We’re looking at tools to help manage agile projects. This is a large, globally distributed enterprise, and that’s not going to change, so I suppose some sort of expensive tool is a necessary evil.
Many people are involved with reviewing the tools (which include things like Mingle, ScrumWorks, Agile on Demand, VersionOne, and eXPlainPMT). Everyone comes from a different perspective, of course, and I have nothing against how other people choose to work. But one request keeps coming up that bugs me: the insistence that the tool support the ability to do task tracking.
The desire to manage tasks in an agile process is evidence that a team is not collaborating. They are instead using silo-mode development: 1 story -> 1 developer. In lieu of tracking progress by marking off completed stories, they look at progress in terms of what tasks have been completed. May as well go back to waterfall.
It’s all about delivering the story. If you work in a collaborative mode that promotes this, there’s no need for tracking at the task level. (I’m not even going to mention the ludicrous idea that tasks ever outlive an iteration.)
Then you add or delete tasks as needed.
we went to a csm class with danube too. the trainer said “are you in the business of keeping people busy or producing product?” I think this is the point of your blog postings.
Our VersionOne tool met both requirements for us. We could start with task tracking if absolutely necessary and turn off at any point in the future with the click of a single check box. We actually started with task tracking turned off and never looked back.
Definitely tool should make it possible to disable task tracking, but it brings value as well.
Spread-out tasks are also a violation of lean principles.
We use VersionOne because it handles both. We use task tracking heavily. As we work towards appropriately sized stories, we may need this less… but for now it helps us compensate for some other issues.