Agile tools are only meant to support development tools, not drive the process. According to Nick Muldoon, co-founder and co-CEO of Easy Agile, instead, development teams should have an evolving set of practices in place that enables them to continuously deliver value to customers. 

“That means they may start with a whiteboard, and in the times of COVID graduate to a digital story mapping solution like Easy Agile User Story Maps. Then in later years once they’ve mastered that level of Agile they may shift to Easy Agile Programs which supports a scaled agile transformation,” he explained. 

When deciding to put a tool into the mix, that tool should be able to easily and natively integrate with the platform developer teams are comfortable with and already using.

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According to Dan Rice, executive advisor for ValueOps/DevOps at Broadcom’s Rally Software, an Agile tool, to be really effective, needs to offer capabilities needed by teams, teams of teams, programs, portfolios, governance and leadership. So it has to provide a way to visualize work, drive data decisions and minimize the work. “Keeping engineers doing what they love, in the tools they love to do it,” he said. “Tools that require custom views and plug-ins, in addition to many clicks to accomplish a task, may appear to save you money up front but you will spend significantly more in the end in lost productivity.”

Tools can also support teams by enabling them to visualize plans and see whether or not they have unrealistic expectations, and track progress against release plans, changes and community risks. “Your tool should be flexible enough to allow your teams to work the way they want without constraining visibility of progress across the organization,” Rice said.

The Broadcom Rally solution is an enterprise platform built for scaling Agile development practices, while Easy Agile provides Agile applications for building user story maps, personas, roadmaps and programs. 

Each solution is designed to solve different pain points of Agile:

Muldoon explained Easy Agile is “customer-focus made easy.’ That’s our mantra.

Collaboration is so important with distributed teams and Easy Agile apps for Jira solves the problem of ‘taking it off the wall.’ That is, taking the Agile Post-it’s, string and paper off the physical wall and digitizing it in Jira.

There is a lot of pain with Agile in that Agile ceremonies are isolated from the delivery of value. However, with Easy Agile Apps for Jira, Story Maps, PI Planning, Roadmapping and Personas can all happen in Jira where the team is already tracking their work.

We aim to make common agile practices remarkably simple. So simple that anyone on the team can get involved.

We’re not creating one monster app to cover many different customers and problem spaces; we are creating apps that focus on one area at a time, and that fit together nicely like a jigsaw puzzle to provide a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts.

According to Broadcom’s Rice, Rally is used as organizations look to scale Agile beyond the development team. Rally helps reduce the complexity of planning and execution across teams from the entire organization.  Some examples include:

Rally enables organizations to easily visualize and track all of the work being delivered without the need for custom boards and views. With Rally’s Organizational Hierarchy, it is easy to quickly tie strategic initiatives to program and agile team planning and execution, allowing for a clear understanding of priorities and progress.

Rally’s Capacity Planning functionality allows an organization to easily model team and delivery group capacity against planned work so that organizations can create achievable plans and feel confident in commitments, building trust while identifying and understanding risks and issues that could have an impact on those commitments.

Rally’s robust Dependency and Risk Management capabilities help you quickly visualize and understand cross-team, program and portfolio dependencies, including misalignments and potential impacts to your plans without the need for complex plug-ins, queries or views.  

Rally’s Release and PI Tracking functionality allows you to visualize progress against release and PI plans, so that you understand when scope change may put plans at risk. This helps facilitate the right conversations, enabling you to steer work effectively across all teams and delivery groups involved in a release or PI.