Agility Review

Good reporting, offers multiple planning levels and helpful features for iteration planning

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution to do the following:

  • Define portfolio epics. 
  • Define strategic themes and link portfolio items to them.
  • Create features under portfolio epics.
  • Create enabler epics that encapsulate governance artifacts.
  • Create value streams (operational and development).
  • Associate portfolio items with value streams.
  • Roll up features and users' stories and tasks to achieve portfolio items and value streams.
  • Create teams and associate tasks with teams.
  • Assign points to user stories.
  • Assign hours to tasks.
  • Calculate the velocity of the team showing how many points they can take on in each iteration.

How has it helped my organization? Agility helped our organization define the Enterprise Value Streams. These value streams account for all the activities that contribute to the bottom line of the organization.

In the Agility tool, you can derive all user stories, features, and epics from the top-level portfolio items and value streams. Any work that is done must contribute to the value streams, otherwise, it should be questioned why that effort is being executed.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are:

  • The associations between the development tasks and how much these development tasks contribute to advancing the bottom line of the organization.
  • The rolling up of work done on features to epics, both for portfolio epics and enabler epics.
  • The ability to define multiple planning levels, so each team within the organization can use their own planning level without affecting the work of other teams.
  • The ability to define iterations, including iteration planning, iteration closing, carry over, and tasks.
  • It can generate reports showing a burndown chart, burnup chart, and the planned vs actual velocity.

What needs improvement?

The user interface can be improved by adding Save button to the popup windows that are displayed when you click on a child item. The current behavior is a new tab in your browser opens up and shows the child item content. It is intuitive to search for "Save" button after you make your changes but there is no "Save" button. You just need to close the tab and go back to the original tab and refresh and this is cumbersome. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Agility for one year.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Azure DevOps was used by the development teams but was not adequate to manage the enterprise-level planning exercises.

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

You get what you pay for. Don't let your development teams dictate what the portfolio management team should use as the main tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated both Jira and Azure DevOps before choosing this solution.

What other advice do I have?

If your organization is adopting SAFe (ScaledAgileFramework) processes and methodologies, Agility is the tool to manage those processes.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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