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ALM Tools


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Project Insight logo
 
Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. It provides visibility into the workloads of resources, project budget, and status, with real-time reports. Project Insight is a collaborative... Read More
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Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. It provides visibility into the workloads of resources, project budget, and status, with real-time reports. Project Insight is a collaborative... Read More
 
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
 
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
 
Wrike logo
 
Wrike offers cloud-based work management solution that facilitates project management and team collaboration for marketing and creative teams. Users can manage external and internal requests with built-in forms and automatically assign... Read More
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Wrike offers cloud-based work management solution that facilitates project management and team collaboration for marketing and creative teams. Users can manage external and internal requests with built-in forms and automatically assign... Read More
 
Sciforma logo
 
Sciforma is a cloud-based project and portfolio management solution for enterprises that allows to strategically track and analyze project data and make relevant decisions. It can be sold as a stand-alone portfolio management, project... Read More
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Sciforma is a cloud-based project and portfolio management solution for enterprises that allows to strategically track and analyze project data and make relevant decisions. It can be sold as a stand-alone portfolio management, project... Read More

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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
 
SmartCore logo
 
SmartCore from Ninth Wave is a cloud-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 cloud-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
 
One2Team logo
 
One2Team is a cloud-based project and collaboration management solution for industries such as construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and food & beverage. Key features include integrated document management,... Read More
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One2Team is a cloud-based project and collaboration management solution for industries such as construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and food & beverage. Key features include integrated document management,... 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
 
Asana logo
 
Asana is a cloud-based project and task management solution that enables companies and ad agencies to manage and organize tasks and projects, communicate and collaborate. It is helpful for teams and companies that handle multiple projects... Read More
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Asana is a cloud-based project and task management solution that enables companies and ad agencies to manage and organize tasks and projects, communicate and collaborate. It is helpful for teams and companies that handle multiple projects... Read More

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JIRA logo
 
JIRA Software is an issue and project tracking tool designed for software development teams of all size, across all industries. Backed by over a decade of experience, the newly released JIRA Software combines JIRA’s historically... Read More
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JIRA Software is an issue and project tracking tool designed for software development teams of all size, across all industries. Backed by over a decade of experience, the newly released JIRA Software combines JIRA’s historically... Read More
 
monday.com (formerly dapulse) logo
 
monday.com is a cloud-based project management solution that caters to small to midsize businesses across various industry verticals. The solution helps them manage different projects and facilitate knowledge-sharing among team members. monday.com... Read More
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monday.com is a cloud-based project management solution that caters to small to midsize businesses across various industry verticals. The solution helps them manage different projects and facilitate knowledge-sharing among team members. monday.com... Read More
 
CaseCamp logo
 
CaseCamp by DevelopScripts is a cloud-based project management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The product caters to both in-house as well as outsourced IT development teams. It offers resource management, budgeting,... Read More
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CaseCamp by DevelopScripts is a cloud-based project management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The product caters to both in-house as well as outsourced IT development teams. It offers resource management, budgeting,... Read More
 
Odoo CRM logo
 
Odoo CRM is a cloud-based open source customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for companies of all sizes. Its suite of applications includes lead management, sales automation, marketing campaign management and business... Read More
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Odoo CRM is a cloud-based open source customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for companies of all sizes. Its suite of applications includes lead management, sales automation, marketing campaign management and business... Read More
 
Kanbanchi logo
 
Kanbanchi by Magic Web Solutions is a cloud-based project and task management solution. It caters to businesses of all sizes and works with G-Suite. It offers project collaboration, data management, time tracking and corporate branding... Read More
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Kanbanchi by Magic Web Solutions is a cloud-based project and task management solution. It caters to businesses of all sizes and works with G-Suite. It offers project collaboration, data management, time tracking and corporate branding... Read More

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Aha! logo
 
Aha! is a cloud-based project management solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. It caters to industries including education, energy, finance, government, legal, IT services, marketing, medical, non-profit and others. Primary... Read More
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Aha! is a cloud-based project management solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. It caters to industries including education, energy, finance, government, legal, IT services, marketing, medical, non-profit and others. Primary... Read More
 
GitLab logo
 
GitLab is a cloud-based project management platform that allows software developers to develop and manage codes collaboratively. The platform can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. GitLab helps developers manage the complete... Read More
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GitLab is a cloud-based project management platform that allows software developers to develop and manage codes collaboratively. The platform can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. GitLab helps developers manage the complete... Read More
 
Zenkit logo
 
Zenkit is a cloud-based project management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers collaboration, calendar management, task management, file sharing and project search functionalities within a suite. Android and iOS... Read More
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Zenkit is a cloud-based project management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers collaboration, calendar management, task management, file sharing and project search functionalities within a suite. Android and iOS... Read More
 
SpiraTeam logo
 
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 compatible... Read More
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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 compatible... Read More
 
Pivotal Tracker logo
 
Pivotal Tracker from Pivotal is a cloud-based agile project management solution designed to facilitate collaboration between teams and monitor progress throughout the entire project lifecycle. The solution allows team members involved... Read More
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Pivotal Tracker from Pivotal is a cloud-based agile project management solution designed to facilitate collaboration between teams and monitor progress throughout the entire project lifecycle. The solution allows team members involved... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 29, 2018


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.
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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

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Best Practices to Select Project Management Software – Infographic

 

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