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Top 10 Considerations for

Enterprise Agile Tools


www.VersionOne.com
Which Enterprise
Agile Tool is
Right for You?
With more than a decade of experience
helping organizations scale their agile
initiatives, weve seen first-hand most of
the pitfalls teams run into when they
dont plan ahead from a tooling
perspective.

What often starts as a pilot project can


soon evolve into an initiative spanning
dozens of agile teams and projects. As
agile gains momentum in your software
development organization, youll need a
tool that can grow with you and support
your emerging business needs.

www.VersionOne.com
Agile Your Way 1
Ease of Adoption 2
Ability to Scale 3
Project Visualization 4
Strategic Planning 5

Align Your Managing Complexity


Reporting and Analytics
6
7
Tool with Enterprise Collaboration 8

Your Vision 3rd Party Integration


Deployment Flexibility
9
10
Choose an agile management tool that
will allow you to realize your agile vision
down the road. As your implementation
grows in size and maturity, youll want a
tool that simplifies and accelerates your
adoption of agile. To help avoid the risk of
long-term rework or failure, heres a list of
the top 10 things to consider when
selecting an enterprise agile tool.

www.VersionOne.com
Agile
Your Way
No two agile implementations are the
same. And no agile implementation
ever remains the same. Over time your
agile processes will scale and evolve
and youll need a tool that is flexible
enough to adapt with you. Steer clear
of any tool that tries to impose a
pre-defined, one-size-fits-all approach
(even if the vendor claims to know
better than you) it will come back to
haunt you.

Considerations
Customizable methodology
templates and terminology to align
with how you do agile

Configurable workflows that allow


you to adapt your processes as you
evolve

Project workspaces that let teams


work the way they want within the
context of your organization

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Easy to Adopt
Shelfware as a service is unfortunately
alive and well in many organizations.
You run the risk of jeopardizing your
entire agile initiative if you choose a
tool that a) teams dont like and b)
doesnt fully support your agile
processes from inception to delivery.
Dont waste a year paying for a tool
that will be left to gather (virtual) dust.
Involve ALL of your key stakeholders in
your evaluation and select a tool that
will accelerate, not impede, your
broader adoption of agile.

Considerations
Agile process-based navigation
designed to accelerate adoption

Simplified UI that reinforces agile


best practices, making agile easier

A tool that your teams actually like


and will therefore use

www.VersionOne.com
Simple to Scale
You might be starting out small with a
few teams, but envision what it will be
like when youve implemented agile
across your entire organization. As the
number of projects and teams increas-
es, youll potentially have thousands of
stories, defects, epics, and issues to
keep track of. And with distributed
teams in different locations and time
zones, it will get very chaotic very
quickly without a solution in place that
can grow with you over time.

Considerations
All-in-one solution that supports
the complete agile lifecycle from
inception to delivery

Project rollups, program support,


and cross-project teams

Rich reporting and analytics for


visualizing status and progress at
all levels of the organization

www.VersionOne.com
Project
Visualization
As your agile initiative grows, so too
does the complexity of managing it.
With so much project data flying
around, it can be hard make sense of it
all, especially when things keep chang-
ing. Sometimes you just cant see the
forest for the trees. Whether its track-
ing work items, understanding relation-
ships and dependencies, or re-planning
on the fly as business priorities change,
youll struggle to keep pace without a
scalable enterprise agile tool to help
you.

Considerations
Visual drag-and-drop epic, story,
task, and test boards for simplified
project tracking

Timeline and dependency views


that help you sequence work to
prevent scheduling conflicts

Relationship diagrams and hierar-


chical views that make it easier to
understand how everything fits
together

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Strategic
Planning
When strategy and execution dont
align the outcome is never good.
Management decisions about the right
business initiatives to focus on need to
be closely aligned with the teams and
projects needed to make it happen.
Look for a tool that simplifies high-level
planning and makes it easy to track the
progress of your business initiatives.
And make sure it helps you connect the
dots between the portfolio, program
and team levels to keep everyone
focused on the top organizational
priorities.

