Kevin Matheny, Senior E-Biz Architect at Best Buy, has an excellent article
today on BusinessWeek.com about Best Buy’s take on Agile software development and Best Buy’s experiences as a client of Pivotal Labs. As he mentions in the article, Pivotal Labs has been helping Best Buy build “Remix”, an API for the BestBuy.com product catalog. Kevin describes the agile methods that Pivotal Labs uses and how they’ve helped with what he calls “Corporate Agility”, which he describes as “working components instead of complete solutions, expecting and responding to change instead of trying to eliminate it, and trust rather than control.” He also describes how Pivotal Tracker fits into Pivotal’s agile process:
For example, I recently added a story to the tracker for Remix that read simply “flag products as new if their start display date is less than 30 days in the past.” That’s all the up-front documentation needed for Pivotal Labs, a development company that specializes in agile software development, to code that function into Remix. Any additional information can be gathered in the daily 15-minute team meetings or in a longer follow-up if more time is required.
Thanks for the mention, Kevin, and we’re very glad that the project is proving to be successful. Pivot Steve Conover is at the helm.
Great article comparing Pivotal Tracker to Mingle, as an example of a tool that simplifies things, rather than trying to manage complexity (and getting in the way):
Agile Tool Vendors: Please don’t try to manage complexity – simplify my life!
Thanks for the positive feedback, Matthias!
Chris Bailey wrote a GitHub post receive hook for Tracker, using the API. It’s a web service that you run on your own server, and it automatically updates stories in your project(s) based on commit comments. Check out his blog post here. Thanks for spending your Thanksgiving on this, Chris.
Let us know if you find this useful, we’re definitely interested in making integration with other apps easier, and would love specific ideas and suggestions.
If you’re new to Tracker, or are considering trying it out but haven’t signed up yet, check out the Tracker 101 screencast. Thanks to Ian McFarland for recording it.
Nivi, from Venture Hacks, wrote a great article about why Pivotal Tracker is great for startups. It’s worth reading even if you’re already a fan of Tracker, and nails down the key ingredients to successful project management. Check it out:
We’ve released the first version of the Tracker API. It’s a RESTful HTTP XML interface, uses a simple, token-based authentication mechanism, and allows you to query as well as update stories in your projects.
To get started with the API, read through the API Help page (it includes examples), and create a token on your Profile page.
We plan to enhance the API and add support for more operations and formats (including JSON) based on your feedback. Please let us know what you’d like to see added, either by email or via Satisfaction.
Bruno Miranda posted a review of various agile project management tools including Mingle, VersionOne, TargetProcess, and Tracker. Check it out here.
We’ve let Bruno know that Tracker is actually under active development. One of the first new features that we’ll be rolling out soon is a REST API, followed by various usability improvements that will make it easier to work with larger projects.
We’re also looking for more suggestions on how to make Tracker better, especially in the area of higher level planning. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post them on Satisfaction.
And if you haven’t tried it yet, the Tracker beta is fully open to the public, feel free to sign up.
We’ve decided to share Tracker with the agile community. Details of the launch have yet to be worked out, including an exact date, but please register here if you’re interested in participating in the beta.
Stay tuned for more details!