Process governance and ALM specialist Serena Software has used the yuletide season to comment on the changing use of Agile software application development methodologies. Taking a wide-angle look at the industry, the company has also pointed to suggestions for how this part of the IT landscape might form in the months ahead.
Where heavily implemented, Agile development methods have undeniably had a big impact on productivity within organizations — mostly, but not exclusively, for the good it would appear. Speaking generally, Serena's SVP of marketing David Hurwitz suggests that developers often feel more productive and in many cases this means that they get more done. However, this is also having an impact on how software gets out to the business: for example, one organization Hurwitz spoke to has gone from 100 major releases per year through to 1000.
"This kind of release cycle puts more pressure on how software actually gets out to the people who will be using it on a day-to-day basis. So the management of the link between developers and the operations team, or DevOps, will be under a lot more scrutiny. This in turn that means that you won't be able to manage it manually with scripts and an Excel spreadsheet any longer," said Hurwitz.
Hurwitz also comments that developers and the "business function" often develop have a love-hate relationship around application lifecycle management. However, the rise in the number of applications that companies are relying on and the demand for updates shows no sign of stopping.
"This can put more pressure on the meeting point between business and development if you let it," said Hurwitz. "Putting together a more in-depth process for managing the handover of requests is therefore a good thought for 2011. At the very least, it means that the application development team can deal more easily with status updates, but more importantly it offers an overview of the whole process that application development has to fulfill. Rather than being adversarial, it can bring the business and development together."