Agile Tools Selection: Rally vs. Jira

AttachmentEveryone in the business market wants the same outcome: To improve the way organisations work by eliminating waste, and being able to quickly respond to change. This is what it means to be agile.

To move towards business agility is to change the way you work, and the way you interact in your roles. In order to do this efficiently and cost-effectively you have to choose the right agile tools.

So here are some criteria for choosing the right agile tool:

  • Individuals – You need to focus on how you will interact among yourselves, and which tools will allow you to interact successfully.
  • Tailoring – You need the tool to fit to your organisation not the other way around. Tools should help you on the journey to agility; So look at what it is designed to do, and decide how much tailoring you actually need.
  • Practicality – When you choose the wrong tool, often times you need workarounds. Workarounds are not free, plus it’s a lot of loss productivity. There has to be practicality in cost. So pay attention to the upfront cost and also look at the total cost for ownership.
  • Necessity – How many people are going to use it, and where do they sit? E.g. if they all sit in the same room, you could do very well with Index cards and a wall. However, if your team is distributed globally, then obviously an index card on a board is ineffective.
  • Level of maturity – Some tools are more adaptive.

Choosing a tool for a large enterprise

When I speak of a large enterprise I am referring to 10,000, 50,000 people and more. The two tools that I have chosen for comparison are Rally and Jira.

So what is Rally and Jira?

Rally is a project management agile software “that can expand team collaboration with its multi-team support and story, task and kanban boards and make users feel like they are working in the same room,” even if they are countries apart. While Jira is an issue and tracking software that can help teams to capture issues, follow team activities, and assign work. In Jira, every task, idea, bug fix, story, etc, is referred to as an issue.

Rally is purpose-driven with an immense amount of flexibility, while Jira is not purposely built for agile organisations. Rally is purposed for large enterprises, while Jira is good for small independent teams. Rally harnesses the power of agile at scale, while Jira is not scalable. Cost-wise, Rally is more expensive than Jira.

Jira has portfolio management features, but that’s not what it is built for. If you try to use Jira to do what Rally is purposed to do, I promise you there will be workarounds. And with workarounds comes additional costs.

Agile Operations, aka, DevOps, connects your Agile development work to your operations deployment so that you can deliver value to customers, faster.” (Engineer Jeff Smith). Both software integrates quite well in this regard. However, I have had some negative experiences with Jira, where I found it quite unreliable.

As far as Support goes, they are both very supportive.

Security-wise, according to the Rally website, “Rally Software utilizes some of the most advanced technology for Internet security available today.” In my experience, Jira is just as good.

So what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment of Rally and Jira? What are your favourite Agile tools? Share your opinions, respectfully, in the comments box below.