We placed Jira onto our live server and began using it for real about 2 weeks ago now. So how's it going? Rather well as it turns out.
(Jira is from Atlassian (http://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/) and is an issue tracker tool, see earlier posts for discussions.)
I did a demo for the Development Team and they took to it like a duck to water, now that they understood what it's used for and how. I did the same for the rest of the Management Team and they took to it as well, but in a different way.
Initially it was not used as well as I'd have liked so I put a little pressure on the team by being a bit of a pain in the neck for a couple of days..
Me: "What are you working on?"
Developer: "I'm updating xyz here that needs a new abc because Freda from WxyCorp has found a glitch with it"
Me: "I don't see this in Jira, have you added it?"
Developer: "Um... (ticidatacida) .. I have now (grin)"
Me: "Oh, OK then. You know that if you are working on anything, no matter what it is, it .."
Developer: ".. yea yea, I know, - ..'it needs to be in Jira' (sigh)"
The developers are good guys and they really understood the reasons for putting everything in Jira but being developers, they wanted to just develop. Now I note that no-one is working on anything without a Jira issue and they themselves police that nicely by suggesting that others create a Jira issue before they can start on any work. Nice.
This means of course, that all work is logged and reporting and reviewing can be carried out. Issues are assigned to others with questions when more information is needed, and they get an email to tell them when the issue is reassigned back to them with the answer. Once the have completed the work, they "Resolve" the issue and assign it to the QA Manager. Only the QA Manager and myself as Administrator, can "Close" an issue.
The Management Team has been impressed with Jira but they all have their own ideas of other tools that would work better for what they want to do. Some other tools that I have looked at are...
- SourceForge Enterprise - http://sf.net/powerbar/sfee/
- Trac - http://trac.edgewall.org/
- Mingle - http://studios.thoughtworks.com/mingle-project-intelligence
- Confluence - http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/
- FDDTracker - http://www.itps.com.au/dotnetnuke/
Other areas I have also look at with a mind to solving some other issues here, they include...
- TrueCrypt - http://www.truecrypt.org/
- AllSync - http://www.allsync.biz/help/a_produktbeschreibung.htm
- SyncToy - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/synctoy.mspx
and I'll hope to have others added to that list soon.
I'll talk on each of those and our eventual decisions as I go along in other posts. In the meantime, I'd like to hear what tools you are using with your team or even on your own to help with development and running a software team.