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    September 22, 2023

    4 Ways Your Agile Management Software is Failing Your Digital Transformation

    Digital transformation initiatives remain urgent, strategic imperatives within the vast majority of today’s enterprises. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review report, 89% of large companies have a digital transformation underway.

    To succeed in these endeavors, teams need to find ways to optimize Agile execution. However, for far too many businesses today, their existing Agile management tools are stifling progress and eroding the gains that can be realized. In fact, it seems just about every organization with digital transformation initiatives is also experiencing challenges, with many struggling with poor product visibility and delivery inefficiency.

    The following sections outline a few of the key ways other Agile management tools are falling short—and how Rally® can help.

    Insufficient cross-team collaboration

    The problem

    Over the course of years, various groups have adopted solutions and tools for their specific objectives and requirements. The problem is that these tools lack integration with other technologies deployed around the business.

    The disconnected nature of tools employed across the organization creates a range of problems. Each team has their own tool-specific workflows, and it constantly takes significant time and effort to aggregate information to provide higher level reports and status updates. Ultimately, this makes it difficult for various teams to intelligently, efficiently collaborate.

    How Rally helps

    When organizations deploy Rally, they can establish a single Agile management solution for the business. With Rally, leaders can centrally track all initiatives, across all teams, programs, and portfolios. This facilitates more effective initiation, management, and sharing of work across the enterprise.  

    By employing Rally, managers can gain a better understanding of dependencies across various groups, so they can better mitigate the risks these dependencies can pose to ongoing execution.

    With the addition of ValueOps ConnectALL, organizations can integrate data from virtually any third-party tool back into their Rally ecosystem. This creates a truly connected enterprise, from planning, to execution, to delivery.

    Rally features a Portfolio Items page that provides end-to-end views of business initiatives, including stories, tasks, test cases, and defects. Rally aggregates emails, feeds, and tool notifications in one place. The solution offers features like threaded chat and a team inbox. With these capabilities, the solution enables better collaboration across teams, time zones, and tools—helping fuel improved efficiency, speed, and productivity.

    Siloed teams and tools

    The problem

    Within most organizations, persistent disconnects and misalignment remain. This can often be seen in the discrepancy between incentives. For example, while business teams are incentivized to be effective, delivery teams are evaluated based on efficiency.

    Visibility and blind spots also persist. Business leaders don’t have any practical visibility into delivery issues like real capacity, dependencies, and risks. On the other hand, engineering teams don’t see the high-level business picture or how their work relates to it. These teams lack visibility into the business’ long-term strategic roadmap and the business outcomes they are supposed to be working towards.

    When execution is disconnected from strategy, it means there’s the risk of teams working on the wrong features; such as features customers don’t want or that don’t provide value. The longer these disconnects persist, the greater the likelihood of waste—including wasted time and wasted money. Further, the silos and gaps that exist between strategies and sprints ultimately stifle delivery and progress.

    How Rally helps

    Rally helps create connections across global teams. The solution makes it possible to break down operational silos, and gain an understanding of the connections between different processes, teams, and tools. Rally provides visibility into cross-team dependencies and risk, and it enables users to tie user stories to high-level features.

    With Rally OKR capabilities, teams can effectively align work with top-level strategic business objectives. The solution’s OKR feature provides a goal-setting framework for the organization, helping align teams around the same goals.

    With Rally, teams can tie strategy to execution, so they can ensure the highest priority features are delivered—and eliminate waste.

    Disconnected data, limited insights

    The problem

    Within too many organizations, teams can’t execute product strategy well because data is buried in silos and teams use disconnected tools.

    How Rally helps

    With Rally, teams can eliminate silos and establish a central, unified platform that unlocks the value of their data. Rally delivers the data teams need to establish effective benchmarks and track performance against those benchmarks.

    Rally provides organizations with a central hub, delivering direct access to data so users can plan, execute, and adapt more effectively. The solution provides visibility into delivery status, so leaders can make more informed portfolio steering decisions. It also enables teams to leverage complete metrics and data to fuel effective big room planning discussions.

    Rally is the only platform that enables you to measure productivity, predictability, quality, and responsiveness in real time. The solution features customizable reports that enable users to tailor insights to specific roles and teams.

    Rally delivers these powerful views and charts:

    • Burndown charts help leaders view work remaining and completed in an iteration, so they can anticipate whether work committed will be delivered on time.
    • Burnup charts display work delivered in a release to date, enabling leaders to anticipate whether a release’s scope will be met.
    • Flow metrics provide visibility into efficiency and predictability of teams.
    • Cumulative flow diagram charts provide concise visualization of the most important flow metrics, including cycle time, throughput, and work in progress.
    • Risk dashboards provide insights for identifying and mitigating risks throughout execution.

    With Rally, everyone gets the insights they need to make continuous improvements, optimize the flow of value, and deliver clear progress towards top KPIs. Every meaningful decision and conversation can be based on clear, accurate intelligence.

    Planning based on guesswork

    The problem

    Within many businesses today, when leaders seek to establish plans, they lack timely visibility into current status, and they lack a way to make forecasts based on historical data. When leaders have to rely on guesswork, they leave the business exposed to suboptimal plans.

    How Rally helps

    Rally delivers complete capabilities for capacity planning, team planning, and release tracking. With these capabilities, Rally helps ensure the right teams are focused on the right work, at the right time.

    Features such as a portfolio timeline enable users to plan and visualize a timeline for execution. Through the timeline, teams can assess dependencies and track progress of work execution against key milestones.

    Rally aggregates all the data teams need for intelligent, accurate capacity planning. The solution features a chart that displays the cycle times of portfolio items. With this chart, teams can use historical information to estimate how long it might take for work to pass through defined states. Teams can also use historical data to do capacity forecasting and predict the probability of item delivery.

    With Rally, teams can ensure they establish realistic, optimized plans. They can use what-if scenarios to balance tradeoffs between business value and team capacity.  Once plans are established, teams can efficiently monitor progress and see the status of underlying work items.

    The solution delivers the insights needed to align business objectives and team capacity, so teams can execute effectively and deliver the highest-value initiatives.

    Conclusion

    By moving off disjointed legacy tools and adopting Rally, organizations have realized a number of benefits. Rally has helped teams plan, prioritize, manage, track, and continuously improve their work. By combining data from Rally and feedback loops from agile methodologies, teams can adapt more quickly and confidently to changing customer demands and business environments. With these capabilities, the solution empowers organizations to accelerate and optimize their digital transformation initiatives. To learn more, see how Rally is a Pillar to Achieving Value Stream Management

    Mike Lentini

    Mike Lentini is the Product Marketing Manager for Rally Software. During his time with Broadcom, he has focused on ValueOps, Agile Management, IT Service Management, and AIOps products.

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