VersionOne, recognized by agile practitioners as the leader in agile management tools, today announced its Winter 2012 product release. The new release expands VersionOne capabilities in the areas of strategic planning and agile portfolio management through program-level Kanban boards, Epic-level project visibility and enhanced custom analytics. The new functionality is designed to help organizations better plan, manage and report on cross-project initiatives in sync with their agile portfolio management strategy.

As organizations scale agile to the enterprise, managing and reporting on portfolio status becomes increasingly complex. To address this, VersionOne has added high-level, customizable Epicboards and reports to provide easy visualization and status of agile portfolio initiatives. Epics themselves have become more powerful with the addition of several enhancements, such as drag-and-drop prioritization, dedicated workflows and a new summary dashboard to help product managers easily understand detailed progress and status. Additionally, a new Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) integration with CA Clarity has been delivered to help organizations integrate agile planning into their overall PPM infrastructure.

Key Highlights:

Improved Agile Portfolio Management
High-level Epics can now be easily managed in the same way as Stories on the Storyboard. All levels of project, program and portfolio planning and management – from strategic planning to tactical execution — can be outlined, tracked and reported on, making it easier to visualize and manage strategic cross-project initiatives.
• Teams can now plan at multiple levels, from overall strategy and vision through to iteration-level execution with full traceability
• Customizable Epicboards provide at-a-glance status for the user’s portfolio features
• Additional reporting options have been added to make analysis fast and easy

Easier Epic Management
Epics have become even more valuable with the addition of their own custom fields, ranking and workflow.
• Drag-and-drop Epic prioritization helps product managers to plan and communicate priorities for enterprise initiatives
• Separate workflow for Epics allows product managers to manage high-level features separate from iteration-level Stories
• New custom fields in Epics provide flexibility to define values that are separate from Story work managed by the team
• A new Epic summary helps team members to better understand the status, history and work allocation of the Epic

Improved UI for Custom Reporting
Maintaining a focus on simplification, Analytics has several custom reporting enhancements:
• Reporting Templates make it easy for new users to get started with Analytics
• A new Chart Selection Gallery simplifies the selection and use of charts
• “Multi-layer” charts help ScrumMasters create the visuals they need, incorporating multiple data series on the same chart
• Automatic data previews makes table selection fast and accurate

The latest release also contains updated integrations for VersionOne’s free, openAgile Platform. Agile project data can now be integrated with CA Clarity for PPM, in a new integration, using the Pervasive Data Integration Platform. The CA Clarity integration allows users to automatically synchronize project structure and summary data including begin/end dates and percent complete. A full list of updated integrations is available here.