Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Let Tools Get in the Way

In our first Sprint Planning meeting the Product Owner wanted to open up TFS and start creating backlog items and tasks in the tool.  "It's a waste of time to write them down on cards and then take the time to enter them later." he said.

I don't like doing this because the tool typically becomes a distraction. Adding and reordering columns, sorting, making new queries, people asking "what's that button do?" just takes focus away from the planning. I'd much rather use index cards.

We have a distributed team so we need to use some tools.  We settled on Excel and LiveMeeting. Even those simple tools slowed the process and distracted from the planning somewhat.

Remember that the Agile Manifesto states that "we value individuals and interactions over processes and tools."
If you are forced to use tools while planning use as low-tech as possible and don't let the tools get in the way.

Do you have other examples where the tools hindered the interactions?  What tools do you use that don't hinder the interactions?

No comments:

Post a Comment