VersionOne announce TeamRoom in latest release
VersionOne have announced the next release of their Application Lifecycle Management product, with a focus on development teams, while still servicing the need for larger organization-wide consolidation and reporting.
The evolution of ALM tools in the Agile space seems to have followed a pendulum pattern - initially most of the available tools were built to directly support small teams in their day to day activities, and over time more and more management level capabilities have been added, with many tools today being largely management-reporting biased. The pendulum seems to be swinging back towards supporting team-level needs.
VersionOne CEO Robert Holler spoke to InfoQ about the product release.
According to Holler, Application Lifecycle Management tools tend to split into two broad categories - those that support individual teams well, at the expense of PMO level consolidation and reporting, and those that service the governance and reporting needs, often at the cost of adding complexity and overhead to the team functionality which adds unnecessary burden and waste at the team level.
VersionOne started out as a very team focused tool, and has evolved over the years to have a more organization-level focus. The launch of TeamRoom is the result of investigation among their customers who indicated a need to have a sharper team-level view, while still supporting the cross-team consolidation needs of program and portfolio management.
Holler calls the approach a "Federated Application Lifecycle Model" with distinct aspects and capabilities which are aimed at the different groups of users, all working with the same datastore.
This Federated approach enables the development teams to focus on what matters to them, without the distraction of "management overhead". Because TeamRoom sits on top of the same datastore, the information from many teams is easily and transparently consolidated at a management level without requiring additional work at the team level. Holler equated the approach to that taken by ERP vendors where distinct modules exist to deliver different capabilities, and the underlying datastore provides a consolidated enterprise-wide view of performance.
When asked why this matters, Holler stated that
"TeamRoom simplifies the development process and puts the team front and centre - enabling the team members to focus in what matters for the team, and lets management focus on what they should do well." He went on to say that the team level focus encourages the use of good technical and social team practices and makes it easy to apply the good practices that make agile adoptions successful.
Additional features of the fall release include:
- Epic Visualization – helps product managers see and navigate from top-to-bottom across their epic and story hierarchies.
- Relationship Visualization - enables everyone to understand relationships between workitems flowing through the development cycle.
- Storyboard Aging – shows the time workitems have been in process, helping teams identify stalled stories and potential project impediments.
- Multi-Column WIP Limits - allows teams to set WIP limits across multiple statuses for more granular process control.
- Project Summary Reporting - enhanced reporting for teams to track their projects’ health over time.
- Timesheet Reporting via CA Clarity - enhancements to the CA Clarity™ Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) integration to integrate time reporting and prevent duplicate entry.