The quest for the perfect agile tool

I’ve been searching off and on for the perfect agile tool for years. My “dream” tool would be a one stop shop for releases, stories, tasks, acceptance criteria, test cases, points, etc., etc. Oh, and by the way, it would be INTUITIVE.

When I enter a new team, I start the search over, and almost always end up back to stickies and/or spreadsheets. Currently I am using Acunote (, and it seems to be doing the trick. It’s missing a lot of things, but it’s good enough for our purposes.

I’ve learned to not worry about tools until there is a solid foundation. The right team (technical lead, Product Owner, Scrum Master) and a product backlog must be in place first. Then, the core Scrum team can be formed because it is clear what needs to happen. Once the Scrum team is in place, ensure they are self-organizing. NOW, it’s okay to start looking at tools … as a team.

In the meantime, my quest will continue, and maybe someday that perfect agile tool will surface. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll just stick to stickies and spreadsheets and be happy!

What makes a successful waterfall project?

I recently posted a question on linked in wanting to hear from people who have either led or been a part of a successful waterfall project.

Here’s the link. There a some awesome answers. What’s interesting is that what is required for a successful waterfall project is clearly defined scope, engaged sponsors, and a great, empowered team. Sadly, I rarely see all of these occur in the wild. And, these are the primary elements of what’s necessary for an agile project, explaining why there is a higher success rate with agile projects.