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We are a service oriented business catering our service to various agaencies offering us software development projects with tight deadlines and frequent updates. As a team, we are focusing to manage our workload effciently by minimizing resource idle time, keeping them busy to draw the best out of valuable business time. Kanban being an effective tool for lean software engineering has the capacity to address our work environment issues effectively.

However, we would like to propose the ideal Kanban tool to our top managment. We like to seek professional and expert guidance on higlighting the selction criterias apart from pricing.

Here are certain tools listed FYI:

http://collaboration.about.com/od/projectmanagement/tp/7-Kanban-Board-Tools-For-Project-Collaboration.htm

How can I devise a selection criteria that I can use on selecting the right Kanban tool so that we can do an accurate comparison?

  • Tool recommendations are always off-topic. Instead, you might want to ask a process question about why you are having trouble defining what is valuable to your team. – Todd A. Jacobs Aug 15 '13 at 19:03
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    I thought that they were asking for advice in constructing a selection criteria. To mind that is not as temporally localized as a tool recommendation. – Mark C. Wallace Aug 16 '13 at 10:24
  • The best Kanban tool is a whiteboard. – Andrew Clear Aug 16 '13 at 18:23
  • @MarkC.Wallace This is what exactly we are up to. I like to seek advice on how to devise a selection criteria on selecting the right Kanban tool so that we can do accurate comparison. – Maxood Aug 18 '13 at 13:16
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A Selection-Criteria Algorithm

There's no perfect answer to a question like yours, since every organization is different. However, there are certainly some basic process patterns for defining criteria within a given context.

One such pattern is:

  1. Define your stakeholders.
  2. Identify your stakeholders' goals for whatever tool you're selecting. This will define value.
  3. Identify how you plan to measure the success or failure of the tool to deliver this value. This will define your selection criteria.
  4. Build an assessment plan to rank or filter your options based on those measurable dimensions.
  5. Research or brainstorm your options.
  6. Calculate the best available option from the field of candidate solutions.

Whether your value metrics and selection criteria are pass/fail or quantitative is really up to your team. It's always good to review your selection process with the entire team to make sure everyone's on board with your methodology.

Calculations Will Vary

Calculating ROI is highly situation-dependent, because gains, costs, and periods are up to you to define. The basic calculation for a given period is:

ROI for period = gain / cost

Selecting by ROI is straightforward:

  1. Calculate your ROI for each candidate solution.
  2. Rank each solution by the monetary value of its ROI.

There are also other ways to assess potential value, and you can make them as simple or as complex as you like. For example:

  • Selecting the tool that meets the most criteria, reducing the problem to summing a set of check-boxes.
  • Using a composite score based on a relative costs and benefits for each distinct criterion. A good example of this would be relative weighting.

It really doesn't matter what calculation method you use, though, as long as you have buy-in from all the stakeholders. The important thing is that everyone agrees on an approach, and that afterwards everyone can see how the final decision was made.

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