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Simple and Free Agile Planning and Backlog Tool using Google Spreadsheets

In an emerging world of start ups and new business ideas it is crucial to be fast. Nowdays it is not important to have an outstanding technology but a quick and tangible sales push. So, the importance of effective planning comes in place.

There are plenty of tools available to help you with great project planning like Atlassian Jira, Taiga, Redmine, Force, PivotalTracker. These and many more are available at various cost levels.

Helped to launch 3 sucessfull startups just recently we've realised the importance of simple, effective and affordable planning tool. Many great tools fail on data being outdated and unmaintained during the project so ease of maintainability was another important aspect.

When you are launching new business you are mostly on quite a tight budget. Most of Agile development planning tools offer trial versions (some are community editions) however you may find it difficult on facing with a complex software interface. Plus you are still familirising yourself with Agile methodology, perhaps finding some of the acronyms to hard to digest. Well that's just you, how about your customer who's even less familiar with these tools or has no clue what you are talking about.

After launching myownedu.net and crowdstacker.com - two completely different products, here are the main concerns we and our clients had on implementing one of the software development tools above:

  1. Saturation - too many tools on the market,

  2. Lack of use enthusiasm - people just use emails and basic issue log, though they always ask for best preference.

  3. Lack of time - typical for Starups.

  4. Layziness (even between us) to learn new things.

  5. Another login to worry about.

These are just few items they shared, we are sure there are many more hidden behind the politeness of communication.

What we've come up with is an "easy to work with" tool that offers kind of a transition bridge between Agile methodology, agile sofware tools and basic issue log. It is build on top of Google spreadsheets and is very easy adjustable for any project needs, take a look at our Agile Management Backlog template.

Tool's benefits

  1. It is completely free. You open a Google account for no charge at all,

  2. It is simple and compheresible,

  3. Adjustable to any poroject in a matter of couple of minutes,

  4. It is dynamical - you can collaborate making updates simultaneously with client during conference call, use commenting to resolve things and get instantly notified about comments from others etc.

Use it for:

  • sprint planning,

  • everyday work,

  • getting overview of project progress etc.

Try it out an you should spot more. You have all the freedom to adjust template to your project and development process.

Open Agile Management Backlog template (new window)

Watch a screencast on how to use the template

If you are interested on how we do it in practise and would like to get a quote for our services, get in touch http://passivemanagement.net/contact