Application Management Lifecycle

In a previous Blog I spoke to Application Management from the point of view that they do not actually develop the application but manage it throughout its entire lifecycle. This is done through the Application Management Lifecycle along with Operational Models.
Operational Models are the specifications of the operational environment in which the application will run after it has been deployed. This model is used to simulate and evaluate the live environment during the Design and Transition stages. It also ensures that proper environmental requirements and sizing can be documented and understood by all groups or teams involved with application development and management.
Many of you are familiar with “Software Lifecycle (SLC) and “Software Development Lifecycle” (SDLC). These are use by application development and project teams to manage the designing, building, testing, deployment and support of applications.
From an ITIL perspective the Application Management Lifecycle looks at the overall management of applications as part of the IT Services. It consists of six phases and takes a much more holistic view on:
  •  Requirements: How requirements are gathered. There are six: Functional ,Manageability, Usability, Architectural, Interface, Service Level
  • Design: How those requirements are translated into design specifications. This is the design of the application and the operational model. Considerations for both application and system architecture are strongly related and must be aligned at this phase
  • Build: Both the application and the operational model are built, tested and readied for deployment. Testing is part of this and the deployment phases. It is used to validate both the activities and the output of both phases.
  • Deploy: How the application and the operational model are incorporated into the existing IT environment.
  • Operate: How the service is delivered and the performance of the application is monitored and measured against established Service Levels and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
  • Optimize: How the results from performance measurements are analyzed and then acted on. Two Critical Success Factors (CSF’s) for this phase, are to maintain or improve the Service Levels and to lower costs.

An important fact to remember about the Application Management Lifecycle is that it is circular (Fig 6.5 SO pg130) and that the same application can reside in different phases at the same time. For example, a previous version of an application can be live in operations phase, while the current version may be in the deployment phase, while the future version may be in the design phase of the Application Management lifecycle. For this reason strong version, configuration and release controls should be in place.

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