commonly used by agile software development teams, the solution is also used in other departments such as marketing, sales, support and... Read More
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Launched in 2011, Trello is a visual collaboration tool for planning tasks and projects. While commonly used by agile software development teams, the solution is also used in other departments such as marketing, sales, support and... Read More

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AgileZen logo
 
AgileZen is a Web-based project management solution that organizes tasks visually to provide a holistic view of an entire project. The AgileZen project management system is based on the lean concept of Kanban, which consists of a... Read More
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AgileZen is a Web-based project management solution that organizes tasks visually to provide a holistic view of an entire project. The AgileZen project management system is based on the lean concept of Kanban, which consists of a... Read More
 
VersionOne logo
 
VersionOne is a Web-based end-to-end enterprise agile life cycle management tool that can be used by teams across all levels, portfolio and programs. The software is suitable for organizations of all sizes. VersionOne features agile... Read More
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VersionOne is a Web-based end-to-end enterprise agile life cycle management tool that can be used by teams across all levels, portfolio and programs. The software is suitable for organizations of all sizes. VersionOne features agile... Read More
 
Redmine logo
 
Redmine is an open-source, web-based project management software solution based on the Ruby on Rails programming framework. It is free, cross-platform and cross-database. Redmine users can manage multiple projects within the system.... Read More
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Redmine is an open-source, web-based project management software solution based on the Ruby on Rails programming framework. It is free, cross-platform and cross-database. Redmine users can manage multiple projects within the system.... Read More
 
LeanKit logo
 
LeanKit is a cloud-based visual management tool based on Kanban. The soltuion is suitable for organizations of all sizes, across all industries. LeanKit allows organizations to connect project boards at the project and team-level and... Read More
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LeanKit is a cloud-based visual management tool based on Kanban. The soltuion is suitable for organizations of all sizes, across all industries. LeanKit allows organizations to connect project boards at the project and team-level and... Read More
 
CA Agile Central logo
 
CA Agile Central is a cloud-based project management software system. It is suitable for organizations of all sizes. Key features include team collaboration, project management, product and portfolio management, analytics and metrics... Read More
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CA Agile Central is a cloud-based project management software system. It is suitable for organizations of all sizes. Key features include team collaboration, project management, product and portfolio management, analytics and metrics... Read More

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JIRA Core logo
 
JIRA Core is a project management and task management software solution for business teams. It is designed to cater to businesses across a variety of industries, including marketing, legal, finance, human resources (HR) and operations. JIRA... Read More
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JIRA Core is a project management and task management software solution for business teams. It is designed to cater to businesses across a variety of industries, including marketing, legal, finance, human resources (HR) and operations. JIRA... Read More
 
Bugzilla logo
 
Bugzilla is an open-source bug tracking software solution that enables software developers to track bugs and defects during software development. Features include automated bug detection, bug lists, patch management and web services. Bugzilla’s... Read More
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Bugzilla is an open-source bug tracking software solution that enables software developers to track bugs and defects during software development. Features include automated bug detection, bug lists, patch management and web services. Bugzilla’s... Read More
 
BugHerd logo
 
BugHerd is a web-based issue tracking and project management software solution for web developers and designers. The solution helps convert client feedback into tasks, which include all the needed changes and screenshots. With BugHerd's... Read More
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BugHerd is a web-based issue tracking and project management software solution for web developers and designers. The solution helps convert client feedback into tasks, which include all the needed changes and screenshots. With BugHerd's... Read More
 
MantisBT logo
 
MantisBT is an open-source, cloud-based issue management and bug tracking software solution utilized by software development organizations. The platform assists executives in project collaboration among team members, employees and... Read More
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MantisBT is an open-source, cloud-based issue management and bug tracking software solution utilized by software development organizations. The platform assists executives in project collaboration among team members, employees and... Read More
 
YouTrack logo
 
YouTrack is an issue tracker and project management solution that allows software development and testing teams to collaborate, track and resolve bugs and manage project workflows. YouTrack’s Issue Reporting feature enables managers... Read More
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YouTrack is an issue tracker and project management solution that allows software development and testing teams to collaborate, track and resolve bugs and manage project workflows. YouTrack’s Issue Reporting feature enables managers... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: November 8, 2017


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

Free Download:
Project Management Software Pricing Guide

Free Download:
Best Practices to Select Project Management Software – Infographic

 

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