Most industrial players embed new technologies to their products: that’s what we call intelligent software. But the digital era in the industry brings about new challenges: how to manage developing software better and faster, while ensuring to comply with the standards of a specific sector? Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools make it possible to meet the quality requirements of industrial markets. Let’s see how.
Manage the whole industrial software development chain
Because of the complexity of industrial software (i.e. for the automotive, medical, pharmaceutical, avionics sectors etc…), the software development process has to be extremely precise, rigorous. An ALM tool actually provides both R&D and IT teams with the means to achieve this level of requirement. How is that? First of all, an Application Lifecycle Management tool ensures a better project management and comprehensive follow-up of the entire software lifecycle, from its conception to its maintenance.
Actually, ALM tools allow to encompass all the necessary tools for different phases of product development (planning, code review, version and test management…) while bringing teams together. The ultimate goal of the ALM is to optimize the industrial software development process.
An ALM particularly allows to increase collaboration by facilitating communication thanks to a multifunction, integrated, flexible working environnement available for everyone. Which is therefore a favorable environment for agile project management methods. To learn more about them, check out another article of ours about why combining agility with standards compliance is not only possible, but actually valuable and even recommended.
As a consequence, it’s possible to conclude that an ALM tool allows to address different challenges and requirements in standardized environments.
- Requirements and traceability management: developing features according to customers requirements, adapting to changes while tracking any modification to grant full traceability.
- Design and development: improving both collaboration and communication to ease the development phase and shorten the time-to-market.
- Change management: managing and monitoring any change, with pre-implementation analysis and reviews.
- Test management and quality assurance: product check-up and validation, planning and test campaigns execution as well as workflow monitoring and reporting.
Meet quality assurance and traceability requirements
Software development within standardized environments bring about a bunch of challenges that companies has to take into account. For most organizations, there’s one precise challenge that definitely determines the success of all the others down the line: standards compliance, aka the Software Quality Assurance.
Thanks to an ALM solution, all those enterprises that have to meet high-level traceability requirements, pass compliance audits or even comply with very high standards (i.e. ISO 13485, IEC 62304, ISO 26262, ASPICE…), are provided with an enabling environment to meet this crucial challenge. In fact, a good ALM tool makes it possible to automate software development processes as well as to link all the development phases together, while also providing in-depth reports of each stage. This way, the development teams can easily report all the information required for compliance audits as well as fix bugs and ensure automated tests for top software quality. ALM tools are actually used to set-up a software quality assurance plan, which is used to define all the requirements from the very beginning of the project.
To go even further…
You might have already heard about EAP, haven’t you? This is another acronym you may come across when talking about ALM. But what does it stand for actually? Are there any differences between ALM and EAP. Check out our complementary article to learn more about Enterprise Agile Planning: the new name of Agile ALM?