There are several agile project management tools out there indeed. I managed to work well with teamwork.com and Scrum Sprints even though teamworkpm wasn’t built specifically and with all the concepts of agile project management. Here are the tweaks I used for this. I’m not gonna explain everything about Scrum and Teamworkpm in this post, I’ll just list the things that made me work with both of them together.
Using lists for backlogs
Product backlog, scrum backlog, bugs backlog are nothing but task lists. So we created task lists for each one of those things.
Urgent tasks – Here are all tasks that are deadly urgent, I mean, life threatening bugs and problems. Things here must be solved before any other task from the current sprint, even if this delays up work.
Product Backlog – A list of all tasks needing to be done. Here we use multiple backlog lists for the product, each from a part or a stakeholder.
Sprint X – We create a new task list for each sprint we roll. This list is planned along with the project owner. He chooses from the product backlog task lists some of the tasks/features he would like to have in that sprint. Then the tasks are analyzed by the development team, estimated and they end up on an agreement of all the tasks for that sprint.
Sprint X – Unplanned Items – For each sprint we have a list for unplanned items. It’s usual for people to think it’s ok to put new items into the current sprint, so those tasks are included into the unplanned items list. That way we are able to keep track of that kind of tasks and prioritize the tasks that were planned for the sprint. Once all tasks for the sprint are done, we starting burning out the unplanned items (usually it doesn’t happen. Most of the unplanned items are relocated to the product backlog and usually are done in later sprints, not even the next one).
Bugs Backlog – All known bugs are putted here. It’s like a thin bug tracker. The bugs here are moved to some sprint or are moved to the urgent tasks list.
How to write the list items
Scrum backlog items usually are one of the following things:
- New desired features – Features (or bug solving) desired to be delivered
- Technical stuff that the product owner usually don’t know what it’s all about (ie. upgrading software, setting up logs, dns, etc)
- Research and analysis
Some of them are easily mensurable, some of them aren’t, and we call those epic tasks.
Epic tasks usually needs to be rewritten. Like
Implement customer backoffice
That’s a really broad task. It certainly can take more than just a sprint cycle and that task will never be completed. That kind of tasks must be divided into smaller tasks, like:
Implement customer backoffice login
Customer backoffice password recovery
Show Customer backoffice’s client’s new orders in a list
But we should avoid to super detail those tasks.
Sometimes developers go like:
Install new faster computer
Download facebook sdk
Create test application
Extract files from sdk
Wether you are managing a software project or a product launch project, the Scrum metodology solves important problems that may arise in your team and it keeps your company at the right pace. It’s even easier to understand how you need to allocate new resources or understand defficiencies in your team productivity, so you can act fast.
If you’re willing to or managing a project using Scrum and want help to asset and improve this usage, I can help. Just leave me a message.