What is the Live approach to software development?

By Jason Meyers

When it comes to software development, there’s more than one way to finish a project quickly and efficiently while meeting all the necessary requirements.

Software development methods have changed just as much as the software itself has changed, and as a result, the tools used have evolved and changed, too.

Siemens Digital Industries Software developed the Live approach as a part of that natural evolution.

The Live approach is a set of six guidelines introducing a new philosophy to managing software development artifacts and development-related information.

The first four guidelines relate to the information model and storage and the final two relate to how information is accessed and shared.

Live software development infographic
The Live Approach

Guideline 1: Single ancestor

The work item class is the common ancestor in an inheritance hierarchy of all the information and artifacts related to the development activities.

This guideline essentially says all created artifacts and performed activities in the software lifecycle are work items.

Guideline 2: Single source

Instances of the work item class and the instances of all its specializations are “single source.”

All project information only exists once in the development environment.

Guideline 3: Single repository

The repository where items are stored should be logically unique.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the repository is physically one, but the repository must appear unique from the user perspective.

Guideline 4: Custom work item class specializations

Users can define their own specializations of the work item class to match their corporate or project needs.

This offers customization of the information to be stored in the work item class specializations and the work item class itself.

Guideline 5: Live features

A feature is Live when it’s an operation applicable to any instance of the work item class and of its specializations.

The larger the number and the greater the power of the Live features in a certain lifecycle management solution, the higher the benefits for its users.

Guideline 6: Exposure

When using Live features to access work items, the resulting information should be exposed in a way that is appropriate for every single user role.

Live features should be available to different user roles in the preferred format and with the specific content desired by the users covering a role.

Live software development taxonomy
Compliancy Taxonomy for Live software development

Each development environment can be compliant to these guidelines at different levels at different points in time.

Read the whitepaper to go more in depth with the Live approach and how companies use ALM software like Polarian to meet development and corporate goals.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at