Do ALM Tools benefit the Developers?

(ALM for Developers Series)

Recently, I got asked this question by a prospect – a large bank’s SEPG head. Their exact question was – How does Digité help with the developer experience? Clearly, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools have made the life of the PMO, the SEPG, the Quality group, the Project Managers and the executive management better. But how do they benefit the folks doing the actual development?!

Here was my response to them about specifically what we, at Digité, have done to improve the life of the Development Team – the Business/ Functional Analyst, the developers and the testing team.

  • Digité’s Unified Inbox automatically collects all the tasks and artifacts that a team member needs to work on, sorted by project, priority and urgency. No more time wastage in search and follow-up to figure out what work they are supposed to do next!
  • Digité’s integrated set of products ensure that there is minimal wastage of effort in learning the tool itself, in navigating from one tool to another due to an integrated UI and a single repository, other than the code repository.
  • Our Requirements, Change and Test management features enable Business/ Functional Analysts, Testers and users collaborate continuously to identify, build and manage requirements use cases and test cases collaboratively. They work on inpidual requirements, decompose them online, baseline and review them; and track any changes to them throughout the development lifecycle. For the Agile practitioners, Digité provides User Stories and Iterations to plan, prioritize and build their user stories in iterations assigned to specific releases.
  • Digité’s Integrated Traceability ensures that developers understand a software requirement along with other related items – user requirements, change requests, test cases, documents – all thru a single integrated view – so that they can work with a holistic understanding of the business. Similarly, the developer’s ability to view a defect holistically – through viewing associated failed test case(s), the related software/ user requirements, etc. means that a developer gets a full understanding of what failed, why it may have failed and do a full impact analysis – thus ensuring that the developers do an effective job of fixing the defect. This prevents a significant amount of rework and ensures a much higher level of initially delivered quality and conformance to requirements.
  • Our Eclipse/ Subversion/ CVS/ VSS adapters ensure that navigation between the developer’s environment and Digité is minimal – and developers and testers can focus on doing their work rather than managing their work. Within Eclipse, they get to view all of their tasks and other work items and are also able to post their effort to Digité Timesheet without leaving the Eclipse environment.
  • If tracking effort is important to you, you may like this. Our customers report that their developers take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours each week (!) to update their timesheets.  We provide an automatically populated timesheet and integrated time-logs available alongside each work item for immediate update as soon as a developer completes working on it.

All of the above have resulted in anywhere from 20-35% direct impact on developer productivity and equally importantly, 45-60% improvement in initial quality of product delivered and overall organizational productivity.

At Digité, we use our product for pretty much everything we do – as Sudipta, our VP of Engineering and Services, explained so well in the previous blog post – Are you still without an ALM Tool? I can’t tell you how many times our team members have given us feedback about how convenient and time-saving it is for them to use Digité for managing their own development/ implementation work!

In the coming days, our own team members from our Development, QA and Product Management organizations – will tell you, in their own words, how they see the impact of Digité on their own work and indeed their lives.

We would also love to hear from you about your experience using Digité or any other ALM tools in terms of Developer experience and productivity.

Mahesh Singh
Vice President – Product


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Kavitha Velchal
12 years ago

The post is a good read for all in the ALM space. Automation in agile assumes prominence as it helps to organize, manage and track people and projects more efficiently and effectively.
It is often a challenge to choose the best fit from among various tools in the market. In an attempt to facilitate such discussions, a new group has been created in LINKEDIN groups called AGILE AUTOMATION (Subgroup of Software Process Automation). Pls feel free to join the group and participate in the discussions posted therein.

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