Rally Software Review

Allows us the opportunity to not need a Kanban board and physically co-locate it. We can do it online.


What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to track projects; not so much the reporting, but what you enter and the use of the product, and that's for tracking purposes. That's why it's important to me.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to better scrum and Kanban. It allows us the opportunity to not need a board and physically co-locate it. We can do it online.

What needs improvement?

Building custom reports is difficult and cumbersome. Trying to find the correct field name to test is only part of the problem. The field name and qualification changes depending on what level I am trying to report.

When reporting at the task level, the story needs the story qualification whereas when reporting at the story level, the qualification is not needed. When reporting at the task level, I cannot qualify based on Feature Group. This limits my ability to programmatically limit my results. The syntax of the reporting is also cumbersome. The help is only limited help and is not written for non-programmers.

Solution: Provide a query help that actually lists all of the fields at each level. Even when selecting “To see a list of all fields available for each type of work item, check your Web Services API documentation.”, not all the fields appear.

Better yet, make the UI more of a click&drag for building the report. The apps to start from are not always clear and useful. It would be good to take some of the canned reports, save them as my own, then modify them as I see fit, with columns and criteria.

It is easy to put information into Rally but it is all overhead without an easier way to get the data back out. I have team members who continue to double entry the Rally data into a spreadsheet just so they can more easily produce the reports that are helpful to them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Over the last couple of years, it's had moments of slowness, but it seems like they've resolved that, and every so often it goes down, but that just seems like it's a few minutes, so that's more like a support type of thing. So, it's not a big stability problem.

It is very hierarchical in structure, rather than relational. Maybe if it was built on a more relational database concept, it might be a little bit easier to manage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't see any scalability problems.

How is customer service and technical support?

I've talked with tech support but mostly about reporting and trying to get the information back out of it that we need. I use internal support teams, so it's Comcast employees that are supporting me.

Which solutions did we use previously?

It was a corporate direction to switch. The tool that we were using before was very poor at accomplishing what it needed to accomplish, so anything would have been better.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the setup; I was a consumer.

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

I was never part of the pricing and licensing. Training definitely; everybody that's using it should go through some training, but a lot of the training was very generic in terms of using CA Agile Central and it wasn't specific to the team's application.

The tool actually includes a lot of things that most teams don't do. That information was included in the training, but was never applied, and yet some of the things that we needed to do weren't covered in detail in the training like they should have been, so it was a lot of groundwork to come up to speed on that.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to make sure that you're implementing it in conjunction with agile methodology. If you implement this tool with waterfall, you will see that it's very oriented towards agile, and it's set up and structured to support agile and not set up and structured to support waterfall methodology.

I think that it isn't that flexible for helping with teams to migrate to agile; it's not very flexible with customizing for my team. There are a lot of pieces of data that my team needs, and we're having to use non-ideal fields for those. I know that that's the way that it's installed in our application, but a lot of the customization that's available in CA Agile Central isn't available to me to do. So, I would say that it would need to trickle down to the group admins, the ability to be a little bit customized, to be able to customize it to the team.

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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