Rally Software Review

With the Kanban board, you don't need to run projects with a scrum approach.

What is most valuable?

The Kanban board is probably the most useful feature. It is very customizable and is great for somebody who doesn’t need to run the project with a scrum approach. The second most important feature is the overall ability to customize almost all of the solution’s features and work products such as user stories, defects, and features.

How has it helped my organization?

The product helped engage the business product owners by increasing both their view into the development cycle and their responsibility to assist in setting up work priorities.

What needs improvement?

The weakest part of this solution is its primitive report generator.

The report generator is very simplistic with a limited capability to filter, sort and group, and the designer is not WYSIWYG. The product would benefit from a more capable browser and a more compatible report builder.

It needs a UI that has a Crystal Reports-like design and WYSIWYG capability. Right now, it is an early 80s throwback.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had many stability issues. It is a stable product, but in the past, CA has fixed some server-side issues or implemented an “improvement” without any patch notes. That is usually just frustrating but one time, an “enhancement” broke our link to TFS. It took us two days to re-enter all the users.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have no scalability issues. We have 185 users. However, because we are a cloud product, we are at the mercy of the internet routers and traffic.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good once you get their attention. What is critical to you might not be critical to them. As an example, we had a broken TFS connector. It took about six hours for them to understand the problem, and that they were the ones who broke it. Once that happened, they were very helpful.

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

We used Microsoft Project. At that time, it was very weak with agile projects. Prior to purchasing this solution, we created a vendor grading scorecard with the features that were important to my company. We started evaluating six products. We then eliminated three, re-compared them, and settled on this solution.

How was the initial setup?

Since we bought the cloud option, there was no specific setup. There was, however, lots of customization that we have done since 2012. It is straightforward once you are familiar with the product.

We also purchased five days of CA Agile Central on-site training. It broke down like this: one day for developers, two days for project managers/scrum managers, a half day for product owners, and a half day for administrators.

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

CA seems willing to give deep discounts when you have 100+ licenses.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated five other options. They have changed so much since we evaluated them in 2012, so it wouldn’t be fair to name them.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have adopted an agile methodology on a few small projects first and then work with IT and business colleagues to accept that methodology. We did that before we looked for a tool. That makes the purchase, acceptance, and customization of this tool much easier.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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