[Tool Review] – Impediment Monkey – Get Those Blockers Off Your Back

Just released: A brand spanking new tool called Impediment Monkey.

Essentially, this tool is a simple way to track bugs, impediments, issues, blockers, or monkeys on your back… what ever you call them! If you’re using Scrum, Kanban, Lean or other methods that support continuous improvement, Impediment Monkey helps you make improvements faster.

Impediment Monkey takes in, notifies, helps in resolving and makes bashing impediments exciting and objective. Additionally, Impediment Monkey lets you assign, follow up, chart trends and even provides expert services to support your impediment bashing efforts.

A pretty simple popup comes up when you want to report an impediment.

If you need to add a note, simple. Add a note!

And… that’s pretty much it for now. They’re looking to continue to improve this over time, so feel free to drop them a note as to how to improve it. So far, it’s simple and light. It may just be what you need… for your own team or your personal life! Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Impediment Monkey – Get Those Blockers Off Your Back”

[Tool Review] – SifterApp – Simple Bug Tracking

 

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

It is really hard to find bug tracking tools that are easy to use. It almost seems like an oxymoron to say the words “simple” and “bug tracking” in the same sentence. Any quality assurance person will tell you that QA isn’t easy… unless the environment is set up to make it easy. Maybe all you need is a kick-ass tool…

[Enter]: SifterAppSimple and Friendly Bug Tracking Tool

No Superlatives. Just Software

SifterApp isn’t “bug tracking done right”, “better bug tracking”, or even “bug tracking evolved.” It’s just a simple and friendly hosted bug tracking tool designed for small teams.

Not only that. It’s pretty to look at as well. 

Quickly get an overview of all projects and dive in for a deeper look with the Project Dashboard view:

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – SifterApp – Simple Bug Tracking”

[Tool Review] – Trello – Uber Simple Collaboration and Task Management Tool

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

As more and more tools are being released to help people personally or in software development, I’m finding that some of the most fun tools to use are those that are not only simple, but aesthetically pleasing to use as well – Having JUST the right amount of neat features that don’t get in the way.

[Enter]: TrelloUBER Simple Collaboration and Task Management

After you sign up, jump right on in. The first board you’ll see is a walk-through board. Every single task on the board tells you some of the things you can do with Trello. I found this feature to be really helpful. No need to click through another walk-through of all the features. They are all right there!

And that’s pretty much all you need to know:

Click for full size
Click for full size

Summary? Well you have 3 things… Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Trello – Uber Simple Collaboration and Task Management Tool”

[Tool Review] – RedCritterTracker – Agile Tool Gamification

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Somehow I knew this was coming. An Agile tool company starting to think like a game. We’ve talked about “gamification” before:

 

So it has happened: Winning badges for completing tasks and working as a team. Hey, you can even trade in “points” for rewards set by your management. Who knew that working could earn you LOOT?

[Enter]: RedCritter TrackerBusiness Gamification kinda like Pivotal Tracker

By the way…

Get 15% off when you use the INVITATION CODE: “AGILESCOUT”

So, let’s jump right in: Continue reading “[Tool Review] – RedCritterTracker – Agile Tool Gamification”

[Tool Review] – KanbanPad – Kanban For Free!

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

There are some really great kanban tools out there. Some you pay for, some are free. People say that “you get what you pay for…” Most of the time, this is very true. Sometimes… you might just be surprised at what you can get for free.

[Enter]: KanbanPadAbsolutely free kanban tool, lightweight and simple

To get started, just enter your email address into the field and get to it. You’ll be greeted with a simple interface:

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – KanbanPad – Kanban For Free!”

Podio Mobile – Make Your Own Apps

What if everyone could build their own mobile work apps to get their work done in a collaborative way?

With Podio’s iPhone app release this is now possible. We’ve been following Podio pretty closely, and so far, we’ve been very impressed.

When Podio launched back in March, the BBC called Podio a citizen developers movement. Since then our users have built or modified more than 200,000 work apps (see some of them here). In fact anyone can build an app on Podio, without technical skills. With today’s iPhone app release Podio users can put all of those work apps on their iPhones:

Want to become part of the movement to change the way people work? Podio might just be something for you to check out.

See our [Tool Review] on Podio here.

Spaaze – Virtual Sticky Note Board

Fun Friday Miscellaneous Tool ***PART 3***- [We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

More fun. Check out [Spaaze.com] if you’d like another quick and dirty virtual sticky note wallboard.

