There are many software tools on the market for managing Agile teams. Most of them are oriented towards Agile Development teams, but a few are suitable to managing Agile Marketing teams as well. Here are the ones that I’ve tried.
Trello is my favorite for individual use. It consists of a simple Kanban board, with three columns: To Do, Doing and Done. Adding a new task is as simple as typing and hitting the return key. To mark a task complete, you simply drag it over to the Done column. It also supports multiple boards, teams and some more complex features, but I primarily use if for my To Do list. Trello is a great tool for anyone who wants to manage their To Do lists, not just Agile Marketers.
Trello can also be used to manage Scrum by using an extension for Chrome called Scrum for Trello. Check it out at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jdbcdblgjdpmfninkoogcfpnkjmndgje
Asana is very easy to use and intuitive. You can add projects and tasks with a minimum of keystrokes and without filling out forms. You can also see what each team member is working on, and easily pass of tasks to other team members. It’s a great team tool.
Moovia uses Agile terminology like Sprint, tasks, burndown chart, backlog, etc. It also has a “cockpit” where you can see your tasks, events and anything that project members posted on the “wall”. I find it a bit more cumbersome to use than Trello or Asana, requiring filling out forms and generally slowing down listing out my tasks. For some teams, its powerful features may outweigh the somewhat cumbersome interface.
AgileZen is a Kanban board for teams. I don’t find it quite as intuitive for individual use as Trella, but it does have some powerful features. For example, it allows you to measure throughput, and also to quickly look at how many stories are in the backlog, how many are ready to be worked on, how many are in progress and how many are completed, all in a glance.
Leankit Kanban is another product based on the Kanban board. Like Moovia, it requires you to fill out a form to add a task, rather than the easier interfaces favored by Trello and Asana. It does have some unique features, including templates for different style Kanban boards, as well as a mobile version. I can’t say that I find its interface very attractive, but that may be a matter of personal taste.
Of course, the other alternative is to not use software at all, but to use a whiteboard and a set of stickies. The main advantage to this method is that there is something very satisfying in physically moving a task from doing to done, and everyone can see the progress by the number of stickies that accumulate in the done column. Putting this whiteboard in the room where you hold your daily scrums also allows everyone to see progress at the daily stand up meeting.
OnTime Scrum is a project management and bug tracking tool for Scrum teams from AxoSoft. It is part of a suite of products that include OnTime HelpDesk and OnTime Wiki. It is built on HTML 5, which in practice means that it is a SAAS product that is as responsive and interactive as any desktop product. I particularly like how OnTime Scrum allows you to quickly enter a series of stories to create your backlog, sort them in the planning board, and then drag selected stories into the approved column for your current sprint. If you provide estimates for each story, it will generate automatic burndown charts. OnTime Scrum also allows you to create a custom dashboard, which in addition to displaying the previously mentioned burndown charts, allows you to see at a glance current team velocity, required velocity to complete everything by the end of the Sprint, projected completion date and work remaining.
Pricing starts at $10 per month for small teams (up to 10 users), $7 per user per month after that, and they provide a free 30-day trial (requires a credit card).
Mingle’s greatest strength is its support of templates. Templates allow you to adapt Mingle to work the way you do. Mingle comes with templates for Scrum, Agile Hybrid, Agile Hybrid with Tasks, Lean Programming and XP (Extreme Programming). I’m sure it’s possible to create a template for Agile Marketing, although I couldn’t figure out how to modify the pages enough to accomplish this. Like OnTime Scrum, Mingle allows you to create a backlog and drag individual items into the current iteration. It doesn’t allow you to sort the stories simply by dragging and dropping, and overall, I found it slightly less intuitive to use. It also allows you to create an Overview page, equivalent to OnTime Scrum’s custom dashboard, where it can display velocity, burn down and burn up charts, release metrics, and projected completion date.
Pricing is free for the first 5 users, and $400 per user per year after that.