It is hard to read about project management or team development these days and not hear of the rising demand for collaborative work experiences.  Everyone from Gartner to Forrester have some research on the rise of the collaborative tools.  But why is collaboration being focused on so much now?

According to Costin Tuculescu, VP of Collaboration at Intermedia, “The evolution of collaboration and the influx of millennials will reshape the workplace in the near future.”  Those of us at Swarm tend to agree with this viewpoint, and the purpose behind it (creating a better, more productive work environment) is exactly what we are trying to solve for.

The internet and mobility are enabling a different paradigm of information collaboration, and a millennial-dominated workforce is on the horizon. This requires a complete overhaul of communication tools and services. Much like video calling is becoming the norm in the consumer world with millennials, video conferencing will become ubiquitous in business, bridging the gap between distributed teams, vendors and customers — creating stronger bonds between stakeholders.  Likewise, we see that the applications that currently separate disciplines, will be required to come together and start allowing for larger, more interdisciplinary teams.

Enterprise-scale agile adoption continues to grow, driving evolution in the market for planning and management. Application leaders looking to facilitate coordination and collaboration while enabling insight into their organizations’ flow of work should consider enterprise agile planning tools.

Enterprise Agile Planning Tools Market Description According to Gartner

Enterprise agile planning (EAP) tools help organizations to make use of agile practices at scale to achieve enterprise-class agile development. This is achieved by supporting practices that are business-outcome-driven, customer-centric, collaborative and cooperative, as well as with continual stakeholder feedback. These tools represent an evolution from project-centric agile tools and traditional application development life cycle management (ADLM) tools. The majority of products in the EAP tools market play into the overall ADLM product set, acting as a hub for the definition and management of work-item tracking.
There is also a relationship to project and portfolio management (PPM) tools. PPM tools are moving aggressively to provide enterprise-class agile development support, bridging the gap between agile and non-agile. Meanwhile, EAP tools are adding PPM capabilities. (Gartner has a separate Magic Quadrant for PPM — see  “Magic Quadrant for Project Portfolio Management, Worldwide.”) Furthermore, a relationship to product road mapping software exists. Early signs of market consolidation are appearing. 
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant looks at tools specifically focused on the development of software through the use of agile methodologies. Overall, we see several trends driving procurement decisions for these tools:
  • Agile adoption has become mainstream — Agile now accounts for more software development activity than any other type of methodology. Agile competency is growing throughout the industry. 
  • Fragmented strategies — Most clients are still predominantly best-of-breed users of EAP and related tools, reflecting the fragmented tool strategies of many end-user organizations prior to adopting enterprise-class agile development. 
  • Digital business — Digital business strategies continue to promote agile adoption and maturity, driven by the need for stronger Mode 2 capabilities (see  “How to Achieve Enterprise Agility With a Bimodal Capability”). 
  • DevOps — The increasing use of DevOps and its extension into the business mean that parallel strategic commitments to agile development and governance are required. 
  • Maturing agile frameworks — As organizations apply agile to larger software development efforts, enterprise agile frameworks are becoming more mature and more widely adopted, such as Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Disciplined Agile (DA). 
  • Product management — The drive to provide continuous value has led enterprises to shift from a project-based software delivery approach to one that treats applications as products. The corresponding shift to product management places new demands on EAP tools. 
Agile development methodologies are highly accelerated, iterative development processes. Agile Methodologies drive a need for tools that support:
  • Continuous monthly, weekly and even daily deliverables based on business outcomes
  • Increased visibility into the flow of work
  • Requirements captured in epics, features, user stories and tasks
  • Collaborative and shift-left practices, such as test-driven development
The principles of collaboration, continuous integration, refactoring and promoting ownership also become key product capabilities.

How Swarm Solves The EAP Tool Need

Swarm covers the gamut in terms of what the emerging digital market is looking for in Agile Management tools.  Swarm allows teams to operate at highly accelerated development while iterating across teams.  Continuous updates keep your team members informed immediately when updates are ready for their part of the workflow.  Swarm captures requirements, and development notes, and logs them along with versions of UI comps, so you will always have a running history of the products development history, and the decisions made.  Swarm wraps all of this up in a collaborative experience that allows team members from development, management, user experience, strategy and financing, among others, to all see the progress of their investments.
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