Application development is maturing to embrace a more holistic approach to application lifecycle processes, one that emphasizes policy-based approaches -- managing process and people -- and not just the technology. Such a coordinated approach also fosters feedback efficiencies, where testing is continuous -- and visibility into performance becomes an imperative.
Borland's pending new Gauntlet offering provides a framework to monitor and measure development progress. By employing a visualized assessment of development, managers can see from day to day, week to week, and project to project how things are progressing. They can then act to make the management of development more professional, and to inject quality-enhancing improvements across the entire spectrum of development activity.
To better understand these trends, join moderator Dana Gardner and Borland Software Director of Developer Solutions Rob Cheng as we explore the next chapter in development process management and agility.
Here are some excerpts from the podcast:
Agile essentially arose as a reaction against what was perceived as more heavyweight methods like Rational Unified Process (RUP). They were considered to be somewhat inflexible and inefficient, and imposed too high of an overhead on the development organization. The term "Agile" actually covers quite a few different specific methodologies, including extreme programming and Scrum, but they all share some basic principles, things like customer focus and rapid iterations on working software.Listen to the podcast, or read the full transcript for more on managing the process of application development. Sponsor: Borland Software, Inc.
The emphasis, until fairly recently, has been on managing the code, managing the development itself, in bits and bytes, checking in and checking out, and so forth, but with less attention paid to the overall process of how to take a project from beginning to end with a lifecycle approach.
The stakes are ultimately the success or failure of your software initiative. When you look at reports like the [Standish Group’s] CHAOS Report, which specified some ridiculously high number -- over 60 percent of software projects failing -- that entails a huge cost to the business. There’s a huge cost to software failure, software project failure, and there’s also a significant cost within projects of having to deal a lot of late stage rework.
Getting this right during the process means that it will eliminate a lot of those costs upfront. We can find out early whether there are issues, and the scope and size of those issues. The second part isn’t addressed quite as often. It’s the high business risk involved in simply not knowing. This goes back to the visibility issue. If you’re heading up a business unit, and you ask your accountants for some financial analysis, and they tell you, “Come back in a few months and then maybe we’ll give educated guesses,” what would you do?
One of the things that characterize other business processes in organizations is that you can do real sophisticated analytics. You can do business intelligence. That’s one of things that Gauntlet is trying to bring to the table, because of being able to continuously test, measure, and collect all the data.
Gauntlet actually gives you this great wealth of information that you can then data mine. When you talk about strategy and process, you also have to think about how to optimize the process. How do organizations continuously improve processes, not just code or technology? How are they are doing the work itself? A lot of that comes down to being able to mine to do ad-hoc analytical queries against the data that’s been collected about how the organization is actually operating. That’s one of the things that Gauntlet really provides -- that data warehouse of activity and metrics around actual development actions.