Tool Review – Agile Bench – Easy Agile Project Management

[Want to see the tool and not the review below? Go to www.agilebench.com]

So far TheĀ Agile Scout has reviewed several different types of Agile project management tools so far: Task Management, Priority Management, and Collaboration Management. All of these tools were fantastic in their own right and they have a particular tool-set focus and business model.

Why not combine all of those?

Yep, that’s what we were thinking.

Enter: Agile Bench, The Easiest Way to Manage Agile Projects (@agilebench)

We like simple tools. Tools that allow us to manage teams efficiently in all ways: Grooming the backlog, planning releases, estimating work, and staying on top of issues and blockers quickly and affectively. A tool should be something that merely augments the processes you already have and radiates only the information you need.

Can Agile Bench do all of that? Yes sir, and more.

How to get started? It’s easy. You can either watch a short video, or jump into the game. Hey, you don’t even have to really sign up to try it out (we like that a lot)!

Want to get started on your new project instead of reading copious amounts of text?

  • Give it a title
  • Put in an email
  • Set your iteration length (which you can change later)
  • Boom. You’re done.

Simple sign up. What’s even better? It’s so darn easy to get started. For Agile Scouts like us, we’re very familiar with some of the foundational elements in Scrum. From a backlog, sprint releases, estimating tasks, burndown charts, and assigning work. It’s all intuitive.

Enter in a story with an estimate and type. It even gives you options as to whether it is a Story, Bug, Chore, or Epic (which we’d hope you break down into more consumable smaller stories).

Fill in some details or comment on the story. *Tool Tip - Remember to save your details before you add a comment. If you do both, and then save just one of them, you’ll lose the changes you made in the box that you didn’t click save (We found out the hard way).

Now you have a sweet list of tasks. Next step? Assign them to an iteration as they are all now in your backlog. Easy-cakes:

Now you can drag and drop your stories into different swimlanes: In Progress, Done, Paused:

And now your basically done. Let the backend take care of your burndown charts, dashboard, and other information radiators that allow you to focus on the total project.

We foresee this tool augmenting a tight-nit Scrum group that understands the basics of Scrum very well. But if your team isn’t there yet, it’s a great task-management tool that allows your team to start on the Scrum journey.

Our recommendation? Check it out and see if it works for your team and your Agile software development environment. With an easy sign up, an intuitive interface, and a simple workflow you may not need much more. Agile tools are supposed to be simple, right? Agile Bench is just that.

Make sure to follow Agile Bench on Twitter @agilebench. We understand they’re dropping new API connectivity soon. Epic!

Agile Bench – Getting Started from Agile Bench on Vimeo.

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21 Responses to “Tool Review – Agile Bench – Easy Agile Project Management”

  1. Mark Mansour
    October 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    Thanks for the great writeup. We’re trying to make a tool that we love (and as you can tell from our tool, we know agile (scrum) pretty well!

    We love your review – it really highlights ABs strengths. Thanks for taking the time to add us to your site.

    If you mention your found us via Agile Scout we’ll throw in a extra user when you sign up for free until the end of Oct 2010. This means if you buy a 5 seat licence we’ll up it to a 6 seat licence for free. Over a year that will save you $180.

    Also, you can see a preview of our API at http://agilebench.com/api/

    Mark
    Founder, Agile Bench

    • ScoutMaster
      October 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

      Thanks Mark for the update! Hope it helps out your user base!
      Great stuff for the APIs!

  2. Justin French
    October 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Nice to see the AgileBench team’s hard work getting some hard-earned attention and recognition!

    • ScoutMaster
      October 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

      It’s a great program. Very simple to use! We likey

    • Mark Mansour
      November 18, 2010 at 12:14 am #

      Thanks Justin! We’re pretty proud of the Agile Bench team – they are rad…

      • ScoutMaster
        November 18, 2010 at 8:23 am #

        They’ve put together a pretty solid team with a pretty solid product!

  3. Mark N
    October 25, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Any chance of single signon support? E.g., OpenID.

    • ScoutMaster
      October 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

      Good question. Maybe someone can help out with this question?

    • Mark Mansour
      October 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

      You are actually the first person to ask for OpenID support. It is on our roadmap (because we like OpenID too) – we want more people to request it before we prioritize it higher.

      Anyone else want Open ID?

  4. James Farmer
    October 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Nice review, we’ve (WPMU DEV) been fans of the Bench since way back and it’s great to see other people getting into it.

    It really is an insanely easy way to get into agile project management without having to know anything about it all all :)

    Looking forward to watching it take on basecamp!

    • Mark Mansour
      November 18, 2010 at 12:14 am #

      Thanks James. We love that WPMU DEV are fans.

  5. Grant Bissett
    November 17, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Good review. Gotta love the no-signup trial

    • ScoutMaster
      November 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! It’s a good one!

    • Mark Mansour
      November 18, 2010 at 12:13 am #

      We spent a lot of time making sure it is as easy as possible to get started. We really to take “the easiest way to manage agile projects” seriously.

  6. Hunter Gatherer
    December 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    I like the idea of what you are doing. But I have to let you know that your video has real problems.

    As a writer, developer, programmer, entrepreneur, video producer and COMPOSER, you need to balance the sound on your promo video. You want the sound and music to “support” your featured verbal content, script and performance and NOT fight it or overwhelm it.

    It would make it much easier to listen to your promo if you removed the musical sound track entirely or just used it for the intro and ending. You can barely understand what is being said. I don’t expect that is your intent.

    • peter
      December 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback! I hope the Agile Bench guys get this feedback!

    • Mark Mansour
      December 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback – we’ve turned down the music so it is pretty inoffensive (we hope). After asking around a few others had the same issue. We’re not really video experts (can you tell!) so your feedback was appreciated. We hope you like the updated version.

      Mark

  7. Abhishek
    September 20, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    i tried AB today, and found it very intuitive as compared to other. I like the quick style approach. The sign up was clean and simple. However i do not understand how have they missed Task Board management. I do not see an option to add tasks to the user stories? Is this still in your Roadmap AB?

  8. Mark Mansour
    September 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi Abhishek,

    Thanks for the kind words about AB.

    We don’t support tasks in stories because the teams we deal with no longer use tasks and are comfortable with only stories. We are thinking of adding a checklist to stories. Would that work for you?

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