Seems to make things harder rather than easier!
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated December 02, 2013

Seems to make things harder rather than easier!

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

Enterprise Edition

Overall Satisfaction

  • Gives you a good view into your current active work week/ active sprint
  • Provides a pretty good way to look at prior sprints
  • It has so much flexibility and power that it actually makes simpler tasks complex – particularly backlog management and scheduling things into releases and sprints.
  • It has a tough job of managing “epics” – things with 100s of small features, and being able to prioritize across them. Typically we have 2 epics in a release. We have no problem prioritizing epics, but it is hard to prioritize “stories” across epics. There are typically dozens of stories in an epic.
  • It works - we have been able to get the job done. We could probably be doing better with something else.
  • It helps us manage sprints, tie into auditing.
Assuming we were paying - right now my group gets it for free as the broader engineering organization pays for it. There would be switching costs. There would be pretty minimal data migration, but the biggest cost is getting people to learn a new tool and starting off on the right footing. Evaluation and identification of the right product is a big part of switching too.
Our core engineering team in our division pays for the application. As a company, we pay $35 / month per person for the Enterprise Edition. In my team, we are living with it because it’s free to us.

If I were to evaluate new tools, I would look at Pivotal Tracker again, and also have a look at Altasian. They have a big product suite that some of the team has used before.

Product Usage

70 - Software Engineering
1 - One person in our division is the main POC for Rally. In our team, we do everything internally – minimal assistance is required.
  • Track what we are doing from sprint to sprint
  • Track velocity/progress
  • Provides audit trail as we complete work. We can tie the loop off on what code actually changed. This important for SSAE16 compliance.
  • We found that the plug-ins offered some nice drag-and-drop functionality when review story status
  • We are considering integrating our Ideas board so it will feed directly into Rally

Evaluation and Selection

Pivotal Tracker
  • Product Features
  • Product Reputation
  • Vendor Reputation
We would have spent more time in a pilot mode. It would have been helpful to have a single team trial it exhaustively to determine if it was a good fit.

Implementation

We just got access and started creating projects. There is no formal implementation.

If you have different products/teams – it’s good to separate them out. There are many levels at which you can differentiate structure- custom fields, field values. You need to think through how common are your projects vs. how different and implement categories at appropriate level based upon that.

Make good use of tags on stories so you can group them together. You can tag features too.

There are different ways to get different views into the data. You really need to think those through.

Training

It more or less confirmed that we are using it the way they had in mind. We were hoping for a epiphany in terms of how we could use it better.

They also want to be a go to source for agile processes and have an online resource center. It’s not that great but had a couple of nuggets. It hasn’t really helped us too much and we are not too far off from the classical interpretation of agile.

I would recommend training, in particular for organizations that multiple on-going projects. The product seems optimized for larger, more complex teams and getting proper training on how to configure, administer and use the system would be beneficial.

Configuration

It seems a little needlessly complex
Keep it simple. While it's tempting to add lots of custom fields it becomes difficult to maintain consistent usage across a large team. Consequently the data become unreliable.
No - we have not done any customization to the interface
Some - we have added small pieces of custom code - We added some pre-built plugins. It was easy to do. Based on the plug-ins we saw we wouldn't have spent the time customizing it ourself.
The hook into Subversion didn't seem fully supported, although it did work. Made us wonder if it would break at a later date due to Rally upgrades.

Usability

We are trying to plan iterations where you pull stories off a backlog and into a sprint. There’s a screen which looks like it’s supposed to represent where you’d plan all your iterations. We have not been able to get the system to display what we want for inclusion, and we are technical.

There are situations where people cannot see certain stories. It’s confounding. Sometimes its because of permissions, but other times it happens for bizarre reasons. We’ve had to delete and recreate stories in order for them to show-up. It’s either buggy, or the nature of its configurability makes it more complex than it needs to be.
ProsCons
None
Do not like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Feel nervous using
Lots to learn
  • It was very difficult to manage epics and their child stories.
  • Scheduling of stories into sprints was never as easy as I expected it to be

Reliability

Don’t recall ever being unavailable.
The screens render relatively quickly but many actions that you would expect to require a single click require multiple clicks and pop-up windows. The extra windows and clicks make the product feel ponderous.

Integration

  • Subversion version control system.
Integration to Subversion required a custom module script to be installed. It shows that the check in of the code was prompted by the story. Rally provides a proof of concept/ reference implementation, but the team had to implement it. It is not as bad as it looks. I thought it would be hard.

Vendor Relationship

I was not involved in negotiating terms

Upgrading

Yes - Yes, Rally lived up to the SaaS standard of carefree upgrades