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Jolt Awards

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June, 2005: The 15th Annual Software Development Jolt & Productivity Awards

Software Development

June 2005


David Intersimone, VP, Developer Relations

CaliberRM 2005

For complex projects, managing requirements and their associated changes is a vital element. Borland's CaliberRM makes it easy to manage and track any customer's requirements—from ambiguous high-level goals all the way down to source code and individual test cases. In addition, this product now includes the Estimate Pro tool for estimating project size before the project begins.

CaliberRM records practically every type of project object, including requirements, use cases, business processes, packages, classes, methods, test plans and test cases. Then it records links between high- and low-level requirements, as well as links between requirements and other objects. So when one requirement changes, all the other objects connected to it are identified. Each object may need to be changed because of the original requirement change, and, of course, changes to these objects may cause further changes—a complicated path to follow. Fortunately, CaliberRM tracks both changes and potential changes. All together, CaliberRM makes the difficult task of managing requirements and tracing changes much easier than any manual approach.

—Hugh Bawtree

Productivity Award Winners

Autotask 10.0

How do you manage a large or complex project? Sometimes, you can reorganize it into a smaller, simpler project—but sometimes, you can't. When you're stuck with a behemoth on your hands, you need good tools, and Autotask is one of your better options. The Rennsselaer, N.Y.–based company offers a sophisticated, Web-based toolset that in- cludes basic project-tracking features such as scheduling, a monitoring dashboard, accounting, billing management, skills tracking, subcontractor management, and equipment/software tracking. It also includes portfolio management features for cross-project reporting and dependencies management. You desperately want to automate as much of this project-management grunt work as possible so that you're free to focus on the more important—and often more difficult—people-oriented problems.

—Scott Ambler

Rational Portfolio Manager

Portfolio management is the risky practice of balancing a bundle of sizzling software project irons in the fire. With IBM's Rational Portfolio Manager, you're less likely to get burned. The tool provides a centralized clearinghouse for methodology enforcement, risk management and software projects details.

If it can be tracked, calculated, projected or analyzed, this tool's got it covered. Through a portfolio dashboard, metrics are coherently distilled and presented for executives. The product's strengths shine in its intuitive user interface and comprehensive feature-set. Available for multiple platforms, Rational Portfolio Manager relies on an IBM DB2 or Oracle database. While it offers scope management and collaboration features helpful for in-the-trenches developers and project managers, the tool is primarily focused on governance, targeted at management of business-driven software development organizations.

—Donna Davis

V1: Scrum1.5

If managing a software development team is like herding cats, VersionOne's V1: Scrum product is the ringmaster's tracking tool of choice to keep multiple projects purring in well-planned fashion. For two years in a row, the Alpharetta, Ga.–based VersionOne has been a leader in the Management Tools field, receiving the Jolt last year for its product's initial release, reaffirmed by this year's Productivity Award.

Built on .NET technology and available as a hosted or downloaded solution, V1 presents a clean interface using the popular "project dashboard" approach. The tool is custom tailored to its audience, providing one-click access to a filtered view of a developer's own tasks while displaying graphical project health indicators, charts and reports to executives. With built-in flexibility to implement custom methodology, terminology and reporting, it's easy to see why the product has garnered such popularity.

—Donna Davis

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