Solving the “informal request” problem

Posted on April 14th, 2013 in Tools For Agile by siddharta || No Comment

One of the main reasons why Agile tool adoptions fail is not because of a lack of features or not enough reports, but something much simpler — “informal requests” that come in which never get tracked. This is not so much of an issue when you have a “strict” agile process where the product owner or equivalent is the only one through which all requests come in. But for many teams, requests come in to team members via email, via phone calls or even just someone going to a team member and making a request directly.

None of these informal requests ever get added to the backlog simply because it is too much of an effort for team members to open a browser, go to the server, log in, and fill up a form. As a result anywhere between 10%-30% of the actual work that team members do might not be tracked. Worse, it is sometimes unimportant work that ends up taking the time of a high priority task.

Compared to other tools, Tools For Agile makes it very simple to add cards to the backlog, but we can go a step further and make it braindead easy. Read on to see how.

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5 tips to make your electronic board more visible

Posted on March 8th, 2012 in Tools For Agile by siddharta || 2 Comments

One of the great things about a physical board is that its always big and visible. Anyone working in the room, or even walking through it, will glance at it once in a while.  Because of the huge amount of bandwidth our brain dedicates to decoding visual patterns, a glance is all one needs to quickly figure out the state of the work.

Unfortunately, when a team migrates to an electronic board, the big visible chart is gone. This is not a good thing, because now everyone has to log into the tool to see the board. You aren’t going to be doing that in the middle of your work, or while walking through the room.

Luckily, there are ways to solve this.

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Compare Pricing between Agile Tools

Posted on September 14th, 2011 in Tools For Agile by siddharta || No Comment

The Tools For Agile suite is priced per-board, not per-user. You pay for each board that you want to use, irrespective of the number of users using the board. Most of our competitors are priced per-user, which means that the more users you have, the more you pay.

We’ve just released an agile tool pricing calculator that makes it easy to compare pricing between these two models. Simply enter the number of users, boards and the monthly price and the calculator will tell you how much you have to pay for using Tools For Agile using the per-board pricing model compared to any other agile tool using a per-user pricing model.

Check out the pricing calculator here.

5 Reasons Why Electronic Boards Are Better Than Physical Boards

Posted on July 5th, 2011 in Agile, Kanban, Tool, Tools For Agile by siddharta || 4 Comments

Yesterday I gave 5 reasons why physical boards are better than electronic boards.

But could an electronic board be better than a physical board? Sure.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. Collaborate with distributed teams: Lets face it. A large number of teams are globally distributed. Either the teams are split between locations, or there are multiple teams in different locations, or the management, stakeholders or customer is not co-located, or some team members sometimes work from home. Every which way, there are some people who need to know whats happening who aren’t going to be in the proximity of the physical board. Electronic boards are accessible from anywhere, giving remote teams and stakeholders the visibility needed to collaborate effectively.
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5 Reasons Why Physical Boards Are Better Than Electronic Boards

Posted on July 4th, 2011 in Agile, Kanban, Tool, Tools For Agile by siddharta || 9 Comments

"Kanban" via chrishuffmanPeople often ask whether it is better to use a physical board or an electronic board. The answer of course is that it depends. What is the context of the team and the project? How many team members? Are you distributed? and so on.

In this post, I’ll talk about five reasons why physical boards are better than electronic boards. Tomorrow, I’ll do the opposite, with five reasons why electronic boards are better than physical boards. Finally I’ll do a post on how to choose between the two.

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