But buyers beware: This tool has a ton more features… but has a LIMIT on how many items you can post… then you have to PAY. (BOO).

The other two from today are:

Both are FREE and LITE.

Corkboard.me – Virtual Sticky Notes

Fun Friday Miscellaneous Tool **PART 2**- [We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

OMG! Thanks to Tim Coulter… we have another Cork board virtual sticky notes alternative: [Corkboard.me]

I’m actually shocked at how similar Corkboard.me and Listhings.com are. Who knew?

Take them both for a spin. Choose your weapon.

Listhings – Virtual Sticky Notes Board

Fun Friday Miscellaneous Tool – [We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Listhings.com is a fun site similar to that of an Evernote but with virtual stickynotes. I’m wondering if this would be valuable for a small team to plan work with… virtually. Though I’m still a huge fan of physical wallboards being the best.

Try it out for free. After October 10, 2011 you’ll have to sign up to mess around on it.

[Tool Review] – Concept Board – Next Level Design Sharing

We here at Agile Scout love us some design and Agile. We talk a lot about how design and Agile can work:

Not only that we love how developers are creating design apps that make it easier for teams to collaborate:

  • [Tool Review] – Wirify – Make a webpage a wireframe
  • [Tool Review] – GoMockingBird – A light wireframe tool to put web-centric wireframes together quickly
  • [Tool Review] – CageApp – Design sharing made easy
  • [Tool Review] – Lucid Chart – Online Diagramming made easy
  • Or go with a regular design pad – Yep. Pen and Paper version.
  • How about turning a wall into a full-on whiteboard. Use Idea Paint!

Well here’s something for Agile developers and designers!

[Enter]: Conceptboard A brand new (free) cloud app for visual collaboration *Agile Scout likes!

Conceboard offers a blank work space (like a whiteboard) on which you can put designs, pictures or documents (pdf, ms office). Or you just start to scribble (great for mind maps and brainstorming). With the comment tool you can place annotations directly at your designs or concepts.

Their distinctive feature is real time collaboration.

Teams can work at the same time on a board. Even on the iPad. There is also a great presentations mode for showing your work to a customer, coworker or friend. Conceptboard offers a typical, simple interface for the online feedback tools, in order to collect comments and remarks at one central location. This central location is the board which is easily accessed by all participants via a browser; in other words, the current status of the draft and all the participants’ opinions are available to everyone at all times. The feedback in the Conceptboard can consist of adding text, or scribbles and small sketches, or even adding other files and screenshots to the same board.

OH SNAP!

But before we continue, we had to let you know that all AgileScout readers get 20% off a premium account! Thanks to Roman for this awesome perk.

Just use the coupon code “agilescout”

OH DOUBLE SNAP!

Not only that, for the we will choose 3 random WINNERS  who want to try out the design app get a 6 month license for FREE! 

Just comment and let us know how you’d use this app for your personal or business use!

What I loved about this tool is it’s fluid and easy to use. All about the simplicity! Adding and uploading documents was a breeze, I was even able to add screenshots directly to it. 🙂 Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Concept Board – Next Level Design Sharing”

[Tool Review] – LeanKit Kanban – Optimize Your Flow

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Kanban is kicking into high gear these days as more and more enterprises are taking on the challenge of utilizing Kanban to help them visualize their business. It’s just a matter of time before some really good Kanban tools come out to help. Lucky for us, they have. 

[Enter]: LeanKit KanbanOptimize Your Flow of Work

After you sign up for a 30-day free trial, you’ll have access to a simple dashboard. Get started with a few clicks and you’ll be on your way to creating your board:

The board is so intuitive and simple to use. Simply add a story, fill in as much information as you need into the card and save it! Continue reading “[Tool Review] – LeanKit Kanban – Optimize Your Flow”

[Tool Review] – Opzi – Collaboration Platform Featuring a Wicked-Fast Interface

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

We love us some neat tools. Not only that, we love pre-launch beta invites, and that’s exactly what we got. There is something about VC-funded startups that just tickle us, or rather, get our blood moving. It’s an exciting prospect to say the least. We at Agile Scout were lucky enough to get an early look at Opzi’s new product, which bills itself as a “next-gen collaboration platform,” featuring a library of apps that can be installed with one click. So what is this all about?

[Enter]: OpziCollaboration Done Wickedly Fast

After entering into the private beta we were greeted with a simple Install page.

The first two apps available are (1) a project management tool and (2) and issue tracking tool specifically for software teams.
Simply install them and you are go!

