Key Criteria for Evaluating Agile Planning and Portfolio Management Toolsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Agile Planning and Portfolio Management Tools Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Factors
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Dana Hernandez

1. Summary

The disruptive changes during the pandemic—especially the growth of remote work— have shone a light on the need for more effective tools to manage the development process, leading to increased adoption of an agile approach to managing this process.

In an agile environment, much of the decision-making process is decentralized at the team level, so it’s important to see how teams are progressing. Agile planning and portfolio management (PPM) tools help ensure that teams are collaborating and that project status is visible to all parties, including team members, leaders, and stakeholders.

These tools track key metrics and allow reporting on progress at various levels. They support a flexible, collaborative way for teams to engage and provide both a structured framework and working flexibility at the same time. The tools allow teams to focus on the high-priority features the business needs, even as those priorities are changing.

Agile PPM tools continue to mature each year, providing additional functionality and features supporting speed to market and business value prioritization. In addition, the ability of these tools to integrate with other agile and DevOps tools continues to expand. Many of these agile solutions are becoming more of a platform than just a set of applications. As agile development continues to evolve, these solutions are evolving as well.

Challenges do exist, however. Not least, as agile PPM tools grow in functionality, they can become quite complex. It can take several months to get a tool in place before benefits are realized. Some offerings require multiple products to obtain end-to-end functionality, adding to cost and implementation complexity. Extensive customization of solutions can slow teams and be costly to maintain over time as new updates are rolled out.

Organizations need to understand the complexity of their operations and product structure when selecting an agile PPM tool. Tools range from basic applications that support small teams to advanced platforms that support entire organizations and various enterprise-level initiatives.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report details the criteria and evaluation factors for selecting an effective agile PPM solution for these specific use cases. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those criteria and metrics. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify key offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these platforms so they can make a more informed investment decision.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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