Gary Allison's Leadership Blog

Agile Software and Leadership and Teams29 Mar 2009 09:13 pm

Last week, the Austin Agile development user group, AgileAustin, published a online poll of tools that teams in the local area favor for agile planning.  In response to the email announcing the poll, a couple of members emailed the list saying their favorite tool is no tool at all.  Some said index cards.  I shook my head a bit and emailed a good friend of mine who also leads development teams for his thoughts.  We came to the conclusion that it must be nice to work in a project so small you need no tools to help the team plan a sprint.

Actually, I don’t think it would be that nice.  I’d submit that if your plans are so simple that you need nothing to track them, or index cards suffice, you’re probably not doing much interesting.  For my team, Rally Software’s Rally Enterprise has been very successful in helping us plan very complex agile projects.  I recommend it without hesitation.

In many cases, our product management team enters user stories (sometimes we use epics for very large user stories) while the development, QA, and docs team breaks these down into stories and tasks.  We plan sprints as a fully integrated feature team across all these disciplines.  It’s not perfect, but it works and works well.

You can keep your index cards, thank you.

One Response to “Index Cards for Agile Planning Anyone?”

  1. on 01 Apr 2009 at 2:51 pm Leon Fainbuch

    Being April fool’s day today, I honestly thought the notion of tracking a project with index cards was an intended piece of humor.