The tool features a extremely fast spreadsheet-like user interface that made us forget were were actually using an application in the browser.
Keyboard shortcuts make entering and editing information actually enjoyable.

Tight integration with email means your teammates can add comments to items simply by replying, and live notifications make sure everyone is in sync at all times.

Not necessarily a new thing, but did we mention how blazingly fast this app is? Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Opzi – Collaboration Platform Featuring a Wicked-Fast Interface”

Agile Innovation Games

We here at AgileScout love Innovation Games. We’re all about making work more exciting, engaging, and worthwhile to everyone involved. Work doesn’t have to be a drag. We’ve covered a couple topics on this before:

Thanks to Luke Hohmann we’ve been resourced with some of the top games. We decided to drop them here for all you Agile coaches to utilize. Have fun! Continue reading “Agile Innovation Games”

Best Tool to Manage Distributed Agile Teams?

[We review Agile tools, have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Surveys are fun, but you have to look at them with a keen eye. Sometimes the results skew towards certain biases. This exact thing happened when the Ainstainer group put together a poll for the best tool to manage distributed Agile teams.

Some definition to begin:

  1. A Remote Team is a team of software developers that are located in an other city/region/country
  2. A Distributed Team (as defined by Ainstainer) is a team with members that are located in different places
  3. The main difference between these two teams is that distributed team is multidirectional (at least 2 or more locations),  while the members of a remote team are usually placed in one office with the Product Owner in another area (country).

As for the Poll Questions:

  1. What is the best Agile Tool for managing distributed teams?
  2. What is your experience in using the chosen Agile Tool?
  3. What country do you represent?

We love Canada. They have a bunch of pride. Out of 68 respondents from 17 different countries, 58% were from Canada… and guess what tool they said was the best? A Canadian Agile tool: Urban Turtle. Go figure, right?

Find the poll results [here].

Agree with these results?


What are your favorite tools for managing distributed teams?

Let us know in the comments.

[HT: Ainstainer]

Top 5 iPhone and Android Planning Poker Apps for Agile

Top 5 Free iPhone Agile Planning Poker Apps

Francois Baronnet’s Planning Poker – [Download for iPhone]

Rating: 2/5

Features:

  • Selected card is now clearly identifiable
  • Two modes: fast or flashy (restart app to change mode)
  • User preferences are saved


Unboxed Consulting Planning Poker – [Download for iPhone or Android]

Rating: 3/5

Features:

  • Create a custom set of numbers if the supplied sets do not meet your needs
  • Timer included

Continue reading “Top 5 iPhone and Android Planning Poker Apps for Agile”

Top 200 Agile Blogs RSS + Twitter Lists

I’ve gotten quite a lot of emails asking for the RSS. Well here you go.

Clicking these links are the fastest way to subscribe to the blogs that you want to follow. I decided to create the list instead of drop an XML file on you all. This way you can pick and choose which ones you want to follow.

For full details on the Top 200 Agile blogs go here.

Enjoy!

Continue reading “Top 200 Agile Blogs RSS + Twitter Lists”

Agile Blogs Top 200 – Update

I’ve received many emails about the ranking system for the Top 200 Agile Blogs list.

The picture above is what I’ll be working on for the rest of the week so that means no NEW blog posts (I’m tired).

What does this mean for you?

  1. You have a chance to state your peace and enter your blog into my system by 6/9/2011 at 11:59PM.
  2. If you feel like I have missed your blog, please comment on the Top 200 Agile Blogs post.
  3. I will run you through the program and see if you’ve made the cut.
  4. BTW – Some blogs have already been bounced due to algorithm anomolies. For example: If a total blog has 0 Alexa, 0 Compete, and 0 RSS and is tied for that number with others, they receive a similar grade, interestingly enough, they get a points for shared ranking, which is the reason why you see a couple of blogs on the list with relatively zero influence… those are now gone.
  5. I like to give people a fair chance. So grab your chance to get into the top 200 list.
  6. I’ll also be adding an Honorable mention section past the 200.
  7. I’ll also be editing the post so you can grab the RSS feeds for each of the top 200 as well. Aren’t I swell?

Top 200 Agile Blogs

[If you’re not on this list and would like to be considered, post your blog information in a comment at the bottom!]

There are hundreds of great Agile blogs and software development blogs to read, but do you ever wonder which Agile blogs everyone else is reading? Ever wonder which ones are worth reading?

