What is most valuable?
Agile Central has really helped us document our Agile requirements. It's really strong in terms of being flexible and how it's set up, getting a team organized quickly and easily. In our particular organization, we're responsible for maintaining the tool portion of it. We are not so much involved in driving the development of the individual applications, so from a maintenance perspective, we kind of admin the CA tool. Agile Central is what you'd consider an Agile management tool. It's a way of logging and storing your requirements, defects, test cases and things like that in a collaborative and Agile fashion. Everybody can go directly into one tool, see what's going on, and track their respective status.
How has it helped my organization?
The biggest benefit that we've found has to do with the ease of use. We can get into the data and actually report out of it. Historically, we'd gather requirements in Word documents and things like that, so moving to a tool where you've got easy access to get to the data was a big win for us. The reporting in the tool is pretty good at the team level. It struggles a little more in a big organization. We are trying to look at things across all of the teams, trying to do reporting across the whole tool, so it's a little less good there, but overall it’s pretty nice.
What needs improvement?
In the next version I'd like to see more of a focus on reporting at that overall level. I want to find a way to do analytics on what's going on within the tool, how many people are using it, and not so much detailed reporting on individual teams. I want to see how the organization is doing as a whole as they use the tool.
As an example, one of the metrics that we'd like to be able to see has to do with this idea of teams that are meeting their commitments when it comes to deliverables. So when they come in to start a sprint, we'd like to be able to say "By the time the schedule ended, you hit this many of your stories, or features." And we'd like to do that, not necessarily for a specific team, but on the whole tool overall. We want to be able to compare between teams, and say "What is this team doing that's better, what is this team doing that's not." I think they could really do some work on the overall analytics. There are parts of the UI that could use a little bit of work, as they are older. It would have to do with changing the analytics and a little bit of the performance.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability has actually been really good. We use the cloud service, and while it does go down occasionally, they're on it and it comes back up right away. No major complaints there.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
In terms of scalability, we're a pretty big project, with thousands of teams out there, so sometimes we feel like we're pushing the tool to its limits. We start to see slow-downs in response time, and things like that, but it continues to function, for the most part. We'll see as it continues to grow. It usually shows slow-downs in the UI, or particularly in the web service interfaces, that are trying to fetch out data for large projects with thousands and thousands of features. Things can be slow because it's a lot of data to move.
How is customer service and technical support?
We do use technical support. We are engaged with support and we have several open tickets. The technical support has actually been pretty good. They're definitely responsive. Some of the problems that we run into are a little more difficult to solve, so the response time's not always there, but for the most part, it's good.
What other advice do I have?
I would definitely tell them to make sure that they plan out what it is that they're trying to accomplish with the tool. Making sure that they get a good structure set up, and if they are trying to manage multiple teams, try to establish early on what those teams will look like in terms of size and what they will be doing.
One of the pain points that we see in having so many teams, is that every team has its own slightly different thing that they're doing in it. This is great from a tool perspective that it is supported, but from a metrics and reporting point of view, that makes things difficult because not all teams are doing the same thing.