Rally Software Development has announced new product management and support management tools that, together with Rally's Agile lifecycle management software, let organizations manage the entire software lifecycle from business case to deployment. Designed specifically for product managers and support staff working with Agile development teams and delivered through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Rally leverages Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to help organizations close the feedback loops between development teams and users, ensuring development priorities are aligned with the highest value opportunities.
Rally Product Manager increases visibility and collaboration by enabling product managers and business analysts to collect user feedback, prioritize feature backlogs and radiate development progress to the entire organization. Product managers and business analysts can create user stories directly in Rally and display development status in salesforce.com's CRM system.
Rally Support Manager improves collaboration between development and support teams to accelerate the resolution of user-reported issues. Help desk and support staff can quickly submit defects and change requests reported by users and communicate the development status of these issues.
"Agile product managers face a unique set of challenges when trying to create value-driven backlogs and communicate development status," said Ryan Martens, CTO and founder of Rally. "By leveraging the user information and contact points in CRM systems, organizations can now bring user needs closer to their development teams and provide visibility into development progress to all stakeholders. This increased collaboration and visibility makes for a responsive enterprise -- one that listens to its customers and is recognized for delivering them true value."
Built on the salesforce.com Force.com platform, Rally Product Manager and Rally Support Manager are intended to provide product managers -- or anyone responsible for meeting customer needs -- capabilities such as email notifications, custom reports, dashboards, and workflow customization. By utilizing these solutions as part of the entire software lifecycle management process, organizations are able to:
- Centralize user feedback. Product managers can collect input received by anyone in contact with users, raising visibility into all incoming customer input and saving time by centralizing all input in one area.
- Prioritize development backlogs. Product managers are able to objectively score features based on forecasted sales revenues, number of requests, user demographics, competitive advantage and alignment with product strategy, and prioritize defects based on customer impact.
- Track development status. Non-development stakeholders finally have transparency into the development status of feature requests and defect reports, ensuring the information communicated to users accurately reflects development's commitments.
- Accelerate defect corrections. Support staff can quickly detect if development is already aware of user-reported bugs with search capabilities, reducing the creation of duplicate defects. When new issues are reported, they can quickly submit new defects to development.
"Product management and user support are the 'bookends' of the software lifecycle," added Martens. "In order for companies to become more responsive to their users, a better level of collaboration and visibility is needed between development, support and product management."