Want the best of Agilecraft (Scaling Agile support) & ALM (Test Management), go for CA Agile Central (Rally)
June 03, 2018

Want the best of Agilecraft (Scaling Agile support) & ALM (Test Management), go for CA Agile Central (Rally)

Sourav Singla ,Safe Agilist, CSP,  ICP-ACC, CSM, CSPO, SSM, LSSG | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with CA Agile Central (formerly Rally)

CA Agile Central is currently used by Development & support teams for all aspects of Application Lifecycle Management. After agile adoption, few of the development and support teams had been piloted on CA Agile Central
while a few are still using HP ALM. Most of the features of CA Agile Central are being used by those teams like agile portfolio management, work visualization, road-map planning, Rally insights, iteration planning defect management and regression test management. In CA Agile Central, management can set the overall roadmap and then see what teams are doing and how this aligns with your business strategy using various dashboards that provide friendly and useful metrics at the team till portfolio levels that help get an easy visual representation of what's going on.
It also helped in expanding team collaboration and with story, task and Kanban boards, it makes team members feel like they are working in co-located model which was the main reason behind choosing this tool.
  • There are dashboards that provide friendly and useful metrics at the team, program and portfolio levels which help get an easy and quick visual representation of what's going on.
  • Story management made easier, It offers a quick way of quickly entering a number of user stories without losing the overview, by just typing the title and selecting a few attributes directly in the overview screen.
  • Sprint management is seamless in CA Agile Central . It allows you to drag stories from the backlog to the sprints and back again. When a story is dragged into an sprint, it automatically checks the velocity for that sprint and indicates how many more story points can be chipped in. No more manual checking needed by scrum master with respect to allocation and team velocity.
  • Though CA Agile Central has many inbuilt apps, but it also has an App-SDK that allows you to build free app extensions using JavaScript and HTML. So, as per their needs, teams can customize & build various apps & dashboards.
  • Dashboard is an awesome feature which allows you to select and drag panels with all kinds of graphical information about the current sprints and releases.
  • It offers tremendous support for scaled Agile & almost all scaling frameworks are supported specifically tuned to SAFe .
  • CA Agile Central includes several applications but it also integrates well with JIRA, Confluence, Jenkins, Eclipse, Subversion, IBM, HP, Salesforce.com and many other products to allow users to organize projects to their specifications. So you can still use JIRA at a team level & CA Agile Central at the program & portfolio level for efficient tracking & management.
  • The custom tags are very helpful in segregating the user stories based on the project needs. Even though it's a very small feature, it is very effective ( you will realize why specifically if you are using JIRA).
  • CA Central Agile enables agile delivery with ease and provides comprehensive features to track time-boxes, Work In Progress items of the forecast increments.
  • Backlog management is hassle free since you can either drag and drop your user stories to the desired position on the backlog, or change a setting and manually enter priorities as a number.
  • Workflow is fixed in CA Agile Central & can not be customized as per your team needs, which can be easily carried out in JIRA. Example: In CA Agile Central we have states “Defined”, “In progress”, “Completed” and “Accepted” and there is no way to change those names or add new states into it.
  • Burn down charts can be generated only with fixed attributes. So if your team is not burning hours or your team does not create tasks, you will not get to see burn down charts.
  • Dependencies on stories cannot be managed properly here and it is easy to lose them. Also, after a change is done, instead of returning to the last page, it moves to home page.
  • Some of the options, are not available when the user story is viewed in the short view at the right pane. Most of the options are visible in the detailed view only. Trivial issue but very frustrating.
  • UI needs improvement. Every screen there are no popup windows. Its single frame UI makes it very difficult to open different tasks/stories & more frustrating if the senior management wants to track various stories or teams.
  • CA Agile Central comes as full kit of functionalities and you can not customize it. In JIRA we can buy plugins & only pay for the features we are using.
  • We has improved our accuracy in estimating release capacity and timelines and tracking team throughput.
  • Team collaboration has improved which is critical for us as teams were distributed at three locations. The Big Room Planning feature allows teams to identify the work to be done as well as dependencies and challenges. It helps team members to stay on the same page.
  • CA Agile Central has customized dashboards to view information in Scrum, Kanban or custom views. It helps senior management in closely tracking their releases & helps them in taking corrective action in case they feel milestones will not be met.
  • We are able to deliver every sprint into production since Continuous Integration environment has been setup with ease using github integration with CA Agile Central.
Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) & through Test Management were two critical factors that lead to selection of CA Agile Central (formerly Rally).

Executives want to maintain trace-ability & detailed test management options like we get in ALM along with SAFe implementation support. There are many features under tests feature which allows you to maintain your test suites. Also, if you want to scale agile while connecting the highest level initiatives down to the task level with accurate data,CA Agile Central is one of the best tools for that. It allows you to look at various release trains and how that then flows up to the overall program budget. On the top of that, the learning curve was not much with this tool as the Rally videos are extremely helpful. They are so short and so easy to understand, so team went through the videos with no external training before working on this tool.There are three editions available for selection & we opted for Unlimited edition. It costs around $49 USD per user per month. Pretty costly!

If your organisation is planning to adopt Scaled Agile Framework Methodology (SAFe) without being worried about cost, CA Agile Central is one of the best tools. Here, you can look at various release trains and how that then flows up to the overall program budget. You can look holistically across all the release trains with minimal effort and have it flow up to the program office’s budget. It also helps by easily maintaining backlogs and integrating more seamlessly into software developers releases, iterations, and features. It has no conformance issue as it supports almost all the browsers like IE from version 8.0, Firefox from 3.6 and the newest versions of Chrome (from 6.0) and Safari (from 4.0).