Application lifecycle management activities and tool integration for quality assurance in software development
Otibine, Tobias Okumu
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Lifecycle Management approaches promise more systematic and efficient ways to support the development and management of complex products. The concept of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) indicates the coordination of activities and the management of artifacts during the software (SW) product’s lifecycle. Most of the currently available unified ALM solutions are either based on basic version control and other ‘low level’ point-to-point integrations, or advocate the adoption of a new and expensive all –in-one solution form a single vendor without considering the aspect of quality. The problem with these current solution is that the first does not go far enough to really provide the previously described benefits of applying an ALM solution while considering quality, while the second one is often associated with high costs in tools, infrastructure and personnel. Thus the purpose of the research was to develop an ALM framework that would improve on quality of software by effectively managing Application Lifecycle Management activities and tools involved in software development, to determine the level of integration of the Application Lifecycle Management tools in providing Application Lifestyle Management solutions and to develop an Application Lifecycle Management framework for quality assurance in software development. The research employed multiple case study design. The target population for the study was the various specialists involved with ALM activities in software development industries consisting of 200 respondents and included 6 homogenous strata comprising of 10 managers, 60 Developers, 60 Testers, 30 Analysts, 20 Directors and 20 Architects. The data collection tools included Questionnaire, Observation and Interviews. In order to test the validity and reliability of the instruments, first the questionnaires were scrutinized and approved by the university supervisor and a group of experts before issuing them. Then a test-retest of the instruments was done by piloting in two companies which were not part of the study and the internal consistence of data from the questionnaire’s computed by sing the Cronhach’s alpha coefficient. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential analysis. ALM activities and tool integration were found to be a direct predictor of Software quality assurance in software development. This research found out that ALM elements and their relations together with food documentation were very key in coming up with a efficient ALM solution for SME’s. The study found that with improved process support and better knowledge and experience on ALM, application lifecycle management activities and tool integration greatly affected the quality of software’s developed thus improving on quality assurance in software development and hence contributing to the world of knowledge.
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