Context: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is a paradigm for integrating and managing the various activities related to the governance, development and maintenance of software products. In the last decade, several ALM tools have been proposed to support this process, and an increasing number of companies have started to adopt ALM. Objective: We aim to investigate the impact of adopting ALM in a real industrial context to understand and justify both the benefits and obstacles of applying integrated ALM. Method: As a research methodology, we apply action research that we have carried out within HAVELSAN, a large-scale IT company. The research was carried out over a period of seven years starting in 2010 when the ALM initiative has been started in the company to increase productivity and decrease maintenance costs. Results: The paper presents the results of the action research that includes the application of ALM practices. The transitions among the different steps are discussed in detail, together with the identified obstacles, benefits and lessons learned. Conclusions: Our seven-year study shows that the adoption of ALM processes is not trivial and its success is related to many factors. An important conclusion is that a piecemeal solution as provided by ALM 1.0 is not feasible for the complex process and tool integration problems of large enterprises. Hence the transition to ALM 2.0 was found necessary to cope with the organizational and business needs. Although ALM 2.0 appeared to be a more mature ALM approach, there are still obstacles that need attention from both researchers and practitioners.
- Action research
- Application lifecycle management
- Application lifecycle management transformation
- Change management