Agile Development Practices at HPE

Raffi Margaliot – senior vice president of application delivery management (ADM) at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) – provided  major insights into the future of app delivery at HPE’s Discover 2015 conference in London. On stage he had not only an external consultant to talk about the challenges for future app development and delivery, but also top managers of HPE’s application delivery management organization.

Attendees got insights how HPE itself is dealing with the transformation to an agile organization. Ruli Weisbach is the manager of the ADM development organization and shared with the audience how his organization adopted agile practices during recent years. This is specifically interesting because they work on the product Agile Manager, which supports agile development organizations.

Later on (at 40:35 min) Udi Weinberg the QA manager of ADM provided an additional perspective of HPE’s agile development approach by filling in the quality assurance view.

The full session is available on YouTube. In case you are at a hurry and just want to look at Ruli’s talk, then start looking at video position 28:00 min.

HPE Video from Discover 2015 in London about app delivery:

HP ALM Editions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) provides five different editions of HP ALM / Quality Center as of December 2015:

  • HP ALM
  • HP Quality Center Enterprise
  • HP ALM Performance Center
  • HP Quality Center Express
  • HP Quality Center Community Edition

Availability of features depend on edition. A quick overview of features by edition is available at the Application Lifecycle Management Help Center: ALM Editions

The feature matrix there provides a comprehensive overview about the capabilities of the five editions. However, for companies newly interested in HP ALM, it still might be a challenge to find out which edition is the right one for them.

In case you need guidance feel free to contact us.

What’s new in HP ALM

HP has established a central online information repository with detailed information about HP ALM. It’s called “Application Lifecycle Management Help Center”. Once you access it via the URL: Go to HP ALM Help Center you will see the Help Center loaded with the latest release information (in this case 12.50)

Starting from this page you will find an excellent collection of information targeted at HP ALM end users and administrators. Moreover, you also get information about previous releases.

 

HP Agile Manager available on premise

For quite some time HP argued that HP Agile Manager will be as SaaS solution exclusively. For some companies this is a concern, as they consider requirements intellectual property assets, which shouldn’t be stored outside a company’s network. Now it seems that it is available as a solution that can be stored inside a company’s network. From the blogpost about HP Agile Manger 2.0:

… You now have a choice in how you buy and use HP Agile Manager. Now you can use it as a full-SaaS solution with unparalleled security as well as reduced administration and upgrade costs, or you can choose to buy on-premise for full control of the application.

Seems that HP has heard the voice of the customer. However, the information is not widely spread, almost secret. Nothing can be found on the portal pronq, which is the official place to shop for HP Agile Manager.

Pronq – new portal for HP Software

In December 2013 HP launched a new portal to sell its software: Pronq

A selection of products from HP Software is listed there. E.g.: Fortify, Agile Manager, HP Anywhere, Performance Anywhere.

Agile manager can be reached at: http://www.pronq.com/software/agile-manager

At Pronq you can get information about software products from HP, have access to trials and actually purchase software.

At a first glance your wouldn’t even recognize that Pronq is from HP. Seems to be on purpose….

You can find out more about Pronq from Caroline Tsay (HP) in her Pronq launch blog post.

An article in E-Week features Pronq in more detail.

Update February 2015

In January 2015 HP moved the “pronq” brand. HP did sent the following message out to customers:

Dear HP SaaS Customer,

As HP SaaS grows to support more solutions and offerings with every day, the Pronq and HP brands are being brought under the same roof. On February 16, 2015, the Pronq site and MyAccount customer portal are moving to a new location under HP’s global website.

The new URLs for the HP SaaS and MyAccount sites will be as follows: http://saas.hp.com

HP Agile Manager – impressions and outlook

In my first two blogs about HP Agile Manager (HP AM in the following) I provided some facts about the upcoming product.

This blog elaborates on impressions, use scenarios and outlook.

Let me start with the summary first. Wow, this is the type of product that was expected by many HP customers who work the agile way! It took HP quite some time to deliver a product on the agile premise. Now, agile practitioners can use the browser of their choice and are no longer stuck with the Internet Explorer, which is still required to run HP QC/ALM.

For IT departments in large organizations this product will be a big relief and cost saver, as they don’t have to care about installations and needed permissions any longer. No ActiveX components like in QC are required to run the UI. It simply runs anywhere without any download. I did state “will”, because currently the product isn’t delivered at all to IT organizations. The only way to get it is through a SaaS service from HP. While this is an excellent opportunity for companies who are allowed to store data outside of the company network, this is a killer argument for companies who aren’t allowed to do so. From my experience specifically European companies will have some issues here. And this is not just because of intellectual property stored elsewhere. It also has to do with the fact that HP SaaS is typically located in the US. Network latency issue often have an impact on service availability.

From a usability perspective HP AM is certainly great for young generation employees who are used to web interfaces. IT veterans still have their way to go learning new navigation aspects of such a web application.

For a “1.0 release” HP AM delivers a rich set of functionality for agile development. With its hierarchical concepts of themes, features, users stories and tasks large development projects and programs can utilize this product for agile development. And this is not a surprise, as the concepts for HP AM stem from one of HP’s internal development organization with a long experience in agile development. HP utilizes internally a lab prototype product which was presented at several events already. See last paragraph on blog New Opportunities for QM.

Therefore, customers have good reasons to assume, that this product is practice oriented and delivers value to agile development organizations. However, utilizing HP AM to its full potential may be a challenge for organizations just starting with agile. E.g. Estimation, planning and tracking features require corresponding practices at the organization level.

Looking at the competition, HP has to accept that in the second decade of agile development there are already market leaders established. With Rally Software and VersionOne among the most successful. So, how can HP win? Well, HP has a great software portfolio and specifically well established test management solutions. An integrated test management approach is critical for success in agile development. HP AM can hardly win as a standalone solution, but  tight integration with other HP offerings will transform HP AM into a killer app.

It will be interesting to see how fast HP is able to leverage other HP Software solutions.

HP announced already a synchronization tool between customers HP QC/ALM instances and the HP SaaS solution that will allow to synchronize data. However, it seems that data is only partially synchronized. Within the HP AM product Q&A customers already stated, that this is not what they expect. They want to have all data synchronized. Why? Well, there are several reasons. Customers who already have deployed QC/ALM often have build a lot of project management support processes around this tool infrastructure. Reporting, analytics and data warehouse applications are often well established. It is understandable, that they need to have all data in one place. This is specifically true for organizations who do hybrid development: Agile and non-agile.

Next week on Discover 2012 in Frankfurt existing HP Customers will have a chance to experience HP Agile Manager live. And there will be opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences with other practitioners. For example the Vivit TQA roundtable on agile development.

HP AM is a late start, but good start. Stay tuned.

Links:

HP Agile Manager Beta

Vivit Roundtable: Agile Development with HP QC/ALM

The Vivit TQA Special Interest Group on “Testing, Quality, and Application Lifecycle Management” within Vivit, the independent HP Software user community, will conduct a roundtable session about agile Development at HP Discover 2012 in Frankfurt.

The sesson will take place on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 14:45 to 15:30.

Don’t miss the chance to exchange ideas and experiences about agile development with other practitioners.

Here are the event details.