Don’t Let the Tools Drive Your Agile Journey

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One of the most common questions our team fields from those who are getting started on their Agile journey or specifically looking at a framework like Scrum or Kanban is “What tool is best for our team to use?”

 

The answer is that it depends.

 

It depends on what tools your team already uses. Do you already do all your work in the Microsoft space? So maybe their planning tool might work for your backlog. Do you all work in a co-located space and love using your white boards? Maybe a tool like Miro or Mural (virtual infinite white boards) might be best. There is no perfect answer that works for all teams.

 

That is part of why Megan Shane, our team’s Scrum Master, walked through a quick overview of a number (but certainly not all!) of the tools that we see nonprofit teams trying and sticking with in their setting. Check it out here.

 

It’s also this question about tools that made me so excited to have a chance to chat with Shelley Loethen of Encore Institute for Social Impact about the steps they took to get started on their Agile journey and how they have taken their existing technology infrastructure and skills and used it to select and customize the tool that would best support their Agile journey.

 

I don’t want to give it all away…I want you to hear it from Shelley directly in our conversation that you can watch here, but ask you listen to her description of the way they use JIRA, remember that our team doesn’t endorse any specific tool. We also don’t you to think that you HAVE to use a technology/cloud based tool. If you are a co-located team, there are lots of great ways to make your work visible. The tools are there to make it easier, especially if your team is distributed across multiple locations or not always together as in Shelley’s case or in the case of our team as well.

 

You can check out the full interview with Shelley about the initial experiences of Encore Instute for Social Impact as they started their Agile journey here.

 

What creative ways have you adapted your use of tools to support your team/organizaiton’s Agile journey? I’d love to hear! Drop a note in the comments below or reach out via our Contact Us form to let me know.

 

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