How well software is managed within a company is often a quick and decisive measure to understand if the company has a competitive advantage via accesses to information. A company that leverages software is often a company that is able to access accurate and timely information.
Marc Andreessen, in his now famous essay Why Software Is Eating The World, stated:
“More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software…” In fact, name any significant, successful, dynamic business today, and it will likely have a strong Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). What does it mean to have a strong ALM aspect of the business? The SAA follows a process that can look into the deep and dark secrets of how software within the company is defined, managed, and maintained.
An SAA is typically a week long exercise in which multiple interviews and discussions are conducted. Upon conclusion, a report is created that identifies all aspects of a companies ALM practice, and how well each area is being managed. The SAA is divided into eight practice areas:
The SAA will analyze and evaluate all practice areas and will yield a grade which reflects the maturity level of the organization within each practice area. After all practice areas are evaluated, the SAA yields a comprehensive report which documents the understanding of how mature the company in leveraging software assets.