What is most valuable?
It's currently in proof of concept. Our development team in Prague is using JIRA/Confluence. We're installing Agile Manager to try to convert them into a standard more scalable solution. To me, the difference between what they're using now, the Atlassian product, and Agile Manager is that Agile Manager is much more scalable. If you're going to go into an Agile development environment, we definitely need to have something that goes beyond the number of users that we're going to have over in Prague. That to me is one of the biggest features. It's got a lot of the capability. I've seen Octane, so they're putting in some of the capability of Agile Manager into Octane. I do understand that over time, it will adopt more of the Agile Manager features.
How has it helped my organization?
I'm coming from a former company. Standards are critical - a common practice, common solutions - so we don't wind up with pockets of development teams doing their own thing. We have to be very careful with that. From an enterprise perspective, it's the ability to define common standard procedures and methodologies to use for the development. It makes it easier in the event that we do get audited.
What needs improvement?
I'm actually looking forward to leveraging more of Octane - on the capability in Octane and knowing that Agile Manager will move into Octane gives me that long term perspective. Octane's important in our environment because of the flexibility - the fact that you can get information from a development environment and know that you can shift your focus more to the left. From a testing perspective, I can see the areas that the developers are executing multiple times, where their defects are. That would influence the testing part of the organization to say, "Maybe that's an area that we should focus on, giving that there are multiple defects." I'm actually looking for that better integration using Octane as that mechanism and probably as the Agile Manager add-ons come in, expanding it.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Still a POC, but I've used HP products for decades literally. I've never had an issue with stability of the applications. Scaling is different. We've got ALM and in order for us to get better performance out of our environment, because we would peak out at certain times, we just added an F5 switch and we run two application servers and one database server and our problems went away. It's really just a matter of having that ability with a tool and Agile Manager I'm sure, would be something similar once we get a chance to scale.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It should be pretty straightforward. We're just going to add a load balancing switch. I don't know if we can have two instances of servers with Agile Manager. I'll have to find out. We're just using a single one now but that would be the intention - load balancing individuals, common database. It should take care of any size that we would have.
How are customer service and technical support?
We've not used it yet, and we're just kind of muddling through.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
With JIRA and Confluence, it's really scalability. We have to produce evidence to the FDA that shows, if we're questioned and have to go down to the actual test case, we don't have to worry about the software development. The way JIRA's working now you don't have a real test case. It's a bunch of lists and it's tags. You can't identify a test step, so you define a test case which is a single line, a step that includes multiple steps. That's not what any kind of FDA would want to see. They want to see a single action, proof that the action happened and with a screenshot of some kind. Right now, they're not able to do that with JIRA. We need to get that shifted more into a more standard solution.
How was the initial setup?
My team's been doing operations and installation of ALM and other HPE products for quite a while so the installation went very easily.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at Agile Manager several years ago before it was as mature as it is. That was maybe four years ago. The only other ones have been the open source tools which don't fit well in a pharmaceutical environment.
What other advice do I have?
We want our want own IDE in their environment. Octane provides the development team a seamless integration so they can develop their own tests. They can link it to Jenkins. They can kick off the bills. They can do the automation. To them, it looks very similar to their own IDE. It gives the project managers associated with those Agile teams the ability to see what those defects are and how that backlog is being burned down all in one solution. With Agile development teams, testers are no longer a manual tester. They have to have an integrated idea of what the product is. They've got to be developers that don't want to develop, essentially.
I think the biggest thing is standards. The way I work with any new kind of application is that I'll get the application in, set up a simple proof of concept, and I conduct my evaluation that way. Understanding the product and if anyone's done any kind of Agile development, they would know how the tool works. The question is cost. That's typically the delineation. You spend money for Agile Manager but you've got a company that stands behind it with service and support.