IBM Rational ALM Review

Rich planning features including Sprint, Sprint retrospective, and rules in Scrum framework

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for project management, using Agile Scrum. We are using it for requirements management and for test management. We have three products: one for requirements management, one for testing management, and the other for project and task management.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved relations with the customer through the Product Backlog and prioritizing their needs before launch. It has improved the cycle between the developers and the analysts, through redefining the acceptance criteria. Everything is clear from the beginning of the Sprint. It provides a lot of benefits.

What is most valuable?

The planning features are rich with Scrum concepts: Sprint, Sprint retrospective, the rules in the Scrum framework.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better reporting features. The out-of-box reporting is - I don't want to say limited - but the focus is on the Scrum and Sprint reports. We need more reporting features regarding the history of the work, tracking it more deeply. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has a high level of stability. It's up and running most of the time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not really an issue for us because we don't have a lot of users. The license is expensive. We have a limited number of concurrent users. We haven't tested the scalability. With our limited number of users, the performance is okay, the availability is okay.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have a maintenance license with IBM so we have technical support, but we have not had major incidents.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are technical support, and, of course, the total value of ownership.

In terms of advice, ultimately this is a tool. You have to change the process and train your people to utilize this tool.

I would rate Rational ALM at eight out of 10. It covers the whole process of application lifecycle management, from requirements definition and management through the development process by planning Agile Scrums, by tracking the work items from their creation to closing, and it's integrated with RQM, the test management software. It covers the lifecycle, implementing Agile Scrum in a very powerful way.

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