What is most valuable?
The most valuable features are in-line editing, easy custom view setup, intuitive and helpful visuals (e.g., contextual formatting) and the collaboration features.
The CA Agile Central tool’s UI is robust and user-focused enough that it allows me to collaborate, capture decisions, etc. right there in the tool in real time, versus having to add any steps outside the tool – e.g., hold a meeting, take notes, then translate notes into the tool. That is a huge efficiency and accuracy booster for us.
The platform comes with built-in and easily configurable reports that are optimized for audiences up and down the stack, from team level through leadership. That means no translation or manual re-representing of information stored in the tool into complicated spreadsheets, PowerPoints, etc. I can easily run a view, screen capture, and pop in a slide as needed. This is a much better use of a PM’s time. We can now stop spending half our time running things and half our time translating it into pretty pictures for leadership, and instead invest more time in facilitating and improving the high-quality interactions that form the backbone of successful agile delivery.
How has it helped my organization?
In setting up agile delivery operations, CA Agile Central’s training and platform have been instrumental to our progress and success. CA Agile Central was a key ingredient to that delivery transformation. Also, CA has updated the tool to support Scaled Agile Frameworks, which is a key competitive differentiator for them.
What needs improvement?
I miss the “Rally” brand – I do not find the CA Agile Central branding as compelling, but I get the reasons driving the re-brand.
More importantly, we are seeing internal challenges from Atlassian because of their highly integrated suite that enables further automation and centralization of activities that are also highly necessary – messaging notifications cued off builds, collaboration on Solution Architecture Documentation, etc.
It would be good for CA to develop a strategy to address the competitive threat coming in from Atlassian.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using the product for about four years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I didn't encounter any stability issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I didn't encounter any scalability issues.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not engaged their technical support, so I cannot offer a perspective there.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Our enterprise was historically a Rally shop, so I did not switch from anything else.
How was the initial setup?
The setup was straightforward, as long as you have some grounding in agile processes and philosophies.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Frankly, pricing is expensive and needs to be carefully planned for when budgeting. Our licensing is handled by a centralized group at our company called the Application Lifecycle Management team.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
CA Agile Central/Rally was already embedded at my company when I came on board. However, while I have been here, there was a move from some factions of IT leadership to make us move to the IBM Rational Suite. We were able to push back on that edict by demonstrating the clear superiority of the CA Agile Central solution over IBM’s. However, there are still pushes happening from that team, focused on the higher cost of CA over IBM.
What other advice do I have?
Get training first on agile methodology. Then, consider engaging professional services to help you launch your first release, if you are completely new to agile. There is a very high benefit to bringing in experienced experts as they will greatly increase your chance of success.