Considerations
Decision support capabilities for
portfolio level planning based on
business value and risk

Kanban style epic boards for track-


ing and managing strategic initia-
tives through to completion

Multi-level planning approach with


the ability to break epics down into
individual features, stories and
tasks

www.VersionOne.com
Managing
Complexity
Sooner or later youll reach a tipping
point when managing multiple projects
and teams will feel like its spiraling out
of control. How are you going to coor-
dinate program delivery, track progress
and report on overall status? How are
you going to strike the balance
between process consistency and
letting your teams work the way they
want? And what about cross-project
teams? If it sounds complex it is
unless you have the right tool in place
to help you.

Considerations
Configurable project and program
management to match your orga-
nizational structure with rollup
reporting

Flexibility to let teams work on a


single project or multiple projects
at the same time

Ability to understand cross-project


dependencies and visualize how
stories are related

www.VersionOne.com See an Agile Demo


Reporting
and Analytics
Inadequate reporting can leave you in
the dark when it comes to getting the
visibility you need to monitor your
projects and make fact-based decisions.
You wont know upfront all the reports
and metrics youll want to track as you
extend agile across your organization
or what the business will ask for. With
all the different stakeholders involved,
the one thing you can be sure of is that
youll need complete flexibility to slice
and dice your data in a way that makes
the most sense for your organization.

Considerations
A wealth of best practice, pre-pack-
aged agile metrics and reports to
get you started

Custom analytics that allow you to


design your own dashboards and
reports from scratch

Direct access to your data so you


can build that one-off report that
someones just gotta have

www.VersionOne.com
Enterprise
Collaboration
Collaboration and communication are
essential to agile success, whether its at
the team-level, enterprise-wide or with
customers. Yet with distributed teams,
changing priorities, and accelerated
delivery cycles, keeping everyone on
the same page is more challenging than
ever. Helping people and teams collab-
orate more effectively, regardless of
location, needs to be front and center
and not an afterthought.

Considerations
Team-level collaboration enabling
rapid communication and decision
making amongst team members

Enterprise group collaboration


capabilities to make timely, organi-
zational collaboration easier

Ability to engage directly with


more of your customers and
capture, collaborate on and priori-
tize feedback

www.VersionOne.com
3rd Party
Integration
Theres not one tool out there that can
do everything. Build out your internal
ecosystem with tools that work well
together, and integrate your agile
management solution to create a
unified environment. Watch out for
proprietary integration platforms that
limit what tools you can integrate with
and hamper your ability to extend
individual integrations to better suit
your needs.

Considerations
Open, web-services API with .Net
and Java SDKs

Pre-built connectors for leading


commercial and open-source
development tools

Option to build, modify or extend


connectors to align your unique
internal business processes

www.VersionOne.com
Deployment
Flexibility
Dont let deployment options (or lack
of) be a show stopper in selecting the
right enterprise agile tool for your
organization. Decide what makes the
most sense to support your IT require-
ments software on-premise or in the
cloud and make sure youre not
locked into that choice if your needs
change. Whether its for peace of mind
or corporate governance, you should be
able to manage your software the way
you want.

Considerations
Flexibility to choose the deploy-
ment approach thats right for your
organization

A solution architected from the


ground up to support both SaaS
and on-premise deployment

Portability to start with one


approach and easily transition to
the other if your needs change

www.VersionOne.com
So there you have them.
The 10 essentials for agile tooling.

Agile Your Way


Ease of Adoption
Ready to align
Ability to Scale your tool with
your vision?
Project Visualization
Strategic Planning
Managing Complexity
Reporting and Analytics
See an Agile Demo Ask An Agile Expert
Enterprise Collaboration
3rd Party Integration
Deployment Flexibility

www.VersionOne.com