Story Cards Versus Planning Software

I spent a chunk of last the week getting to grips with some agile project management software. It has some nice features – iteration planning, task tracking and a host of other functionality. However, I still found myself getting out the physical cards to work the estimate and planning. With the cards, you can sit with other people looking at the cards, pick them up, sort them, write on them, tear them up, all a very tactile procedure, something I find very natural and straightforward. With the software, there was many occasions where I was fighting the inbuilt work flow and form validation. Things that I wanted to do were disallowed. Forms required a lot of mandatory fields that weren’t important at the time. It was a stark contrast in usability. In this case, the planning software fits into a much wider organisational planning and configuration management process, not to mention we’re working in a team distributed across the world, so it’s electronic features are a hard requirement, and I see the benefits it brings, but the productivity costs are not negligible either.

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2 thoughts on “Story Cards Versus Planning Software”

  1. Hi Joe,

    I landed on this page while looking for some Agile planning software for a new project. Don’t stop there! What was the software? Did you and your team ever find something that worked for you? Enquiring minds need to know!

    Keep up the good work,

    Steve

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  2. Hi Steve,

    We’re actually using a heavily customised version of JIRA, along with the Greenhopper extension. I still vastly prefer the ability to actually hold physical cards in my hand, but the reality of distributed development teams means that this is not really possible.

    Cheers,
    Joe

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