Interesting web-based tool. The tool is under active development (latest version May 11, 2010). It has some really nice concepts on board.
Planning poker powers user stories estimation. Stories represented by cards and there are several useful filters presets. The downside is usability.
I've reviewd IceScrum 2 years ago, so have a good background to compare its present state. I should say usability problems are still there. Starting a new project is a no-brainer. Wizard has some complex steps, but in general you may skip them and have a new projects with dozen of clicks. Releases and iterations are generated automatically, which is nice. But then you are starting having troubles. How to add a user story? You click Backlog and there is no add link. You click around and still nothing. Then you click Sandbox link and see Create a new user story button. So user stories can be created in a Sandbox section only. That is counterintuitive.
OK. You created several user stories, but don't see them in a Product Backlog. It appears you have to Accept them.
Then there is a real problem — planning your first sprint. I am an experienced user, I evaluated dozens of agile tools, but this one got me stuck. I spent 20 minutes to figure out how to add a user story to a sprint. It appeared you should have an estimate, otherwise it is impossible to plan sprint. It is written in small letters un help section. Moreover, there is no easy way to add an estimate. You click Edit on user story and there is no such field. Somehow I moved mouse cursor over ? sign on a story card and it appeared you can edit it.
I don't know how a mere mortal can guess how it works. When you know the way, it doesn't look too complex, but novice users will have huge problems.
IceScrum is quite powerful if you do everything right, but it is very constraining. You can run Scrum projects following the rules, but Kanban is not supported. In general, the conclusion I made 2 years ago didn't change:
IceScrum is hard from the beginning, but it has nice features set and can be adopted by agile team. However, it is one of the best open source agile project management software.
IceScrum web site: www.icescrum.org
- Responsive UI
- Good charts: Parking Lot, Burn Down Chart
- Good Pojects/Releases/Sprints concept support
- Drag and Drop for Task Board and Estimation
- Release/Sprints Timeline
- Usability problems
- Forceful way to do things
- Works for small teams only, no multiple projects support
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