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HP ALM Project Planning and Tracking: Why a small effort up front, saves hours downstream

KellyEmo ‎04-20-2011 05:47 PM - edited ‎09-18-2015 03:29 PM

This week, I was asked to present a three minute demo on the project planning and tracking capabilities in HP ALM.   This was no small task as my natural reaction was to crawl through all the interesting and wis-i-wig functionality in the product.   But, as I noodled on the ask, it became clear what to talk about.


Ultimately, all the customizable, configurable, searchable and graph-able capabilities don't amount to a hill of beans if it doesn't save time and make the user's life better.   I've had the opportunity to get  into the deep technical aspects of HP ALM through planning, demos, training, et all but more importantly, I've also had specific conversations with users as to why they see value. 


HP ALM Project Planning and Tracking solves the informational version of the" needle in  a haystack" issue.  For any application project or release with multiple moving parts and distributed teams, to get a quick view of status and health with confidence that what you are representing at that moment in time reflects reality is an exercise in scrambling around:  phone calls, emails, spreadsheets, if you are lucky.  What HP ALM PPT does is grab the important data about your project status, align dependencies (such as what defects are associated with what test runs and what requirements) and then map that data to thresholds that you define that represent an acceptable level of completeness -vs.- risk.  This way, you know if your project is on track or off the rails, where the issues lie and who is responsible for the fix. --the right information to drive decisions and get the release moving.


To use a cliche however, your scorecard and status is only as good as the data you feed it, in other words, "garbage in, garbage out".   You need to invest a bit of effort to determine what your project looks like, what are the key milestones and the release scope, and map what data points are meaningful to your project objectives and the thresholds by which you  measure success.  If you spend a bit of time up front clearly defining the structure of your project and release, what you want to measure (is it defects, test coverage, requirements coverage, or something else?), then PPT can work it's automated magic.  With built-in traceability, requirements get connected with test cases, test runs, code check-ins, and defects.  But only you know what it is that is worth surfacing and measuring.  


HP however, have built some best practices around fast and effective set-up and use of ALM Project Planning and Tracking.  Check out the HP PPT edition of our HP Application Life Cycle Management Best Practices Series for ALM Practitioners book series here. 




About the Author


Kelly has over 20 years experience with enterprise systems and software in individual contributor and manager roles across product management, business development and product marketing. A majority of my focus has been in areas directly related to applications spanning from developer environments, enterprise Java, integration middleware, SOA infrastructure, SOA Governance and now application lifecycle management. Kelly has a B.S. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an MBA from the University of Santa Clara.

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