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Agile Tools: Comparing Experiences and Learning from Each Other

October 03, 2017

At our most recent Think IT Project Management Office group meeting, we discussed the topic of Agile tools and how different organizations use them. There is no one-size-fits all tool, but there are certainly some things to consider before making an investment in any of them. Take a look at what the group discussed and let us know what you think are the most important requirements for choosing an Agile tool! 

Originally posted on Think IT  Some description

Agile tools are a very broad and diverse market within the IT community. Questions arise time and time again as to how effective they are, what works, what doesn’t work, and how do we manage our organizations as they go through this change? At last week’s Project Management Office group meeting, John Danzl engaged attendees to open up about Agile Tools: Comparing Experiences and Learning from Each Other.

During our meeting, we had the opportunity to compare the experiences individuals have had with specific Agile tools. The tools we covered were VersionOne, JIRA and Rally. You might ask, which tool did you find was the best? As a group, we concluded that each Agile tool has its own benefits, it all depends on the information we are trying to track and what your management wants to see.

What’s most important when deciding on an Agile tool, are the steps leading up to implementing the tool. This can be a difficult task, far too often organizations buy into a tool while overlooking the most important step.

Before you choose an Agile tool, you’ll need to gather a requirements list. Requirements are functions, not features. Features are found in the tool, and functions are the activities performed by the features (Smartsheet Inc., 2017).

Here are some general functions you may want to have in your requirements list:

  • Agile planning and tracking
  • Linking between plan tracking and status reporting
  • History of work items for auditing
  • Development task tracking and collaboration
  • Review and approval tools
  • Reporting tools
  • Ability to perform cross-project analysis
  • Full project lifecycle management
  • Easy drag-and-drop user interface
  • Simple deployment and accessibility – cloud based vs. on premise

 

Make sure you are aware of what you are looking to achieve as an organization. Next, take the time to plan your change management process; how you set up the tool that will determine how effective it is.

There is no Agile tool that will satisfy everyone in the business. Organizations need to prioritize what they need, as well as understand that there may not be a tool that meets every need. Take the time to find what is most important to your organization and prepare yourself for this change before jumping in with a blind eye.

References

How to Pick the Right Agile Tool. (2017, May 30). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://www.smartsheet.com/how-pick-right-agile-tool

Posted By: Anna Wischmann

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