CA Agile Central Review

Furnishes visualization of what's in flight, enables us to move the cards across the board, and plan our releases

What is our primary use case?

Organizing all of our Agile work load, and projects that we have in the pipeline.

It's been good. I don't know that it's best suited for Kanban which is the Agile style that we're using. It seems a little more focused on Scrum. So having some more Kanban methodology built into the product would be nice, but it does allow us to move our stories along the board, and have a good visualization of where everything is in process. 

How has it helped my organization?

It probably would be mostly the visualization of what's in flight, and being able to move the cards across the board, and plan our releases based on completed work, which really is the goal of Kanban.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is actually creating a field within there for architectural review. So when teams are struggling or have questions on the architecture or strategy that they take, they can actually flag that particular story, release, or project. Those can then be reviewed by the architecture team and the teams actually get additional information on how to course-correct, build on the architecture that we're trying to build throughout the organization, and get over road blocks much quicker.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more Kanban support. As it stands, it doesn't seem to have the features or the layouts that the teams really need to be able to execute their tasks. It almost tries to force you into more of a Scrum style.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is great. We rarely have problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fine. We don't have a huge development team, so it doesn't really need to scale that big.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were doing everything Waterfall at the time.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at two different products, CA Agile and JIRA, and it seemed like there was less customizability for CA Agile, and that was important because we didn't want to have all the teams doing different things. So the lack of customization was a selling point for us.

Also, the reporting, and being able to roll that up across the verticals, was an important selling point for us.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are 

  • the support that we can get
  • the ease of upgrades
  • just having software that works. 

Even though it's not part of our core business, a lot of the supporting tools need to work for us.

Having the right tools is important, but more important than that is actually the culture, the people, and the processes. Take a look at your culture, your people, your processes. Make sure that those are what you need them to be and then select a tool that is going to work well with those objectives in mind.

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