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How to Choose an Application Lifecycle Management Tool

Author: John Campbell | July 21, 2021

The key to the successful development of any product is a smooth product development cycle—particularly in the automotive industry, where safety is paramount. The planning and control of your automotive product development process can make or break its ultimate success. It can mean the difference between a long, costly process that requires redesigns and reworks and one that flows smoothly for a quicker time-to-market.

Ultimately, it comes down to knowing which steps to take—and in what order—and having the right resources in place to carry them out.

Five things to consider when choosing an application lifecycle management tool:

People Discuss Application Lifecycle Management Graph
  1. Basic functionality: Start by looking at your current environment, your challenges and your goals. Bring your team members into the fold; ask them which application lifecycle management features and functionality would be most helpful to them in an ALM tool? At the very least, look for a solution that offers a robust suite of capabilities that streamlines and simplifies processes across each stage of your application lifecycle—from requirements management, software development and collaboration capabilities to QA and testing, documents management and release management.

  2. Added features: Beyond the basic application lifecycle management functionality and modules, your ALM solution should offer a range of value-added features to make your team’s job easier. Ideally, you’ll want an application lifecycle management solution that:
  • Seamlessly integrates with other tools
  • Offers security and reliability
  • Delivers real-time analytics that supports informed decision making
  • Supports Agile, Waterfall and hybrid project management models
  • Offers training and ongoing support
  • Lets you configure user permissions so you can define and control who sees and has access to what 
  1. Flexibility: Application lifecycle management is never a one-size-fits-all. What works for one organization may not work for another. In most cases, an out-of-the-box solution will not meet your needs as-is. Look for an ALM tool that can be customized to your specific lifecycle management requirements, effectively manage change across the application lifecycle stages and evolve as your needs evolve.
  1. Personalization: An application lifecycle management tool is only as good as the user’s ability to interact with it; user experience is directly correlated to productivity. A good ALM tool is one that allows users to personalize it based on what’s most relevant to them and offers an intuitive, role-based interface.
  1. Traceability: Ensuring compliance with industry standards in a highly regulated industry rests on your ability to trace artifacts across the entire project. With an ALM solution that lets you see what is linked with what kind of relationship, easily trace up or down and create audit reports, you can ensure completeness of the information about every step in a development process to meet regulatory compliance requirements.

With so many intricacies involved in product development, having one application lifecycle management tool that governs the design and development of your engineered products is paramount. Designed to synchronize the management of all activities and assets across the entire development lifecycle, an ALM tool will help you deliver smooth and efficient application lifecycle management processes that are void of delays, bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

Not sure where to start? Our Polarion Consulting experts know application lifecycle management inside and out. We’ll help you achieve quicker, more streamlined product development timelines and smoother workflows with Polarion. A browser-based regulatory-compliant ALM software program, Polarion offers enterprise-grade product lifecycle management software that helps teams innovate, collaborate and uncover synergies across distributed teams.

To speak with our ALM software consulting team, contact us here.

About Sterling PLM

Sterling PLM is a NJ-based product development consulting firm that helps engineering companies implement proven processes that govern the design and development of their engineered products. Using Polarion ALM, Sterling offers a regulatory-compliant approach to engineering management that supports collaboration, innovation and visibility across the entire product development lifecycle.

Sterling’s engineering experts have intimate knowledge of project management and product development in highly regulated industries, including automotive, medical devices and embedded systems. Sterling PLM is a Siemens Digital Industries Software Smart Expert Partner.

For more information, visit, Twitter @SterlingPLM or LinkedIn.


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