CA Agile Central Review

Capacity and release planning help me determine potential velocity for each of our teams


What is our primary use case?

As a Scrum Master, helping the product group define feature stories, and portfolio management, and helping manage the teams, their scrum backlogs, their performance, and velocity.

It has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us not to have to use any sticky notes. We project up every day, on a daily standup using the iteration planning part of it, and using the post-it portion of it in the Kanban, to communicate daily with the team on how things are going. 

It helps me to have a dashboard where I can see what things are not being worked on, what things are blocked, for instance. It helps me evaluate teams' historical performance using velocity charts. 

Capacity planning and release planning for the next PI help me figure out what the potential velocity is for each of the teams. It rolls it up, so that across teams we can figure out how many features we think we can get in for the next PI. 

And we've actually used it for virtual PI planning as well. We have teams in different locations, and we actually virtually do PI planning, big-room planning, using the tools so it's been really helpful there.

What is most valuable?

I like all the features of it, especially the Team Planning board, and the Release Tracking. It helps us track the features and stories that line up with those features. I like it for the most part, and how it works.

What needs improvement?

I can't think of any off the top of my head.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have found it to be fairly stable. I know there have been a couple performance issues when we're all on it, but I think that was maybe about six months ago, maybe when we went to the cloud. But since then I haven't experienced any performance issues. I think that's really gone down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well in terms of setting up the workspaces and the hierarchy, we find that that works really well.

How is customer service and technical support?

We've used tech support very little. But we're satisfied with the support we've received.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using Team Foundation Server (TFS). But some people were using JIRA, so there really wasn't a consistency there. We switched because it was really determined that it was probably the best tool out there to use.

How was the initial setup?

It was actually pretty straightforward, and it did seem more intuitive than what we were using, which was TFS from Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

When our company is looking for new products, and new vendors, the criteria is more of a consensus, or global acceptance across the board, and executive support. I'm sure price tag comes into play.

I give it an eight out of 10. I tend not to give anything a 9 or a 10, because I always think there is probably room for improvement on it, not that I can't think of anything right now. It's not perfect, but it's definitely very good.

I would tell colleagues looking for a similar solution that Agile Central is very easy to use, and it's easy to build dashboards. It's very intuitive. I'd recommend it.

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