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IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform

Governing software and systems delivery


Rational software - Software and system development

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  Development principles
  Governance
  Thought leaders

Governance at the software and systems delivery level plays a major role in helping enterprises meet businesss imperatives — and the IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform supplies the automated controls that managers need to institute it.

Governance consists of two components:

  • Establishing chains of responsibility, authority, and communication that empower people to take action.
  • Establishing measurement, policy, and control mechanisms that enable people to carry out their roles and responsibilities.

Effective enterprises have interlocking governance structures at all levels. Within a software and systems delivery organization, such a structure provides the control managers need to:

  • Keep every project aligned with strategic business objectives.
  • Consistently deliver high-quality, reliable software on schedule.
  • Allocate and control resources to ensure good returns on investments.

By achieving good governance for their development and delivery processes, software organizations can transform themselves from cost centers into strategic business assets and support transformation for other lines of business throughout the enterprise.

The IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform provides you with:

The capacity for business on a global scale.
The flexibility to respond to changing business demands.
The ability to comply with mandatory regulations and manage risk


Capacity for business on a global scale

Effective governance for geographically distributed teams is an essential component of achieving global business capability. Organizations need to:

  • Accurately assess the best distribution for project resources.
  • Support productive collaboration among teams in different time zones, countries, and companies, including external vendors.
  • Keep multi-sourced projects aligned with changing business requirements.

Rational supports judicious resource allocation decision making by giving organizations an aggregated view of their software investments so that they can manage them portfolio-style. By applying objective measures, they can continuously check alignment with business goals, assess project value, and prioritize resources accordingly.

As complex software projects morph their way through development, the IBM Rational automated control and communication infrastructure keeps multiple teams on top of changes. Every member can assess the potential impact of these changes on other projects – even those on different continents or in different parts of the enterprise.


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Flexibility to respond to changing business demands and agility to deliver high-quality software to the marketplace quickly and cost effectively.

Modular systems are the most cost-effective way that software development and delivery organizations can support business flexibility and agility. They enable businesses to reuse existing technology assets and processes in new ways. Those that are based on open computing standards that maximize interoperability and scalability allow organizations to react quickly to new market opportunities. They give organizations maximum flexibility in specifying development solutions, enabling them to make the best possible use of available technologies and talent and to consider the most cost-effective development strategy — whether it’s buying new functionality, evolving an existing application, building custom code or integrating a packaged solution.

However, before companies can take full advantage of modular technology, including service-oriented architectures (SOAs), many must undergo a business transformation that includes:

  • Identifying core business areas that could use modular technology most profitably, and then designing or modifying the area’s business processes to support it.
  • Assembling software development and delivery teams with multiple skill sets, encompassing knowledge of both new standards and legacy systems.

IBM Rational provides everything organizations need to approach organizational transformation as a well-governed project in itself, offering comprehensive process modeling and process guidance based on best practices harvested from more than 25 years of in-depth experience. Managers can start by capturing current activities and workflows across the enterprise and then simulate alternative scenarios to determine where technology improvements would deliver the greatest business value. This modeling capability also makes it easier to prioritize new initiatives in the context of existing projects and other internal system and process improvement needs.

An essential component of any organizational transformation project aimed at establishing a service-oriented architecture is establishing a well-governed business process for developing and delivering service-based applications. Here again, IBM Rational offers a full complement of products and services, based on expertise in process modeling and best practices.

Working within such a well-governed process framework gives organizations visibility into their operations, for greater control and efficiency. This results in higher quality software and frees up resources for the next initiative. Greater efficiency allows teams to move forward, affording the luxury to focus on what’s new and better instead of on maintenance and reengineering.

In other words, better development governance opens the door to innovation. And, in a complementary way, it also opens the door to greater collaboration up and down the supply chain.


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Ability to comply with mandatory regulations and manage risk

Today’s software development and delivery organizations must support their company’s ability to do business around the globe by creating products that comply with different regulations in different locations, including:

  • Internal company policies and controls
  • Government legislation specific to every industry and every country in which their company markets

This can be particularly challenging if they outsource project deliverables to partner companies in multiple countries. The flexible IBM Rational process framework, together with IBM Rational automated requirements and change management tools, helps organizations meet this complex challenge, providing ways to specify and track changing regulatory requirements across the entire development and delivery lifecycle.

In addition, these capabilities help managers manage the inherent risks involved in software projects, which currently have a discouraging 66 percent failure rate. From asset discovery through solution deployment, IBM Rational solutions can provide a holistic view of an evolving technology to all stakeholders in the software development process, including:

  • The line-of-business organization that drives business strategy.
  • The software development team that enables that strategy.
  • The IT team accountable for day-to-day operations.

This top-down and bottom-up visibility into project progress, quality, and operations is supported by a consistent set of correlated data. This enables both business and technical managers to pinpoint issues and facilitate rapid resolution — to ensure that the project will achieve expected business benefits.

During development, stakeholders can engage in effective, collaborative decision making, based on objective data. Once a solution is in production, comprehensive monitoring capabilities empower operations teams to effectively resolve problems in complex, multitiered environments. Dynamic provisioning automates the time-consuming and error-prone task of updating application software and middleware across multiple servers, clients, and pervasive devices. And business process monitoring capabilities allow teams to compare expected results to actual business results.

With the IBM Rational process framework, each process iteration combines a mix of analysis, design, construction and testing activities, and results in a demonstrable form of software that can be validated and refined by users. Producing multiple iterations helps reduce project risk by providing tangible checkpoints along the pathway to a complete solution.

Read more about the business value of software development and delivery:

The following PDF files require Adobe® Reader®


Part I: Current Trends (109KB)
Part II: Reducing Software Product Complexity and Improving Software Processes (127KB)
Part III: Improving Team Proficiency and Improving Automation (121KB)
Part IV: Accelerating Culture Change Through Common Sense (96.6KB)


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Highlights

Analyst report: Gartner Application Development Software Market Share Report (47KB)

Article: Introduction to the IBM SOA programming model

White paper: A Practical Guide to SOA Development (5MB)

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Webcast: SOA Development with the IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform

Event: WebSphere Live for SOA