Rally Software Review

Makes it easy for us to track metrics, team velocities, what we should plan for/anticipate

What is our primary use case?

We are promoting SAFe within our organization and we have a organization that actually follows the Scaled Agile Framework. We're using Agile Central right now to track our users' portfolio items, our product features, our product backlog, our iteration status, and to track metrics. That's what we're using it for right now.

It's been pretty good. We've been using it for the last two and half years. We've tried a couple other products in the past, before we moved on to Rally CA or Agile Central 2. So it has really worked out very well.

What is most valuable?

The metrics - collecting metrics. It's because we've used several other tools in the past, and they don't give you a full indication of how well your teams are performing, at a portfolio level, at a product level, and at the team level. CA Central actually makes it very easy for us to track metrics for our trains, for our teams, to find out what the velocities are, what we should plan for, and what we should anticipate.

How has it helped my organization?

It really helps us scale in terms of our organizations, and be more predictable. That's one of the biggest advantages that the Agile Central tool has provided us. As I said, gathering metrics and being more predictable, that really helps us in the long run.

What needs improvement?

We have a couple of pain points, but I can't remember off the top of my head what those are. Every once in a while we'll submit feedback through their online tool. 

In terms of improvement, perhaps some more metrics. If they could add some additional, that would be cool.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's quite stable, we haven't had many issues. Every once in a while, we have had some problems with the total number of features that it runs into but other than that, nothing else.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't had much of a problem with scalability. It seems quite scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

There are times when we struggle with stuff but we haven't really called customer support yet.

There are some features of the product, a couple of the things, that were not really intuitive. We just had to go through online documentation. They have good online tutorials, support, documentation, where you can go and read up on things, so we just used that.

How was the initial setup?

We started using the product, so we were more of the consumer than the actual installing team. That was done by a different team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We explored a lot of tools when were trying to promote SAFe or Agile across the entire organization, so we moved through the Scaled Agile Framework. And then there were only three or four tools that we explored, and Rally, or CA Agile Central, was one of those that we thought would really work.

We looked at VersionOne, the Atlassian tool, I can't remember the name of it, I think it's just JIRA, and Rally.

What other advice do I have?

What's most important to us when selecting a vendor are 

  • ease of use
  • how intuitive it is
  • customer support
  • metrics, for us, that is really important.

I give it a solid eight out of 10 because of the way that things are laid out. It's more user friendly, it's intuitive. As I said, it's easy to use. I think they've done a good job with the metrics in general.

I would tell colleagues who are looking at this type of solution to do their homework and see which one works best for their company, for their teams, and for their organization. We went with Agile Central because of a lot of the things it provides, in terms of the features. I know every company is different, every team is different, and things that might serve their needs may be different than what is useful for us. My best advice would be to do their homework and explore.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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