5 min on Scrum | Tools

Sao Paulo, May, … I would like some suggestions from you, if you would recommend any kind of tool in order to stimating, tracking our stories and bugs, and planning our sprint. I know that there are some of them, mainly at sourceforge.net, but I would like a recommendation, If you could.

Please, use a task board and post its. At least for 3 Sprints. Then ask the team, if they want something else.

Never!!!! use a electronic tool in the Sprint Planning Meetings. It is too slow. Maybe we do have in the future electronic post-its 😉 But till then. Do not do it!

If you want to manage distributed Teams: Use a task board and try web-cams. If this is not sufficient – there are nice tools, but I can not really recommend one, as I do not know your special needs.

One is better in collaboration, one is better in creating reports and tracking. I have seen a very nice new open source tool that was done by C.E.S.A.R. on the CMMI workshop in Recife two weeks ago. The name is FireScrum. (http://www.firescrum.com/).

It is still in progress and maybe you want to spent your time with changing this tool according to your needs rather than configuring a costly state of the art Scrum Tool. Well – they are very good – but most teams do not need them.

Distributed Teams needs first communication, communication, and communication.

See also: Product Backlog Templates


6 responses to “5 min on Scrum | Tools

  1. For the planning process I agree. I use to do consulting in a company where they had a software to manage changes in their products.

    Those changes were converted to user stories and when they start doing planning sessions, they print the stories available in cards and use them to do the planning. No software in this process.

    If you use a software to do the planning, the person who is with the mouse and keyboard will control the planning process. If you use cards, the whole team have the power to give their opinion and change. You will get more cooperation using that.

    Regarding software, I would suggest also to start with task boards and just move to a software tool if you and your team feel the need.

    But, about distributed teams… I give that tip about task boards and web cams as a joke ;-). If you see that work in a distributed environment with with different time zones tell me about it. That would be great.

    At first I would say just to use a spreadsheet to manage teams, you can build everything with that.

    If you need a software tool, I use to work with ScrumWorks basic, which is a free tool. It is very simple and it is very good to use.

    FireScrum looks very similar to ScrumWorks, actually too similar in some aspects. I can’t say much more since I just saw the screenshots. The TaskBoard Module is going to be very good. It is something we can see looking at Mingle from Thoughtworks.

  2. FireScrum looks indeed as ScrumWorks, and it is free 😉
    WebCams and Taskboards is not a joke – although it looks like.
    First – we do have this experience with teams working on large projects and it worked. The tendency to use electronic tools is like a reflex. Instead of doing the work, doing the communication, calling the other, have a skype chat or … we insist of having to-do lists electronically. The fun part is – the electronic to-to list does not do the work. And basically it is not important to have a task board that is shared electronically. It gives only a false sense of control to the managers.

    The real thing is – to talk every morning about my agreement from Yesterday. Did I what I have agreed to or not. Could I do what I wanted or not. So you can do a Daily Scrum perfectly without having an electronic tool. What counts is the finished product backlog, not the finished task.

    Well — different experiences different opinions. Find out what works for you and your team.

  3. This post reminded me to send you the link regarding electronic Post-its that I saw a while ago:


    It’s coming! 🙂

  4. Pingback: E-Fact Software Design » Blog Archive » TaskBoard no Scrum 4 You

  5. Pingback: Manifesto Ágil « Gerenciamento Ágil

  6. Boris, você sabe quando o Firescrum estará disponível para download? Estou com dificultades de achar uma ferramenta open source que atenda todos os requisitos para gerenciamento do ágil.

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