Hype or Help? An ALM Reality Check

The application development organization is where the proverbial “rubber hits the road” for the IT executive. And, as my previous “managing by gut” example illustrates, the current state of affairs for measuring, predicting and ensuring the success of delivery projects is the cause of many an ulcer for the CIO.

For this reason, ALM 2.0 should not just be about visibility, coordination and management (though all of these things would be a great leap forward for ALM), but should also be about measurement -– simplifying the process of gathering and analyzing the right data for CIOs and their teams to understand the “state of affairs” of any development project and be able to report back to the business in a meaningful way.

The future of ALM

When the developer has a choice over tools and technologies — and the ability to leverage the knowledge, skills and capabilities not just of other team members but from across the industry — all in the context of process and visibility improvements afforded by ALM, then and only then, will the software delivery process be truly transformed.

ALM can live up to its potential -– the potential to provide an enterprise a workable solution for managing one of the organization’s most important business functions: the delivery of IT applications and services. But this will only be achieved by addressing and embracing the open and tremendously heterogeneous nature of today’s enterprise information systems.

A working consultant, Bob Doyle has more than 30 years’ experience as an IT leader. He has served as a Partner at Tatum CIO Partners, LLP; SVP & CIO at Fleming Companies; SVP and CIO of Alliant Foodservice, Inc. (formerly Kraft Foodservice); VP & CIO of Community Mutual Insurance Company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Ohio); VP of IS at GTE-Contel; Director of IS and Administrative Services at Avoinic Systems Division of Lear Siegler, Inc.; and various management and technical positions at General Dynamics.