Working with ALM tools

Let’s talk about working with ALM tools. I would like to emphasize that ALM tool is a tool that should support us and not lead us. However, after leading many #Agile transformations I have realized that none of the tools I have seen is fully supporting the principles and processes we have implemented. It does not support even 80% of what we need.

One of the basic requirements we would like to have is to use one tool as much as possible. On the technical level it means having the basic units of value (e.g. Features & User stories) associated to its code and its test scenarios in one place. On the process level I would rather see simple backlog prioritization (also based on filtering), more flexible reports, flexible configuration (including the capability to define the backlog item name) and more.

Although some of the ALM tools enhanced their capabilities in recent years, none of them have given us the whole package. Since we don’t want to bend the principles, in many cases we find ourselves using multiple tools or having supportive scripts to enable a smooth work.

As Agile coaches we coach the organizations we work with to listen very carefully to their customers and work on the right things. However, it looks like the ALM tools companies that support the #Agile approach and way of thinking do not really listen to the #Agile community and its needs. Consequently, we find ourselves in situations that lead us to create patches and distrust of the teams in the tools that have to serve them on a daily basis.

What is your experience?