Category Archives: ALM

New Agile Project Management Module

On March 30, 2011 HP hosted an online event called “HP Software Expert Day”. Experts from HP responded 24 hours to questions around Quality Center and ALM raised from the community.

When I skimmed over the questions my eyes stopped at one named “Further development of agile tools”. The author was looking for better agile solutions than those provided today.

The HP expert provided some encouraging words about the future. HP is working on an agile project management module that is targeted for the next major release. Beyond supporting good management of requirements and tests it will also track progress and backlogs with burndown rates.

That sounds promising to me. As HP is pretty late on this I have the hope that it will release finally a cool agile management client which is build on the new REST API, so that it can be used across a variety of platforms.

The information was posted on the HP blog “Quality Center Information and News” on March 30, 2011.

New Version Of Agile Accelerator

HP announced by the end of December 2010 a new basic version of the agile accelerator 4.0. There is now a version for QC 10 and a version for QC11/ALM available. New support is included for unit testing. Development tasks can be tied to unit test cases (NUnit, JUnit, or FitNesse). Continuous integration tools like Cruise Control/Hudson can be called from within QC to start the build process. Agile reporting is streamlined. There is also a new team-based Sprint burndown chart that shows a burndown comparison across teams.

The basic module can be freely downloaded from this link.

Agile Support In HP Quality Center 11

On September 7, Raziel Tabib presented “New Features of HP Quality Center and Product Roadmap” in a Vivit Webcast. Raziel is a Sr. Product Manager in the HP ALM suite of products.

In this blog I review the webinar from an agile perspective. The complete Webinar along with Q&A is available as archived session for Vivit members. Note, that basic Vivit membership is free.

http://www.vivit-worldwide.org/article.cfm?id=1199

Raziel started the announcement with a big bang: The presentation content is no longer roadmap, but reality, “HP Quality Center 11 is available as of today”.

In this release HP sets the focus on the application lifecycle management (ALM) message. They even place an ALM product on the pricelist, “ALM 11.0”. It represents a suite of products that helps customers to manage their products along the entire lifecycle, e.g., Requirements Management, Development Management, Quality Management, Performance Management and Project Dashboard. This supports the agile perspective insofar as it provides a holistic view on all development activities.

One aspect of the holistic view is the integration into developer environments. QC 11 comes with an out-of-the-box integration into the eclipse IDE. Once a Sprint has started the developer can stay in his working environment – e.g. Eclipse IDE – and update user stories, tasks and defects. All changes will be reflected in HP QC. This integration provides a large potential to accept QC as an agile repository for the project. Overhead is minimized; no switching of tools (from developer perspective) once a Sprint has started.

Backlog management with QC 11 will be much more intuitive than before. The key to usability is a new feature named “custom ordering” in the requirements management module. With this long-awaited functionality it is now possible to drag a user story exactly to the position which represents its priority in the backlog. Prior versions of QC needed to use custom attributes and workflow programming in order to achieve that functionality.

A whole new set on reporting is available in Quality Center. From an agile perspective the possibility to integrate those reports into external web pages, like wiki-pages is the most interesting one. Now, teams can use their agile reporting environment of choice. QA managers can check-out their dashboards without the need to log into QC.

Sprinter

Manual testing is greatly enhanced by a new tool called “Sprinter” (any Scrum affiliation is purely coincidence J). Better screen usage, annotation possibilities, recording of test actions and parallel testing of multiple target systems summarize the new functionalities. Agile teams practicing “exploratory testing” will love that tool.

Side by side clients

Starting with HP QC 11 it is possible to have several client versions of QC on a single machine. While this isn’t an intrinsic agile feature it will contribute to a successful transition to agile development.

Agile teams can explore the newest HP QC 11 version with all of its features for agile teams. Still they can work with a different HP QC version in operation.

HP is taking the agile movement serious. Release after release they have added functionality to make life easier for agile teams. The only challenge for customers is that it is not that easy to see. Most of the features are just built-in enablers. With the exception of the agile accelerator experienced users are needed to turn these features into great agile solutions.

Agile ALM with HP and CollabNet

Gerald Heller

On June 15, 2010 CollabNet® announced a collaboration with HP that will provide customers with an end-to-end Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution that supports software application development from requirements definition, through development and testing, to release. The end-points of the integration are HP Quality Center and the CollabNet TeamForge™ platform.

While CollabNet® has a pretty general integration and synchronization framework, this solution is specifically interesting because of its agile context. The integration provides bi-directional synchronization of requirements, epics, user stories, defects, tests, and more.

I’m pretty impressed by the outcome. It allows developers, project leads and testers to stay in the environment they use most. For example, if a developer adds a new task to a user story in TeamForge/Eclipse, the task will also appear as a sub-requirement of a user story in HP Quality Center. As a result a tester, who works in Quality Center will have the same information at hand. All relevant data is synchronized between the two environments. Even comments are being synchronized.

This looks pretty cool to me. It will definitely be worthwhile to give it a try. There is quite some potential for increases in work efficiency.

There is a recorded demo from CollabNet®, which provides a good impression of the integration.