Detailed Review of Salesforce Agile Accelerator App

Japanese scholar performing detailed review of Salesforce Agile Accelerator app

Salesforce Agile Accelerator is reviewed against 200+ project management software requirements on a downloadable spreadsheet. Salesforce Agile Accelerator is scored overall and for each of the ten project management processes. This post provides a summary of the key strengths and weaknesses for each of the processes.

Download Agile Accelerator Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to add the Agile Accelerator Excel spreadsheet to your basket and continue reading. Visit the basket page to complete the download.

Summary of Findings

Salesforce Agile Accelerator is dedicated to helping Agile scrum teams manage their user stories and bugs. It is the same tool Salesforce uses internally and they are offering for free. It compares very closely to Jira by Atlassian. For a full project management solution you would need to also implement a project scheduling tool (i.e. Microsoft Project or Inspire Planner) and a broad project management tool (i.e. Salesforce PMT or Project Lifecycle Pro). Below is the spreadsheet used to perform the review.

Overall, Salesforce Agile Accelerator compares very closely to Jira, which I have used quite a bit and love. However, when compared to the project management process as defined in the PMBOK it only has a coverage of 38% and no coverage in three processes. But this is to be expected because it is a specialty tool, not a broad project management tool. The table below shows the coverage of each process as a percentage basis compared to full coverage.

Salesforce Agile Accelerator Pricing

Pricing of Agile Accelerator couldn’t be better, it is free! This a tool Salesforce uses internally for their own Agile teams. Salesforce shares this internal tool for free on the AppExchange. As far as I can tell, Agile Accelerator doesn’t require any specific Salesforce license or service.

Scoring Methodology

I’ve been evaluating all of the Salesforce project management software and sharing the results to help others save time in making an informed decision. I started the evaluation as marketing research for the Salesforce project management app I built: Project Lifecycle Pro. I’m doing my best to give a unbiased review, but I’ve attached the detailed Excel spreadsheet which you can use to perform your own analysis. Here are detailed instructions on how to use the spreadsheet to weight requirements and compare multiple software packages side-by-side.

I structured the analysis around the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)© project management process. This is outlined in the PM Book of Knowledge (PMBOK)©. First, I listed the project management processes and then the activities within each process. Finally, I developed a list of requirements related to each of the activities. The list of requirements is based upon my thirty years of project management experience and experience evaluating project management tools for clients. Of course, I’m sure I missed some requirements and welcome any suggestions.

I gave all processes and requirements equal weights, but you can adjust the scoring weights in the Excel spreadsheet to suit your needs. Each requirement was rated as either:

  • Yes – As Is – Meaning, the requirement is met with out-of-the-box functionality. This rating is awarded four points.
  • Yes – With Configuration – Meaning the requirement can be met with minimal configuration or no-code updates. Since, Salesforce is highly configurable I used this rating for simple things like changing picklist values, adding a field to an existing data object, creating a report, etc. This rating is awarded two points.
  • No – Not Available or Requires Customization – Meaning the requirement cannot be met without significant investment of time or money. I assigned this rating if custom coding would be required, or a new custom data object, or a new custom flow. This rating is awarded zero points.

Finally, the scoring spreadsheet totaled the ratings by process to show how the apps compare by process. Therefore, you can assess the apps based on which processes are the most important to you.

Download Agile Accelerator Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Agile Accelerator Excel spreadsheet.

Communications Management

The only Communications Management functionality Agile Accelerator has is the ability to support Chatter conversations and to report basic project status. There is no project change management functionality.

Cost Management

Agile Accelerator does not have any capability to estimate or capture costs.

Integration Management

Integration Management is the process of coordinating the overall project and the different project management processes. Agile Accelerator’s main capability in this area is the grouping of of tasks into multiple levels: Teams, Themes, Projects, Programs and Portfolios. A major gap is the ability to define releases. It has a specialized tool to request off-schedule releases of bug fixes, but it doesn’t have the ability to define, plan and schedule normal releases. Salesforce must use a different tool for managing their two releases each year.

Procurement Management

Agile Accelerator doesn’t have any functionality to support procurement activities.

Quality Management

Agile Accelerator has some functionality focused on the testing of individual user stories and bugs. It has a nice feature where you can associate multiple acceptance criteria records with a user story. This is better than Jira, where you just note the acceptance criteria in a text field. You can also list the automated tests associated with the story.

The big gap is that you can’t record the execution of tests and whether the acceptance criteria have passed testing. Though, it should be pretty easy to add this feature. It also doesn’t have any ability to create and execute test scripts.

Resource Management

Agile Accelerator assigns resources at a scrum team level. A project can contain multiple teams. A Salesforce user is assigned to the team with a standard role and a percentage allocation. There aren’t any standard reports to review resource allocations to determine if anyone is under/over allocated but these should be easy to build.

The major gap is that there isn’t any security to control access to the particular teams or projects. As a standard user I was able to view all project information and to even change team assignments. This would be a major problem for a company that has sensitive or confidential projects.

The resource allocation is a flat percentage and not associated with dates. So, a manager can’t review a resource’s allocation by week or month. Finally, there isn’t any labor estimating functionality other than assigning story points to stories.

Risk Management

Agile Accelerator doesn’t have any functionality to record or manage risks.

Schedule Management

Agile Accelerator’s sweet spot is scheduling Agile stories on a scrum team’s Kanban board. As I said earlier, the functionality in this area seemed to equal the functionality in Jira. Tasks can be grouped by themes and epics. Stories can be dragged and dropped to re-prioritize the product backlog. Stories can also be dragged and dropped within the Kanban board. It would be very easy to run a sprint planning meeting directly within the app.

Agile Accelerator also has a very nice feature to capture inter-team dependencies. You can create a dependency record associated to the team which lists the story that has the dependency and the story that will deliver the dependency. Both teams have visibility to the shared dependency.

The major gap is that Agile Accelerator doesn’t have any project-level scheduling tool to generate a Gantt chart with inter-task dependencies. Of course, Agile Accelerator isn’t intended to be a project scheduling tool.

Scope Management

Agile Accelerator doesn’t have the ability to capture the project scope you would typically capture in a project charter. The only relevant functionality is its ability to create a work breakdown structure through the breakdown of ‘Work’ (stories) using parent/child tasks.

Stakeholder Management

Agile Accelerator really doesn’t have any stakeholder management functionality. You can note the story owner and a few other key roles, but there isn’t any ability to capture the impacts on the organization and which groups will be impacted.

In Conclusion

Agile Accelerator is a native Salesforce solution equivalent to Jira. Being a native Salesforce solution provides several advantages: it can be integrated with other Salesforce data, it is highly configurable to suit your specific project processes, and automation can easily be built using Salesforce Flow. So if you currently have Salesforce licenses and are looking for a customizable solution, you should evaluate Agile Accelerator.



Additional References

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