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Thursday, December 17, 2009 #

Scrum Tool is the plainly-titled tool written by the creatively named Zsolt Debre.  Even the product homepage is straightforward: http://scrum-tool.com/.  As you might expect from a tool whose homepage looks like it was written in 1994, Scrum Tool is currently in Alpha.

Despite its novelty, Scrum Tool definitely seems to be heading in the right direction.  It has many hard-to-find features that immediately put it ahead of the pack:

  1. It's a GUI app, not a web app.  You are not constrained by HTML, and application responsiveness is excellent.
    1. Currently Scrum Tool runs on Windows and Linux (Ubuntu 9.04 and Fedora 11).
  2. It's built on top of a PostgreSQL database.  This means you own your data instead of entrusting it to the cloud.
  3. It has a solid workflow.  It understands the relationships between Products, Backlogs, Sprints, Stories, and Tasks.

I'll post some screenshots below.  I've only used Scrum Tool part time, but I like the idea of a robust GUI application that is simple enough to work as advertised.  If you do check out Scrum Tool I'd note that I had some installation issues with the PostgreSQL database on Windows 7, giving me a "Database Cluster Initialisation Failed" error.  Fortunately the fix is simple.

The main GUI:

The first thing to do is to create your Product from the Basic Data->Products menu item:

You can create sprints from the Sprint tab.  I really like that the sprint goal and wiki URL are included in the form:

You can add stories from the Product Backlog tab:

Click Add to create a story:

You can add tasks as children of a story:

And of course charts are built-in:

The internal GUI tool I use today utilizes a tree view to represent the Product->Sprint hierachy, enabling drag-and-drop of stories and default sets of tasks.  There's some double-clicking to be done in Scrum Tool to drill down from your product all the way down to your task.  But I'm really looking forward to seeing what the Scrum Tool team comes up with in future releases.

Personally, although it's officially in Alpha, Scrum Tool seems solid and usable.  I'm going to use version 0.06 for my personal development and would recommed checking it out.

Next tool review: Bright Green Projects

Technorati tags: Scrum Scrum Tools