CA Agile Requirements Designer Review

​The scale possibilities are endless, especially when combined with all the other products that CA has to offer


What is our primary use case?

We use CA ARD to accelerate our testing. Currently, we write manual test scripts, and if you bring new people onboard, they have a learning curve because they do not know the products as well as experienced people. So, one of the primary things that we use the ARD for is to erase that SME knowledge versus newbie mentality. Once you put the requirements into the model diagram, the tool does all the test cases for you. It takes away all the time to construct test cases, so it is all automatic now, but it also levels the playing field. 

What is most valuable?

  1. Now, we get automated test cases, where before we did not. It cuts out the construction time of testing, about 75%, is what we found. 
  2. It is a store that we keep all of our requirements in where, before projects would come in and we would not have a place where we keep the past requirements so there was always a fight between development, testing, and the business writers because they can't remember how functionality works. Now, there is a black and white copy of how the processes are flowing through the system, so there is not a fight anymore about what is happening and what is not happening.

What needs improvement?

The only thing CA does not have today is a testing engine. So they have got the requirements piece, SDLC lifecycle with Rally (or whatever it is called now), but they do not have an engine to house test scripts to really pull together the testing pieces of it like HPE does. Really that is the piece that I would love to see them either acquire, build, or figure out how to incorporate into their test suite, because they have got every other software that you can think of except for that one piece that really is essential for a QA organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really stable. The learning curve depends on the talent of the people using it and their skills, but the stability is really good. CA has been great about helping if something goes wrong or breaks but there's not a whole lot of that. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scale possibilities are endless, especially when combined with all the other products that CA has to offer. If it is a company that has the means to be able to purchase all the pieces together to build a full scale model, then the possibilities are endless.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I was involved in the initial acquisition so I came to CA World two years ago and found the product and brought it back and then we piloted and then we rolled it out to the larger team.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

However, we are still not tapping into the full potential of the tool. We have only had the tool in-house for a year now, and we are getting ready to acquire or purchase more to make it a full scale rollout. I really think that the tool is getting ready to grow and to really expand its base at the company, so I am looking forward to growing with it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost of the tool was well worth the benefit that we saw on the back-end. We were able to scale down some resources to basically self-fund our ability to purchase the tool. It was a no brainer.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We, myself and someone who works for me, researched a lot of companies and a lot of software. This was the Taj Mahal of this particular ability to do model diagramming and automate test cases. 

We looked at HPE, Modius, CA, Conformiq, and TCS. The CA solution is so well-developed that it was really the forerunner due to the price and the use of it. 

I was involved in the initial acquisition. I came to CA World two years ago and found the product. I brought it back, then we piloted it, and rolled it out to the larger team.

Where I work there is a lot of red tape, because they are a financial company, not really a tech industry, so there are a lot of barriers internally. CA worked really well with us to kind of break down those barriers and find the solutions that we needed. 

What other advice do I have?

Start small. If you want to pilot the solution, because everybody starts with a pilot, pick something that is low complexity and low change, that way you can learn the tool and understand the full breadth of what it offers you, because we made the mistake of trying an agile transformation in one of our highly complex digital solutions. We only scratched the surface of what the tool was capable of because there were a lot of band-aids. There was a lot of, "Okay, let me go do this really quick," and not really understanding what the tool could fully bring and really learning about the tool. Really, just make sure you learn the tool before you start implementing and you will get a lot more use out of it. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: price. For our company, it is price. We have to make sure the bucks are worth their bang. Then really, it is the people, like the sales team, the support team, their response times, how friendly they are, and how honest they are because we have found dealing with vendors for two years now and there have been some dishonest ones. So, we really value CA, their teams, and how they interact with their clients. 

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