Rally Software Review

Its Excel plugin provides real-time extraction of data. On the test case level, I cannot create a day-over-day report.


What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it follows the agile methodology more than ALM or JIRA. However, I know companies using more than one tool, separating test management and requirements, which I agree to.

Currently, I would prefer to use QAComplete by SmartBear to track test cases, since CA Agile Central doesn’t work well with reporting on that level or for that matter on any level.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the jobs that I adopted was to design procedures using CA Agile Central. In the beginning, without a procedure (not sure if the online help has much “method” suggestions, which it should), it does allow the agile process to be followed easily from features > user stories > team capacity > sprint sizing > test management and defect management. If properly used, it can be an amazing tool relaying to scrum masters, project managers and for all management levels to show exactly how a sprint is going. I will say the CA Agile Central Excel plugin is great for real-time extraction of data, i.e., if you know how to use it correctly, and out-of-the-box you will not know the hidden tricks that I have learned. But, CA Agile Central Support is actually very good.

What needs improvement?

On the test case level, I feel there are a couple fields missing, i.e., I cannot easily create a day-over-day report. I cannot find out what is planned for the QA team, as I cannot track what is “ready”, or as to the day when it’s planned to execute.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for one and a half years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No outages have yet been experienced.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are always latency issues when accessing anything in CA Agile Central Portfolio Manager; it takes a good 10 seconds to load. This isn’t only due to concurrent users, it can be the case at 1 AM when no one is on. It hasn’t been that much of a nuisance.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support a 10/10. The funny thing is that I didn’t care much for the CA Online Support. I didn’t know there was a ticket support system. However, once I did, my goodness they were great in returning answers.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We did previously use HPE ALM. HPE ALM didn’t produce much of good reporting, yet neither does CA Agile Central. Plus, the agile process was all wrapped up in CA Agile Central, so we decided in our department not to maintain two tools. Other departments and UHG do use both tools, and some HPE ALM still.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very simple; it was probably easier than HPE ALM.

One major problem when obtaining CA Agile Central is ensuring the framework is exactly what you want. Many don’t look at this aspect and later realize that they have lost traceability and that they should have created a dropdown menu instead of free text (i.e., there is a defect found in the free text field – this should be a code drop version, adaptable by iteration). Yet, I’m still not sure at the moment what is and what isn’t adjustable since I’m not an admin. However, from what I did hear is, when something changes, it may change the enterprise and not just the project; not sure about that yet though.

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

Count the cost! Find out what you have in place and how much longer you are charged for and then compare this to your budget. I find it a big waste in having too many tools, but it really matters as to what you want to see and how much you want to maintain. For example: With the SOP that I created for using CA Agile Central, I can create almost perfect reports from Excel. However, the problem here lies in Excel! You need manual intervention to formulate and macro out the data, thus involving more costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Only afterwards did I evaluate other options, since I was not a decision-maker; they already owned HPE ALM and CA Agile. SmartBear QAComplete is a great tool and probably my number 1 choice, i.e., if I had the choice. It also works with SoapUI, XML, Selenium and manual scripts.

What other advice do I have?

I would consider it highly. Be sure what you want to accomplish; it’s not reporting-friendly. It is good with team burndown and sizing.

Although, it’s agile-based, it’s not like HPE ALM that informs you via emails when something changes, i.e., even if you enable notifications, it’s fluky, as you get more emails than needed. CA Agile Central has a dashboard per user feature, as to when logged in that must be viewed.

The key thing is process! You must know how it works and how you want to use it, before you implement it. To be honest, there is only one way to use it that I have identified above.

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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