Agile Manager Review
IBM Rational Quality Manager vs. HP Agile Manager


Valuable Features:

IBM Rational Quality Manager

The IBM Rational Quality Manager tools have a comprehensive suite of test artefacts that may be used for test planning, preparation, execution, and reporting. A new user could spend considerable time reading the user manual and then exploring the tool. But for this project the team grasped the basic functionalities quickly without using the manual. The team further developed their skills while using the tool for the project.

The features the team liked about the tool were:

  • The visual representation of the task board view
  • Ability to query work items
  • Drag and drop features
  • Reporting capabilities

HP Agile Manager

The team used HP Agile Manager to organise, plan, and execute agile projects. The team took half a day to familiarise themselves with the basic functionality of the tool and working on the tool gave them further insights. The tool is highly configurable, but no configuration was done for this project. The team worked within the limitations of the out of the box functionality.

The features the team liked about the tool were:

  • The tool gave great visibility on the project work with real-time analytics and dashboards
  • All estimations of tasks were summed up and presented at the user story level
  • Work items (tasks), flow from left to right according to their completion state
  • Once all tasks of a user story were completed, the user story is automatically marked done
  • User stories can be added to the product backlog and from there subsequently associated to a specific release and sprint
  • Defects and testing can be added to the backlog as well
  • User stories can be linked to defects. As long as the corresponding defect isn’t fixed, the user story cannot be set to done. This represents good agile practices
  • Sprint closure page gives the overall picture of what has been done
  • Retrospective tasks and information is easy to record
  • There were views which reflected taskboards that you might see drawn on whiteboards with columns and sticky notes that could be dragged and dropped

Room for Improvement:

IBM Rational Quality Manager

The teams noted that they would like to see improvements on the following:

  • A manual refresh was required every time to view changes, and not in real time
  • There was no visual indication that a task had not loaded correctly, so any changes made to it were not saved
  • The Save functionality was not consistent across the application. When AutoSave was checked, the system would save a comment while the user is still in the middle of writing, so ended up with a half comment. The comments were not editable
  • Discussion field was not there as an attribute when selecting the required fields for the query
  • AutoSaving was problematic and selecting the auto save feature didn’t remain after navigating away from the main page

HP Agile Manager

The teams noted that they would like to see improvements on the following:

  • The major drawbacks were in defect management and session sheet creation
  • While creating a new defect the user could enter only limited fields. In order to add more details or even to assign it to someone the user had to edit the defect after addition
  • There was no option to create session sheets
  • The session sheets were created as Word documents and uploaded. The maintenance of session sheets generated overhead as the existing session sheet had to be downloaded, updated and then uploaded again. This also did not allow for easy monitoring of individual tests progress
  • There were no out of the box dashboards for the testers
  • Defects can’t be linked to acceptance criteria
  • The tool is very reflective of Scrum terminology, therefore it would be better to use generic terms such as ITERATION rather than Sprint

Other Advice:

Read the entire comparison study of Traditional vs. Agile Testing here.

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

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