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Great resources and tools to make the most of Agile/SCRUM...

From: Michael B.
Sent on: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:03 AM
If your looking for some tools and resources to get you off to a good start with Agile, here are are my personal recommendations...

  • Rally Liffecycle Management ($$$)
    If your new to Agile, I would urge you to look at using an online Agile Project Management tool. This will help you stay on track, and keep all the information on your project central and available to all people. At my company, we use Rally and it is a great tool.

    Rally unites Agile project management with requirements management, test management and defect management, so everyone has a real-time picture of your project?s features and quality, priorities, roadblocks and risks. Rally?s deep support for all roles and activities in the software development lifecycle lets you replace expensive and poorly integrated point tools with a highly secure, hosted web service that starts fast and scales easily across platforms and geographies for low-risk, low-cost deployment.

  • Rally Community Edition (Free)
    Online Agile Project Management. Same as above, but free and only from one project. Perfect for single release teams that want to pilot Agile development in a no-cost, low burden Software-as-a-Service environment.

  • (Free)
    Online Agile Project Management. PivotalTracker is a free, award winning, agile project management tool that enables real time collaboration around a shared, prioritized backlog. I use this on my personal projects and I love it!

  • Basecamp ($$$)
    Online Agile Project Management. Basecamp is a simple easy to use web project management tool. Many firms use this for managing their projects. Here is an excellent article on how to use it in the context of an Agile/SCRUM project.

  • Planning Poker (Free)
    Make sure you do estimation the right way. Dont let one senior person on your team decide the size and scope if the work. Dont let one person dictate who does what.

    We use a technique called Planning Poker and it's one of the best things we ever did for our remote team. The idea behind Planning Poker is simple. Individual stories are presented for estimation. After a period of discussion, each participant chooses from his own deck the numbered card that represents his estimate of how much work is involved in the story under discussion. All estimates are kept private until each participant has chosen a card. At that time, all estimates are revealed and discussion can begin again.

  • Balsamiq Mockups (Free/cheap)
    There is no better way to describe your vision and your ideas than with a simple sketch or mockup. This tool will save you countless hours, and you will be creating UI mockups in no time. Trust me that this is worth checking out. It just might be my very favorite tip for teams that need to collaborate on ideas. It's cheap - and one of the best products you will ever buy. It costs $79, but if you use the coupon code of UXAPPRENTICE you will get a discount. There is also a fre version you can use online.

  • Online user story collaboration (Free)
    Remember that Agile is mostly about the team and the relationships and collaboration that occurs is fundemental to your success. If you have a virtual team, then this tool lets you create a virtual wall of user stories on sticky notes and allow real time concurrent edits with this tool. Great for collaboration.

  • Learn all you want to know about Agile/SCRUM (Free)
    Mike Cohn is your best bet to learn more about Agile and Scrum. As the author of three agile books, numerous articles, and his own blog, Mike Cohn's approach to software development is well documented. You can also download slides of from many of Mike's speaking engagements, including a video of Mike speaking at Google. Mike?s training and coaching style is very similar to what you?ll see online or in person at a conference.

If you have things to add to this list, then please post to this discussion thread so others can see.[masked]


Michael Bourque
Boston PHP

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