I get first hand experience with the difficulty of running a team. Today I run the application dev team. This will only last until the team lead returns from a massively long vacation. However I see how frustrating and difficult it is. You need to track who is working which trouble tickets. Then you need to track their status.

This is an example of a bigger struggle in software development. Another example is the productivity of the waterfall method. You get big releases once every two years using that methodology. Not good.

How do you combat such challenges? Some say use good processes and great tools. The latest process fad seems to be something agile like Scrum. And the latest tool buzzword is ALM, or application life cycle management. I am not sure that I buy the hype.

One such ALM tool is TeamForge by CollabNet. Here is some guidance on how to choose and use such a tool. Make sure things are kept simple. Get input from your dev team leads. That will give you developer credibility. You might get the alleged 4x productivity gains. Personally I would settle for a 2x gain across my dev team.