Scrum Tools

scrum toolsThere are many Scrum tools in the market that offer a way to stream line you work processes. From a white board and post-it notes to sophisticated software. How do know which scrum tool to use? Here is a list a few tools that may be helpful.

Select Scope Manager
A commercial web-based package that provides planning capabilties to all aspects of Scrum and XP projects. Evaluation version available to download from site. I’ve worked with some Select products in the past and they’re not bad, but not very customizable.

Java server based artifact tracking system, highly customizable. Distributed under a BSD/Apache style license.

Scrum for Team System
This is an add-in guidance package for Microsoft Team System, it fully covers Scrum and lets you get work done fast. No customizable available but it works without it. This was co-developed with Ken Schwaber so it reflects how Scrum needs to be done. Let’s users create their own views but comes with a dozen or so that are quite sufficient. Supports single team or multiple team projects and is currently being updated to version 2.0 where it’ll have more flexibility. If you have Team System in place and are struggling with the MSF for Agile package then take a look at this, you won’t be disappointed.

Although there are dozens of software solutions tools for managing agile workflow, it is best to finds the tools that are naturally adaptable in your work environment.

Just about any tool can help you and any of these tools or others can become a barrier to your success. Make the tool serve your purpose. You should not feel like you are bending to the tool’s purpose.  The tool must serve product development otherwise get rid of it.

Two common reasons you cannot get rid of a tool that is hurting you….

  1. You cannot get rid of it is because someone else is mandating the tools use. Just because you paid a ton of money for a tool doesn’t mean it was a good decision and mandating a tool will not make the decision better but, it might save your career from political egg on the face. The team would dump it if they were allowed.
  2. You must use a tool like the one you have to meet audit requirements. This shows up in regulated environments.

When you have the freedom to let the people who must use the tool on a regular basis make the call, don’t be surprised if this year they want tool “X”, and next year it is tool “Y”. What is more important is the ability to adapt!