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Application Lifecycle Management: From Start To Finish

Jun 16, 2008
The set of jobs that revolve around creating and submitting programs that work for people in various industries is called application life cycle management. Software can be sophisticated programs that control every aspect of a companies financial transactions, or it can be a simple program that fills out orders. These roles can all be filled by different programs.

The process of managing a software project has many different steps. Many feel the most important step is the division of labor. However, an equally loud community believes that "quality assurance," and testing is the most important. Either way, these are both complex fields, and you will need domain experts for both in your group.

Application lifecycle management is a key tool for many reasons. A business in sales cannot function without the manager that runs the business. If you try to run a function without a software system in the background monitoring and managing it, you will be setting yourself up for failure. This system shows a manager his sales team's strengths and weaknesses. It also allows him to pass that information on to his manager's and the rest of the company.

This sort of system grows from the requirements of the components of the system. These requirements stand for a contract between the company that has outsourced the development of hte system and those who do the development. As would be expected, more time and resources are needed when planning a very complex system than for more simple systems. After the requirements are finalized and the application is in the process of being developed, it is much more difficult to return to the planning stage.

It is true that the initial stages of planning and development are crucial. Another important component is product testing or quality assurance. This is necessary to ensure that the system will truly be a good product. Fine tuned details are useless if they are attached to a program that just doesn't work. Every part of the software is tested rigorously by different groups of testers. Their part ensures that the system can truly fulfill the qualifications it was designed for.

The last concept to discuss is the idea of system maintainability. Over time, the tech world has and will continue to experience progress which leads to hardware and software products becoming obsolete. You certainly can't expect a ten year old computer to be able to use the latest software or peripherals. To take best advantage of the latest gear, one must plan to invest in developing or replacing a computer as time goes by.

Application lifecycle management could involve a complex system used to control the payroll and other financial functions, or a simple order tracking system for a branch office. It all starts with development of the components and continues to systems and processes for quality assurance and. Each of these steps is a discipline in itself. A business or manager without a software system to manage functions would be unthinkable in today's technically charged world. quality assurance or system testing is ever so important to have the system deliver the competitive edge. Last but not the least is system maintainability.
About the Author
George Purdy is a well-known public speaker on application lifecycle management and has written several articles and essays on it. The following site management coaching training might also be interesting for you.
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