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Agile Tool Evaluator Guide
Selecting an Agile Management Tool
As organizations continue to adopt and scale Agile development, the challenges of coordinating and managingmultiple teams, locations, and projects continues to increase. Complexity is amplied due to Agile’s embrace of real-time changes to plans and priorities. This results in the need for a way to easily plan and track this change within asingle, consistent management framework and is critical to maximizing the success of all of your Agile Developmentactivities.
In order to maximize value from an agile deployment, six key criteria should be considered when selecting an enterprisemanagement tool:
. Iterative, Feature-driven Development
Although it may seem to be an obvious mismatch, many teams attempt to use a series of traditional toolsthat do not facilitate planning and tracking by release or iteration, do not enable easy changes to plansand priorities, and do not use features (e.g., requirements, user stories, product backlog, features, …) asthe primary planning asset.
2. Integrated Lifecycle Management
Agile development follows a tightly integrated process that coordinates high-level feature planning,detailed task and test planning, defect and test management, and overall project tracking. Trackingproject information in multiple tools can inhibit accurate, real-time visibility.
3. Cross-Functional Teams
True support for cross-functional teams means consolidating and facilitating the project planning andtracking needs of customers, product management, project management, programmers, testers, etc. in asingle environment for improved collaboration and consistency.
4. Flexible Conguration
No two organizations operate in the exact same manner when it comes to organizational structure,terminology, product planning, project scheduling and tracking, and reporting. Any scalable managementtool should accommodate this type of exibility and allow organizations to dene, organize, and planaccording to their unique organizational requirements.
While complex needs may arise, the necessity to provide team members with a simple, straightforwardplanning, tracking, and reporting system is critical for broad-based success. Like Agile development,the more simple the tool the better. Most importantly, tools should never replace the benets achievedfrom daily planning, face-to-face communication, product reviews and retrospectives. An Agile lifecyclemanagement tool is only as good as the process it facilitates and the people that use it.
6. Enterprise Scale
An agile tool for deployment within an enterprise must be able to handle a sophisticated project structureand thousands of features and defects. In larger deployments, key concerns include both ease-of-use andsupport for thousands of items owing through an agile lifecycle with minimal overhead.With these criteria in mind, the Evaluator Guide outlines a detailed set of features an enterprise Agile managementapplication should enable for scaling Agile planning, tracking, and reporting across your organization. Highlighted isboth functionality needed as you begin to implement an Agile management tool and longer range functionality thatyou will benet from as your Agile process matures.