Saturday, January 26, 2008

ScrumPad- an Agile/Scrum Project Management Tool

We are very excited to share with everybody that we are nearing our alpha release of ScrumPad, an Agile/Scrum software project management and collaboration tool. We are targeting February the 19th for an official announcement of ScrumPad alpha release at our Webinar on Scrum for NTEN (a non-profit technology network) members. We believe ScrumPad will be the best tool out there. We are not just saying this because we are developing it, but because we are using it daily to meet our needs. It all started with our dissatisfaction with tools currently available in the market. We said "there gotta be a better way." Here is a little history behind our ScrumPad initiative.

We use Scrum for managing all our software development activities. We started with good old Excel spreadsheet and emails for keeping track of our stories/feature requests, bugs, iterations (sprints), burndown charts, and times. However, in remote delivery environment, it soon became a major headache. We looked for a suitable agile project management and collaboration tool at a reasonable price. We selected Version One in 2006. Although it provided a lot of flexibility, but it took us a good couple months to learn how to use it. When we asked our clients to start using it, they also found it difficult to learn. So, we looked for another tool that is simple to use. And we found one called Basecamp. I am sure many of you are using it. We all including our clients picked up the tool in no time. Life became easy. However, since it was not designed for Scrum, we had to improvise how to adapt it for Scrum (If you are interested to learn how we are using it for Scrum, just give us a shout. We will be happy to share our adaptation of Basecamp for Scrum). One glaring issue though still remained with Basecamp. Its time tracking mechanism was not suitable for Scrum and so we had to continue to use Version One. But using two tools for managing projects became a hassle. So, we finally decided to build something that will make our life simple forever.

One sleepless night, Omar came up with the name ScrumPad and quickly laid out a basic outline/concept for the tool. We all liked the name and immediately got the domain. And now three months later, it took its own life. The team is hard at work creating the most simple, yet complete Web 2.0 Agile/Scrum management tool. For the geeks out there, we are building the tool on RoR platform. We will share our experiences with RoR on our site and in our blogs in the coming weeks.

We are currently looking for alpha customers. If you are in the same boat as we were just a few months ago, please write to us (respond to this blog) to express your interests in becoming our esteemed alpha customers. Please hurry while it lasts...:-)