CA Agile Central Review

Data visibility means I know the status of a release, though the Project Picker is not flexible enough


What is our primary use case?

We use it to track all of our work. We also manage our portfolio in it.

It works. It's a bit cumbersome to manage the Project Picker. As we sunset teams or projects close out - but we still have test cases tied to those teams or projects that are being used in other spaces - we have this monstrous list in the Project Picker that becomes really difficult to manage and find, and we can't clean that up ourselves. It would be nice if it was easier to do that and not lose your history.

How has it helped my organization?

There's familiarity. The teams have been using it for a while. Leadership is comfortable with it. That's huge. And from a price point, it's a cost effective solution for our needs.

What is most valuable?

Visibility of the data. If teams are tracking correctly and entering their information correctly, it's really easy to see where you're at, within your release, and whether you're on track or not. For our business model, we can't get everything out of the box, but we're a unique business so I understand that, but we know how to massage the reports to get what we need out of it. And so far it's done the best job for us.

What needs improvement?

I would like for workspace admins to be able to hide projects in the Project Picker and not lose any historical data; make them invisible to certain users, visible to certain users, depending on permission sets. That would be lovely. 

I'd like the ability to customize reports without having to incur Professional Services, or having to write my own code GitHub and then implement that as a custom report. That's untenable. It's not sustainable.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it's relatively stable. I've had very few instances where I've had an issue. I think CA is really good about communicating outages. Any troubles we've incurred generally haven't been on CA's side, it has been teams or functional managers not assessing impacts to anything they have in process that could be related to the outage that was communicated.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability works well for us.

How is customer service and technical support?

I've had pretty good responses with them. If I need help or we run into something that we believe may be a defect, I just open a ticket on the support site and I usually get resolution really quickly. 

There was one issue that we had where I was going to be out of town, and I'm the point of contact for our company, so I had to leave a person in the gap to get it to "done." And within a business day it was resolved. I was really happy with that because I was a little concerned.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor the most important criteria are:

  • It's got to work.
  • It's got to be stable. 
  • Cost, to be honest, is a huge factor. It's top three. It needs to be reasonable and affordable. I need to be able to make a business case and sell it to leadership, give them a reason why it's going to work better than what is currently in place. 
  • We need reliable support.

I rate it a seven out of 10. I don't rate it higher because of the things I said I needed more autonomy in being able to change. And while I have really good results and feedback from CA Support, I wish that Accounts were as responsive to my needs as the Support side is. And I get that we're probably a small fish in their pond of Accounts, but we still need help getting our work done.

If I were to advise a colleague looking into similar solutions I would say it's a good tool. I'd want to talk to them more about what it is they're trying to accomplish to find out whether this is the best fit or if they want to use something a little different. Agile Central will cover a lot of needs for you, but maybe it's too much for what you need. So I would want to dig down deeper into their requirements to make sure it's the best fit.

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