Just joined the group (Hello!). I'm the person ultimately responsible
for all the products and content my company creates. While we've been
very productive, we've had little or no mechanism in place for:
- managing / prioritizing the pipeline
- seeing status on projects, cross projects, or across the organization
- assessing ROI (or even project cost)
- aggregating all the information from a project to have a proper
In part, this has been due to organic growth from a 3 person company
to over 20 (so still small). In part, this is due to a widely
distributed team (including 12 hour time differences) with much of the
development work (coding) being done by an overseas partner.
Our success has been based on good people, dedication, and good
vision. Now things are getting more complicated and we have high need
for top in visibility and recalibrating priorities as we go.
I've been doing quite a bit of reading here and other places, and am
working hard to more the CEO / COO's expectations from fully defined
requirements to iterative, collaborative planning. Luckily, we are
historically bad at full upfront requirements and priorities change
all the time, so the concept will be easy.
Planning - i'm looking at www.cardmeeting.com for kickoff planning
since we're too distributed to use a white board. Then the project
lead will need to move this info into some sort of tool...and that's
my real question.
Looking at VersionOne, Scrumworks Pro, and RallyDev. Our company is a
HEAVY salesforce user - SF actually contains all of our product codes
and associations of clients to them as well as incoming feature
requests. So, some of my goals include:
1. feature capture into an unprioritized, open backlog from many sources.
2. association back up from iteration and release planning to these
feature requests as well as back to clients through product code /
client code association in SF (this way our business side knows whom
to communicate with about any feature / bug, etc.)
3. good graphical reporting for the business users
4. good issue / impediment tracking since these are often found "off
hours" by the developers or clients / testers
Currently leaning away from Rally as its quite pricey and their SF
integration component doesn't seem to meet our workflow well.
My goal will be to start with an "offline" workflow using very simple
tools (spreadsheets, etc.), and then move into a good web-based
collaboration product. I'd like to identify the right product up
front if possible so that we can institute the terminology for it now
as well as be sure that the data we create in the simple tools will
fit nicely into the product structure.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated - as well as questions that
perhaps i should be considering and haven't through of.