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ALM For The "Agile-ish" Multi-Methodology World


Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) player TechExcel’s DevSuite 9.0 has arrived this week as an updated option for "globally distributed" programming teams looking to get hold of supporting technology to drive multi-methodology requirements management, implementation tracking, and quality management.

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Tech analyst Randy Hearn at Info-Tech Research Group suggests that many developer shops think they are running an Agile operation, when in fact that are only running something more "Agile-ish", as he puts it. "This is where solutions like DevSuite come into play. They don't lock you or your team into an Agile Box or a Waterfall Box, they allow you to run projects your way."

TechExcel logically (although perhaps unnecessarily) reminds us the globally distributed teams need better knowledge transfer to maximize productivity and deliver higher quality products. Using terms like "encouraging teamwork" and "promoting self-motivated performance", the company eventually details DevSuite's options for multi-site multi-methodology support. The product is designed to allow teams to collaborate as if colocated by providing each team with a local server from which they can perform all their tasks that automatically syncs with a System Master Site.

DevSuite 9.0 works to enable LAN-speed over the WAN for daily operations like viewing and editing tasks, reporting, and downloading design documents. The product's multi-site architecture can be scaled by adding additional servers; this is intended to provide the option to meet increased demand for processing power or distribution as needed. DevSuite 9.0 also enables portfolio-level reporting and document management via iOS and Android applications.

The company points out that few organizations have implemented Agile processes across the entire software development lifecycle and so positions DevSuite 9.0 as a single interface for managing Agile, traditional, and hybrid methodologies, across multiple teams and projects. Utilizing a web interface, administrators can create project templates to enforce a development workflow, assign tasks, and view real-time project metrics.

Other features include:

  • Lifecycle Traceability: A real-time view of all internal and external processes and resources, including portfolio management, requirements, development, and QA Testing.
  • Sprint Planning View: To view linked requirements, release backlog and product/defect backlog, and use drag-and-drop capabilities to populate the sprint based on priority.
  • MS Word Integration: Requirements created in Word can now be imported. Users can also export requirements to Word, make edits, and then have them automatically synced.

DevSuite consists of Portfolio, DevSpec, DevPlan, DevTrack, DevTest, KnowledgeWise, and optionally DevTime. It also features universal ODBC support, email notifications, built-in time tracking, customization options, and presentation-quality reports and graphics.


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