The integration of Clarity® Project & Portfolio Management (Clarity PPM) and Rally® Software solutions contributes to effectively balancing Agility and governance in organizations by connecting Agile team work with the organization’s portfolio. This way of working implies a strategic shift: from a project-centric organization to a product-centric approach.
In the following post, we present a common scenario for those working with Clarity PPM:
You are responsible for an initiative or a group of initiatives that require coordinated work from Agile teams, and you need to obtain accurate information periodically about the project’s status. What is the best way to do it, and how to do it? The situation we describe below is more common than it may seem at first glance. In fact, while reading the following lines, you might find yourself identifying with it.
1. Why integrate Clarity PPM with Rally Software?
The optimal solution involves centralizing and coordinating all teams and information from Clarity PPM to quickly access everything from a single place in an automated manner. This reduces dependencies and “errors,” which are more common when work is done manually. Therefore, the optimal solution we mentioned requires not only the ability to coordinate Agile teams with a traditional PPM management approach but also the ability to handle data from different teams and management levels in a unified way. Additionally, different BI solutions should be used to generate reports suitable for project tracking and the needs of various stakeholders.
Clarity PPM includes functionality that allows obtaining necessary information from Agile teams working in other solutions. Particularly interesting is the integration with Rally Software, an Agile Planning solution from the same manufacturer, which integrates natively and is specially designed for teams and organizations working with a scaled Agile approach.
Once integrated with Rally Software, all project status details running in Rally can be viewed in Clarity PPM. From Clarity, you’ll have access to all general project information: initiative status, % completion based on the number of user stories or story points, details regarding dates and deadlines, etc.
2. How to integrate Clarity PPM with Rally Software?
Integrating Clarity PPM with Rally Software is not excessively complicated and can be done “practically” automatically thanks to the functionality that the former incorporates. Based on this first-level integration, custom solutions can be developed to generate almost 100% customizable integration, allowing more effective use of the data.
The integration model included in CLARITY allows integration with RALLY at two levels based on portfolio elements (Initiative and Feature). This integration is sufficient to visualize and work on project progress from CLARITY, obtaining reference financial metrics.
The integration involves linking Projects and Tasks designed in Clarity PPM with Initiatives and Features in Rally Software, as seen in the diagram above. The integration can be unidirectional or bidirectional, allowing the generation of the project structure in Rally Software based on tasks, which will be automatically transferred as Initiatives and Features.
In Clarity PPM, detailed tracking of the different features that make up the project can be done.
Once in Rally Software, Agile teams have autonomy to work in an Agile manner: break down Features (corresponding to tasks in Clarity PPM) into user stories and develop them using their preferred Agile method (mainly Kanban or Scrum). As they progress in their work and report progress in Rally, the progress is automatically reported to Clarity through the integrated elements (Projects and Tasks).
From Clarity PPM, you not only have detailed information about each Feature (1) but also manage the project by allocating the necessary resources (2), crucial for cost and capacity control. Moreover, with the right permissions, you have direct access (3) to the Feature in Rally Software.
3. Result of Clarity PPM / Rally Software Integration: Reports and Dashboards
The result of the integration brings a better utilization of both solutions for all stakeholders.
For Clarity PPM users:
- Direct and automatic traceability of project tasks
- Visibility of project progress
- Reduced dependency on “manual communications” to make decisions
For Rally Software users:
- Freedom to work based on an Agile working method
- Automatic creation of initiatives and features in RALLY
- No need for “manual” reports on initiative progress
Regarding data exploitation possibilities, while almost infinite, some noteworthy dashboards and reports include:
Clarity PPM – Rally Dashboard
From which you can visualize information related to features (tasks in Clarity):
- View the overall project status
- Check the status
- Degree of progress
Clarity PPM – Rally Business Lens
This report, created with Microsoft Power BI, is an example of the possibilities that can be achieved in data exploitation.
Based on project selection:
- The report shows information about key financial indicators
- The degree of progress feature by feature
Initial situation: As the department head, you have no direct visibility into work requested from the development team. What is the estimated effort? At what point is the project? When is the project expected to finish?…
Common solution (without integration): The department head must request information from the team leaders. It is necessary to communicate, according to the agreement, the progress of the initiative, the expected completion date, and the amount of hours spent to update project tracking data. Data submission and report updates are done manually.
Solution with Clarity and Rally integration: The project head and, in general, the entire project management team will have real-time visibility into how the work in progress is developing.
The integration between CLARITY and RALLY allows concentrating in CLARITY the essential information to track the progress of Agile initiatives in process by Agile teams, completely automatically.
Based on the use case we present, the sequence would be as follows:
- Product Manager creates a new task in CA PPM based on a conversation with a client, from which a new need has been identified (Task > Feature).
- The task is synchronized with RALLY as a “Feature.”
- The development team, using RALLY, breaks down the features into user stories, estimates them, and proceeds with execution based on an Agile method (Kanban, Scrum, etc.).
- The development team also allocates estimated effort hours to complete the feature.
- Estimated effort hours/story points are synchronized with CA PPM against the assigned task (progress = accepted = story points).
- As the development team progresses in development and uses the estimated budget, the Product Manager using CA PPM is aware of whether the project is on track or not.
- If you want to know more about Clarity PPM – Rally Software integration, we invite you to download our Webinar.
Benefits of Rally – Clarity PPM Integration
Enjoy the webinar recording and discover how to scale agility with multiple teams and across departments using Rally Software.
- Types of integrations that exist and the elements that integrate them
- Defining “Features” within the initiative and associating them with releases
- Reporting project status, budget, resource requirements, and deliverables
- A hybrid system that combines operational management from Agility and project management from the traditional method