Personally I am not a big supporter for agile tools or rather I am not a big supporter for agile methodologies like;
Scrum. I think, this kind of frameworks just enable developers with different personalities/styles and from different profiles to work together.
Although I am not a big fan of these kind of methodologies, it is not easy to form a team that you don’t need to use them.
Enough for the analysis, it is not the subject of this post actually. As I said, not a fan of agile tools until I start using
GreenHopper. Even the manifesto suggests that we should honer individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
However when we purchased JIRA Studio service –it is good-old-JIRA however as a service, you have all the Atlassian tools (buzzword alert) on the cloud, it is cool– for a global project that involves participants all over the world, I started using it unwillingly and even considered it as waste of time in the beginning.
After sometime, I realized that it actually speeds up the process considerably, the planning meetings, the grooming meetings, etc.
You can create planning sprints and open your planning board to give story point estimations. After finishing giving your story point estimations, you can either move the stories to your implementation sprint backlog or you can create subtasks with real estimations then move the stories to implementation backlog. Either approach is logical but I prefer the first one, because according to your velocity even you decide which stories to add to backlog, you might not feel comfortable/committed to all of them.
See the following screenshots from
GreenHopper, the first one is the planning board and the second one is the task board.
With the task board everything is possible just like a real board. You can carry your tasks to
in-progress and when you are done move them to
done. You can log work in order to track the progress of your sprint.
I can hear you asking; “Ok but where is the burndown chart?”.
You also have another screen called chart board. See the following screenshot for the chart board –a.k.a. burndown chart–. As can be seen it is possible to track the progress of the sprint just by checking chart board. You have two burn down charts; one for hours burndown and one for issue burndown.
Another good feature is that you don’t have to use all of this screens every time, it is also possible to configure a dashboard to see a snapshot of your Sprint including; burndown, issues
done, issues assigned to you, recently updated list, remaining days, etc. See the following dashboard as an example.
GreenHopper and I am impressed by it. Long story short it removed my prejudice for agile tools, now I think that they can really be helpful. It is also worth checking
Mingle, maybe it is also as good as
GreenHopper, maybe better.
However one big advantage of
GreenHopper is that it comes with good-old-JIRA 🙂