I do. I burn about 1400+ RSS feeds of Agile and software development blogs (growing weekly) with people emailing me monthly for my RSS XML file.

Here are the best 200 Agile blogs out there for 2011. Some focus exclusively on Agile and coaching, while others are more on leadership, news, consulting, Product Ownership, ScrumMastering, and specific Agile methods. Regardless of how you label them, these are the world’s most popular Agile blogs written by many of today’s most influential Agile leaders, practitioners, coaches, consultants, and hippies.

Want to brag about your rank or give some link love to the Top 200 Agile Blogs list? Embed the badge at the bottom of this page on your website.

For a legend and to understand how the rankings are computed, scroll down past the list.

TOP 200 AGILE BLOGS

As of June 3, 2011 – Updated on June 8 with new data and changes.

[Click here for the Top 200 Agile Blogs RSS links!]


Continue reading “Top 200 Agile Blogs”

FAQ Overflow – Simple Answers

A quick note on this random Friday. I’m a big fan of Stack.Exchange and Stack.Overflow and the crew that runs those sites (Some of which I met at RallyON2011). Love that stuff. These guys over here at FAQ Overflow put together a simple distilled list of frequently asked questions and their answers. Worth a quick browse. Have some good quick-and-dirty answers to Agile specific questions.

[VIA: FAQ Overflow]

[Tool Review] – Agile Scrum Tool for iPad – Scrum Sprint Planner

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

People love the iPad. I certainly do. Wasn’t it time that a robust iPad app came out that supports Scrum in a beautiful UI and easy-to-use interface? Well, let not your hearts be troubled. The time has come.

[Enter]: Scrum Sprint ManagerScrum for iPad

We here at Agile Scout were lucky enough to get our hands on it first. Lucky us right? Yep, we popped in the redemption code and downloaded that sucker. Truth be told, it was kind of exciting to be an early adopter! 🙂

Agile Project Manager (Scrum Sprint Manager) uses all the advantages of Scrum – flexibility and adaptiveness to changing project requirements. Agile Project Manager allows you to plan and track the progress of your development cycle. You can quickly create a detailed plan of the sprint, manage sprint tasks, and view sprint progress in a burn down chart.

What you get at the start is the planning page. What we liked best were the color options, the sprint duration and the planning poker aspect of setting time allocation to tasks or stories:

A quick look see below shows the Sprint page after all is said and done:

Don’t forget your burn down chart:

Simple enough? Options on this baby are limited as of now, but we’ve been told by Dar-Soft that they have big plans for later releases as well as more Pro features.

What’s New In Version 1.5.0

– multiple projects support
– minor bug fix

So what are you waiting for? For $9.99 could this be used for your personal Scrum management?

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

[Tool Review] – Sazneo – Smarter Group Communication

[We review Agile tools, have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Communication, transparency, and collaboration are huge for successful teams. The better a team communicates, the better they can work through issues, and move towards deployment of products. Simply put, communication should be easy. If your environment isn’t communication-friendly, that may be the first issue you need to look into.

Sometimes we can’t change our environment. Sometimes, our tech-lead is out in China. What communication platform will you be using?

[Enter]: Sazneo Smarter Group Communication that looks pretty while doing it

When people often think about inter-office communication, a couple of big players come to mind: Yammer, Campfire, Yahoo, and even some old school clients like AIM. While these are great tools, sometimes you may just need a little more oomph for your team.

A beautiful dashboard to start. Channels to go to and 1-on-1 chat makes Sazneo cover all your bases immediately.

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Sazneo – Smarter Group Communication”

[Tool Review] Agile Soup – Simple Web Program with Android App

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

We found out about this cool little app while we were browsing for android applications. It seems that we may have found another addition to our growing list of Agile tools that has a bit of ‘flavour’ to it.

[Enter]: Agile SoupAgile Project Management on the Go

Load this baby up, and you have a simple tabbed interface with:

  • Dashboard
  • Projects
  • Stories
  • Tasks
  • Agile Wall
  • Reports
  • Users

Continue reading “[Tool Review] Agile Soup – Simple Web Program with Android App”

[Misc Tools] – CageApp – Design Sharing Made Easy

Simple apps are the best by far. This app makes sharing designs and comps easy and free.

Simply put, you create a project, upload what you want to share, and then share it! What is nice is you create a vanity url of sorts, we created agilescout.cageapp.com. Very simple.

