Tooling Agile

Damian Dingley is Veracity Solutions’s Organizational Agility Practice Lead. He is hosting a series of webinars on tooling Agile and this blog post is a companion.

Register here for Part One

As an Agile coach, Scrum Master, and purveyor of all things transformational what is the one topic that stirs up the most controversy, ruffles the feathers of the meekest of individuals and genuinely gets people’s blood to boil?

The change or adoption of a new Agile management tool.

Over the course of my work for Veracity Solutions and engagements with multiple clients both big and small it is fascinating how passionate people are over their choice of a product backlog management tool.gif of Will Ferrell's character Ron Burgundy in Anchorman in a phone booth screaming "I'm in a glass case of emotion!"The other week I was asked to tackle this topic head on and provide a sampling of tools that I considered suitable for our needs in the world of user story organization, product planning, communication and value stream delivery measurement. Luckily the anticipated food fight didn’t break out! Although it certainly helped that the session was hosted remotely via web cam.

My starting point was a clear statement regarding the fact that these are my personal favorites after using several alternatives in each category but was by no means an exhaustive list. You’ll find literally hundreds of choices out there, from the most basic to the overwhelming.  My second point was to examine what Gartner’s take was on such matters, referring to their annual and typically excellent “magic quadrant” report.

And so, what of my choices?

Well, I broke everything down into specific categories:

  • GoTo’s (everyday must have tools)
  • Planning tools
  • Distributed/remote team assistance
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Value stream measurementScreen Shot 2020-12-08 at 8.09.59 AM

Curious about why I chose what I did?  Please tune into the accompanying webinars to dig deeper with me. Register here for Part One!

Briefly though: The good old sticky note and some empty wall space is a great go-to, followed by something more sophisticated like Broadcom’s Rally backlog management tool. JIRA of course is there primarily because of the ecosystem it inhabits with all of the other Atlassian offerings. In terms of planning tools I want to call out Aha! but I would limit its use to larger, enterprise level organizations. These days most backlog management tools have pretty good planning capability baked in. Then there are the communication and remote team/virtual work space tools and I’m particularly fond of Sococo and Miro as great solutions here. Anyone ever tried plugging into source control, CI/CD pipelines, user story management, product planning backlogs in an attempt to get a handle on the efficiency of your delivery stream? Then take a look at Flow Framework as an excellent solution for that purpose.

Happy tooling everyone and stay calm.

I hope to see you in my webinar. 

This post is authored by Damian Dingley.

Damian Dingley’s infectious enthusiasm to help change organizational culture can be demonstrated across multiple organizations within the United States and abroad. From emerging startups struggling to stay on track to corporations needing to understand an ever-changing market and technology environment. With a background in software engineering, working for companies such as Rolls Royce Aviation in the UK and EDAX Scientific Instrumentation in the US these past 10 years have seen Damian focus on better ways to deliver the product. With Veracity Solutions and the application of Agile, Lean UX and DevOps, tuning these platforms to the specific needs of the organization is key, along with surfacing the results of change through critical business-value metrics.


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