By Katie Serignese – March 1, 2010

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The introduction of agile methodologies to application life-cycle management is an up-and-coming space, but while some development tool providers cater to strict agile methods, others are creating agile platforms for a blend of methodologies.

In the current market, TechExcel has found that one third of teams don’t have a methodology, one third are using traditional waterfall and iterative approaches, and the remainder are more strictly agile, said Jeff Johnstone, vice president of product management for TechExcel.

Johnstone added that although a lot people talk about going agile, it is not a switch that can be flipped overnight. “People need to evolve, and Agile Studio is one way to do it.”

Released on the first of March, Agile Studio provides both out-of-the-box support for major agile methodologies and traditional approaches, Johnstone said. “We’re not limiting ourselves to just being agile. We’re also acknowledging the other one-third of the market.”

TechExcel, an ALM software vendor, created Agile Studio to be “source-code neutral,” which will allow users to develop on any software platform, he said.

The studio comes with a set of default projects (defined as a complete set of configuration settings) that can be used as templates when developing, Johnstone said. These templates are fully preconfigured based on the methodology chosen, and the methodologies include Scrum, XP, test-driven, feature-driven, iterative and waterfall methods.

These can then be used as a starting point for each team to customize to their needs, he said. So those using waterfall or iterative approaches can use backlogs and burn-down charts if they so choose. “Agile concepts can be applied, and teams can become more iterative and dynamic,” Johnstone said.

Agile studio is a bundle of three products: DevTrack, the company’s flagship project and task tracking software; DevPlan, an agile planning and resource management tool; and KnowledgeWise, a knowledge management system with built-in wiki support. The release is part of TechExcel’s complete ALM toolset, DevSuite 8.1, which includes DevSpec for requirements management, DevTest for QA test management and defect tracking, and DevTime for automated timesheet management.