Sunday, March 08, 2009

Recommended: Pivotal Tracker

I've been recommending Pivotal Tracker to everyone who cares to listen. I originally read about it on Venturehacks and we've been using it for the last 3 months. Keeping bugs and new features neatly organized can make the difference between a successful project and a failed one. Pivotal is better than anything I've tried before: Bugzilla, Jira, Trac, Fogbugz, Retrospectiva, etc.

The best thing about Pivotal is that everything is on one page. I remember hour-long triage sessions with Jira, moving bug fix targets between releases. Page reloads are a timesuck. On Pivotal, there's one page with three colums:
  • Current has everything you're likely to get done in the current iteration, based on the team's velocity.
  • Backlog is the "nice to have, but probably next week" column.
  • Icebox is where we queue up bugs for upcoming releases.
It took me a while to get used to this, and it took Pivotal a while to get its velocity estimates right for our team. But now it works great!

The problem with bug trackers, of course, is that switching costs are huge, so I won't recommend that you switch right now. But keep this one in mind for your next project.


Nathan Zeldes said...

It looks good, but you have to admit that "queue up bugs for upcoming releases" is not the best choice of words (I mean, it is good to be prepared, but most people count on the bugs to arrive spontaneously, without needing to hoard them :-)

Anonymous said...

How in the world they can build all this and not tell how much it will cost me ?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Pivotal Tracker is free. See here.