  • Find the project you’re looking for – We track your project history and make it easier for you to access your most recent work.
  • Collaborate where it makes sense – Eliminate the need for lengthy emails and meetings and collect feedback right on top of your designs.
  • Privacy options your clients will appreciate – Flexibility to add or customize passwords to protect your projects, so that your work stays private.
  • Web-based presentation, nothing to download – The freedom to access your presentation from anywhere you can connect to the web.
  • Share your work with a simple link – No need for user accounts or logins, share a unique URL to your presentation for review and feedback.
  • Quick, inline editing couldn’t be easier – Edit, preview, and rearrange your designs with drag/drop and inline editing.

Before I forget, currently this is a closed beta… but you can join by using the unlock code: “john.”

Jump on it!

[VIA: CageApp]


[Tool Review] – ScrumDo – Free and Sweet Open Source Scrum

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

“Isn’t it time that everyone benefitted from the time-tested Agile methodologies without the cost of training and expensive ‘experts?'” – Peter Saddington

“Over here at ScrumDo, we totally agree with you.  Most of the tools out there are stupid-expensive or they don’t make it easy enough to succeed with scrum.  It’s one of the reasons we decided to make our software open source and free for everyone.” – Marc Hughs (Developer at ScrumDo.com)

We’re all about free open source lean tools that just work. If the tools are pretty and run quick then it’s a plus too. Some will say that you get what you pay for, right? In many cases that is very true. Sometimes, you may just be surprised when you come across a Scrum tool that is open source and awesome at the same time.

[Enter]: ScrumDoThe Open Source Scrum tool with powerful results

When you get started you’ll be greeted with a couple of options: Create a new project or create a new organization. We started out with an AgileScout organization and kept on moving. The tool tips are readily available and it’s a snap to get started:

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – ScrumDo – Free and Sweet Open Source Scrum”

[Tool Review] – Freedcamp – Free Project Management, FOREVER

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

“For many years the web has lacked a solution to free project management – specifically for small businesses, start-ups, students, or people who just love to collaborate on ideas. With Freedcamp we offer an unlimited user and unlimited project solution for everyone, completely free, forever.”

While this tool does NOT have all the facets that an Agile tool would have, we just had to cover it because of it’s outrageous claim: To be FREE FOREVER. That caught our eye and we decided to dive in and see what was up. From the enavu.com network comes this newest tool.

[Enter]: FreedcampFree Project Management, Forever!

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Freedcamp – Free Project Management, FOREVER”

[Tool Review] – Tom’s Planner – Making Gantt Charts Pretty

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Are you an Agile Project Manager or Scrum Master Project Manager? Read: Standard Project Manager? Well, if you have a client that still needs Gantt charts to see schedules, look no further. This tool is a really easy gantt chart maker, all on the cloud.

“Tom’s Planner is Gantt chart software that allows anyone to create, collaborate and share Gantt Charts online with drag and drop simplicity. It’s web based, extremely intuitive and easy-to-use.” – Tom’s Planner

[Enter]: Tom’s PlannerReally pretty online gantt chart maker

So why are we reviewing this tool? It’s not exactly a standard Agile tool and many people would say that making a Gantt chart isn’t Agile at all. I would disagree. These type of scheduling charts still have their place in business. So let’s give it a run.

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Tom’s Planner – Making Gantt Charts Pretty”

[Tool Review] – Action Method for iPad – Task Management on the Go

As iPad saturates the IT development environment more and more users are wanting iPad support for their favorite task management tools. We know that Pivotal Tracker has iPhone support, and a tool we reviewed before is specific for the iPhone (Scrum2Go Review), but how about the iPad?

At my current client, at least 5 developers have iPads and use them regularly. Should tool developers be looking towards mobile and tablets? Absolutely.

Enter: Action Method Powerful Mobile Task Management

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Action Method for iPad – Task Management on the Go”

[Tool Review] – Geckoboard – Create Your Own Personal Dashboard

Want a cool web app that allows you to create your own sweet dashboard? You have to know a little about API’s and stuff, but this online tool could put just what you need in front of you.

[Enter]: GeckoboardYour Business in Real Time

“Want web analytics, CRM, support, infrastructure, project management, sales… all in one place? Geckoboard is a hosted, real-time status board serving up the indicators that matter to you.”

It took a little bit of time to get a beta invite to join, but once we got in, we really liked what we saw. It’s as easy as one-two click to add a widget. From CRM, email, project management, social media, and web analytics, you can click and choose what you want to see.

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Geckoboard – Create Your Own Personal Dashboard”