Rally Software Review

JIRA can do incident management, work configuration, and a lot of other different things. But we haven't found anything as compelling as CA Agile.

How has it helped my organization?

The tools are not overly complex for Agile. It appears that CA has recognized that. They're not just building the connector for Rally, but they are also allowing other groups to build connectors from JIRA into CA PPM and from other tools to CA PPM.

If you are looking at open source products, why isn't somebody building an open source product so that it could actually do this interface? I build open source interfaces that allow me to get to use different products.

In terms of the APIs, you have consulting companies that are building other products that you buy and you pay for maintenance

In the open source community, they are attempting to tie the old to the new, or they are just looking at the new. In the open source community, there's a lot of need for tying the old to the new. (The old refers to CA PPM.)That's the old way to do project management, which involves governing and controlling.

The new way is Agile. While you still have to do some governance and control, Agile allows you to get away with a lot of things that CA PPM doesn't allow you to get away with.

There is a need to connect these two elements. What I'm seeing in the open source community is more of a focus on the new products.

There is a lot old stuff out here that has to be connected to the new. You can't just ignore it.

The Agile release management is ready to go. When I take this function and try to run it as a discreet element, the other function of the system is rendered as a separate sprint.

All the other vendors wrap around this core. They interface with SharePoint and Clarity. They will also interface JIRA to Clarity. It is a methodology. It is basically taking the Agile methodology, doing some things, and not redefining the whole process. It is, rather, adding some additional components to it, so you can understand what you can do with it, and what cannot be done with it.

What is most valuable?

PPM: Has administrative overhead associated with the waterfall approach and a lot of DTL tracking.

JIRA: The scrum masters have a lot of flexibility in the sprints in terms of how they actually track work. In financial organizations, or in organizations that are regulated, you need to be able to have that governance component that PPM provides. You also need to provide the flexibility, which is what JIRA or Rally provides. JIRA has been around for a long time. It is open source, so a lot of people have moved to JIRA. It is a suite of products and not just one piece. It is not just about Agile development. It can also do incident management, work configuration, and a lot of other different things.

We have adopted JIRA, as well as Rational. Connecting both PPMs is important, because you still need the governance.

However, we haven't found anything as compelling as Rally. If we didn't have JIRA, and we didn't have other tools, Rally would probably be a strong consideration. However, we already have teams that are familiar with the other tools.

You have intake and change management, which is part of PPM, but you can also tie into it. You have release management and testing.

What needs improvement?

It would really be interesting to see an open source community that actually focused on how we build the connectors from the old to the new, and then make that transition possible.  Once you build those connectors, you transition the old into open source, so the old goes away.

I was just looking at a small company and their release management. It felt like it was very close to this, but it's the opposite end of the spectrum. They tie in to CA PPM and they do the development and the project management. 

They are doing Agile this way, but they have these other components that they have to put in front of it and behind it, to make it tie into release and change management.

Agile comes at this development piece of work. It's now production ready and I put it on the shelf. Most systems don't allow that. I put it on the shelf. Somebody else develops another piece of work. My piece of work has to come back off the shelf. 

They interact with one another, so I can't just say this one is ready for production, and then that one is ready for production. I have to go into a system test mode, and not just the function test mode. Agile generally doesn't look at it that way. Agile is really built to run on building services.

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