CA Agile Central Review

It is flexible enough to use for anything within the development lifecycle. Making some features more obvious would make them more useful.


What is most valuable?

We needed something that we could collaborate with and was easy to use, and easy to access for business analysts.

We are trying to be agile, but we still use waterfall for a lot of things. We are not working agile as much as we should. We don’t adapt as quickly as we should. The tools are all there; but we are not implementing it correctly and not enforcing the rules enough.

The most valuable features of CA Agile Central for us are:

  • It provides organization.
  • It's a good collaboration spacing unit.
  • It does a really good job of tracking overall statuses.
  • There's a ton of flexibility. I can use it for anything I can think of within the development lifecycle. So that's really nice.
  • It is user friendly.
  • It really helps us with tracking progress, so we can see where we’re heading.

What needs improvement?

It's tough to think of areas for improvement. I mean, I think it's all there. Making some of the features more obvious would probably make them more useful. Right now, there's a lot of power and flexibility; but it's not always obvious. There should be something in the way of best practices and suggestions, and to know what makes logical sense. You really need to have a good plan for it. I've seen how it can be mishandled and not implemented strongly to where it becomes more of a hindrance than a value.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the most part, the stability is quite good. We haven't had a lot of issues. There are little tweaks and quirks, here and there. I think a lot of that is because the tool is so flexible and powerful; and it can do a lot of different things if you want it to. You can kind of corner yourself, where you’re doing something not really modular. It is not really a stability problem, but in some ways, you could have too much content to the point that it drowns out the rationale for using the system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is incredible. It's not always straightforward and easy. It’s varied, but there is a lot of overhead in getting there. There is a lot of thought process that you need to put into it. People were already pressed for the work they already have. Asking them to set up entire systems to integrate and be flexible is quite a change.

How is customer service and technical support?

I can’t think of any big enough issues, so we haven’t used a lot of technical support. I did contact them with a small issue that went away and then came back. I didn't really have a lot of direction on that. It was a flow issue.

What other advice do I have?

Have a strong plan and clear requirements in advance for what you want to get out of the tool. You need to have strong leadership on the design: how you're going to use it, how you're going to set it up, what you expect out of it, what you might be integrated with, what you're angle is with the tool. If you just keep buying tools, you're not going to use them in the end; and it's just going to be a waste of money and a headache for people down the line using it.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor depends on which group gets to select the vendor, unfortunately. Price is always something, especially if finance is making the decision. When it comes to IT, I like flexibility and use of the system. There has to be more gain than effort. If it's too hard to implement for too little gain, then it's not worth your time. You're really looking for balance across the board. The cost has be there. There has to be value to it; so return on investment, the ROI, ends up being the big deciding factor in the end for any software company.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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