What is our primary use case?
I have a couple of individuals on my team that help manage the utilization of CA Agile Central to make sure that we are being as mature as we possibly can for Agile practices.
Performance has been good. It allows for a lot of customization, which has been very helpful, because we pull key metrics, report up to our unit CIO on certain areas.
How has it helped my organization?
The benefit of the solution is enhanced visibility, that is probably the key one. And it provides data points to enable continuous improvement.
The ability, for example, to use the deep export report, and pivot tables and that kind of thing in Excel, has helped us out a lot.
It drives the conversation behind some of the pain points the teams have, based on the data that we're able to pull out of the system. As a result of that, we're able to make better decisions, to become better as a whole.
What is most valuable?
The customization and the dashboarding that is available. We utilize some of the customization we put into play to help the business see inputs versus outputs, because we obviously use Clarity as well as CA Agile Central. Just being able to correlate the amount of hours someone is working versus what work they're getting out of Rally has been helpful.
What needs improvement?
More customization capabilities would be helpful. Providing a little bit more structure around how the system should be set up in terms of the hierarchy structure might be helpful as well.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability has been good. I don't think we've really had any problems. There have been a couple of issues, but they've been on our side in terms of Okta, the single sign-on solution we use.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability has been good. Again, the reporting, helps with it.
How are customer service and technical support?
A couple of my direct-reports have used tech support, and it's been fairly useful. If we don't have the solution developed at the point of time when we ask, they are more than willing to help us get to that solution, from a customized perspective.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
This was the solution that we had in place when I joined American Express - I'm a year into Amex. Seeing how teams utilized the solution when I initially joined, it wasn't streamlined, it wasn't something that we put much thought into. Creating a process to rally behind was, I think, a key aspect.
How was the initial setup?
I wasn't involved in the initial setup, but the upgrade, yes. I think the upgrade itself was straightforward. The rolling out across the organization was the complex part. Communicating the new benefits of the upgrade, and that kind of stuff, has proved to be difficult.
What other advice do I have?
When selecting a vendor to work with, the most important criteria are the scalability and the availability of the data to us, to be able look at in the reporting aspects.
You need to have a good strategy in terms of rolling the product out, if its something that you're getting into the first time. Make sure you have a strategy surrounding how the team should use the product, what it should be used for. Some of the benefits, some of the sign posts for success, need to be set up along the way, as well.