I'm considering the use of a software in order to help our team to implement Scrum. I saw iceScrum, but I don't know if it's a good tool. Do you ever used it? Can you suggest another tool?
For a small team I would recommend JIRA with Greenhopper ($20 / 10 users). For a larger team I also recommend JIRA, but it comes with a price.
I am a developer of Eylean board tool which offers UI perfection and variety of core features. Features: Task board, burndown reports, cfd reports, lead/cycle reports, time tracking, excel import/export, fully customisable board to match any process, TFS integration, templates, Outlook integration.
Structure Server/Client based software, so you can deploy on your own environment and be safe with your own data, without storing it in 3rd party websites...
My vote is for TargetProcess, which we use extensively at a company with 100 or so users. It's available for free if your team has 5 or fewer members.
When selecting a tool, I think it's important to do the following:
- Use it to run a toy project, for at least a month (or a release). All of the tools I've evaluated have annoying shortcomings which one only encounters after using them for a while. This means that ideally the tool should have a free version of sorts with unlimited duration.
- Make sure you're not stuck with something inflexible. If you think you're going to need to tinker with things sooner or later, so make sure it has an API.
- Circumstances change, so it's important to check that the price of a "pro" version won't make using the tool infeasible later on.
Pros of TargetProcess:
- Feature rich, but the interface is configurable so you can tailormake the UI for various users and roles in your company.
- Easy-to-use SOAP API - a real life-saver if you need to make custom reports or integrate with other tools (e.g. source code management tools). They also provide a plug-ins API for tighter integration, but I haven't used it yet.
- Free for up to 5 users
- Runs in a web browser, so it's perfectly cross-platform for users on Mac/Windows/Linux/etc.
- Price compares very favourably with similar offerings by Scrumworks and VersionOne.
- Excellent support: They have a helpdesk website which usually answers posts within a day, and also a "Live Chat" feature which you can access directly via the UI.
Cons of TargetProcess:
- The server must be hosted on a Windows box.
- We have a legacy Bugzilla system. TargetProcess provides a plug-in to synchronise between the two systems, but it's relatively basic. That said, Bugzilla's xmlrpc interface is pretty ropey, so perhaps "basic" is as good as it gets.
- Jira with Greenhopper: I haven't used it myself, but it's spoken very highly of by other project managers at my company.
- Fogbugz: Also haven't used it, but know a few product managers who swear by it.
We use Scrum and Kanban in my company at the same time. I would definitely recommend http://kanbantool.com if you are in a distributed team, no matter how big it is.
Pros of KanbanTool:
easy to use, nice UI - you need just a few minutes to start using it (learning and customizing)
powerful - rich of features: real-time updates, swimlanes, CSV import/export, email notifications, API
amazing customer service ((they answered me within an hour!)
incredible visibility of progress to management (you know who and what is doing), control of the workflow, analytics
perfect for investigating and eliminating bottlenecks
online (you may reach your board via web, iPhone, iPad etc.)
cheap (free for 2 users / pricing starts from less than about $3/user)
Cons of KanbanTool:
lack of file upload
only in English
If you are co-located I would suggest: WHITEBOARD We have also tried whiteboard in the very begining before we had distributed team. It was also working well, but we missed analytics a lot. Now we can't use it anymore - our team is in Europe and US.