Today Collabnet announced the acquisition of Agile PPM vendor Danube. As an Agile PPM vendor Danube are farmous for their support for Scrum, with their offerings ScrumWorks and ScrumWorks Pro. With this acquisition, Collabnet has taken a significant step in merging the disciplines of Agile project and portfolio management with  ALM.  Collabnet has traditionally stayed away from supporting any one-process model, describing themselves as process agnostics. This started to change at the end of 2009 with the TeamForge 5.3 release, which provided simple support for Agile projects.  Now with the purchase of Danube Collabnet will continue to extend their support for Agile projects. So, why should Application development professionals care?

  • We will continue to see improved support for Agile from ALM vendors.  Either via acquisition or by development ALM vendors will continue to add Agile capabilities to their tools. This is direct response to increased Agile adoptionand that with that increased adoption comes the need for better tool support. 
  • Problems with distributed development and Agility will find a home. Agile methods encourage co-location of teams, describing distribution as a key challenge to Agility. But Collabnet’s focus on distributed development, provided through their SaaS version makes it easy for distributed teams to share a common workspace. While Danube’s capabilities will initially partner best with Collabnet’s  on site TeamForge product, Forrester expects that Collabnet will work quickly to SaaS-enabled Scrumworks as well.
  • A stronger relationship between Subversion and Agile communities. One of Collabnet’s biggest contributions to the software engineering community is Subversion, the widely adopted opensource SCM tool.Forrester expects Collabnet continue to support Subversion adding services and additional capabilities and add-ins. By combining Danube’s and Collabnet’s respective developer communities synergies between the practices of SCCM and Agile will emerge.
  • Improved metrics can be harvested. The reality of process agnostic approaches means that one usage of TeamForge cannot be compared with another. Withthe inclusion of explicit support for Scrum, projects could compare metrics and measures. This would enable Collabnet to offer to its customers improved cross project metrics in the areas of velocity, quality and progress.
  • Agility and the Government takes center stage. One of Collabnet’s largest implementations is the site which provides a community oriented development space for defense projects to share development assets. Increasingly these projects are looking to adopt Agile methods, but in a controlled and distributed way. The result of Collabnet’s acquisition of Danube is a large amount of Scrum best practice will slowly peculate into this community.

This acquisition is another proof point for the convergence of the Agile demand management and the ALM marked segments.  When you factor in recent announcement like the Accurev/Rally/Urban Code alliance and the direction that new releases of ALM tools like IBM Rational Team Concert and Microsoft Team Foundation Server are taking, it’s clear that we’re evolving beyond ALM 2.0. But we’ll talk more about that in our soon to be released Forrester Agile Development Tools Management Wave.

Dave West and Jeffrey Hammond