Heroku Dataclips 2.0 are a new way of sharing data - much like GitHub Gists. Exposing results of running SQL statements agains Postgres databases, Dataclips render in HTML, IFrames, CSV, XLS and JSON. Supporting revisions and versioning as well as forking they work as self-updating stand-alone data views or as simple HTTP based data APIs.
Does a the traditional Sprint Burndown chart help the team? A number of Scrum teams find that tracking task hours hides the true state of the sprint and prefer other tools.
Burndown charts are considered to be one of the most useful information radiators on an Agile team. It is a graphical representation of amount of work left to do (y-axis) versus time (x-axis). The interesting part is that the analysis of the burndown chart can reveal multiple pointers on how the team is doing and what can they do to improve further.
A sprint burn-down chart tracks the size of the sprint backlog over the course of the sprint. During the sprint retrospective, the burn-down chart can provide valuable data about how the sprint went. Mike Sutton uses annotations to capture more data on the burn-down chart, making it even more useful during the retrospective.
The Extreme Programming Yahoo Group has been discussing the pros and cons of low tech information radiators, such as task boards, compared to high tech tools. The original poster preferred a physical task board to a spreadsheet, but found himself unable to explain why to his boss. The ensuing discussion uncovered a variety of reasons to choose simple physical means of reporting information.
Kevin Schlabach discusses using a "Snake On The Wall", a lightweight approach targeted at helping your team get a better handle on the things that are slowing the development process.
Lego blocks have been used for playing and building interesting structures. Michael Hunger and Takeshi Kakeda show how Lego blocks can be used as effective information radiators.
What does it take to create a high-performing team? According to Doug Shimp and Samall Hazziez, a "Well Formed Team" exhibits the following characteristics: follow Agile and Lean principles, use an adaptive system with a feedback loop, are focused on the business vision, are passionate and hyper-productive.
Many of us in this field have had our work habits affect our family life - many times for the better. Some of us use index cards in their daily life for scheduling, prioritizing, and discussing daily tasks with their families. Peter Abilla blogged about how he uses a Job Chart (a type of information radiator) to teach his children.
The Agile Journal's April issue examined how tools are being used in Agile projects. There are articles that are pro-tools, anti-tools, and a debate between Ron Jeffries and Ryan Martens.
Danube Technologies this week announced the release of ScrumWorks Pro, an enhanced, commercially supported version of their free ScrumWorks product, created specifically to support the overwhelming customer requests for new features and professional support. The product provides support for business-value driven decision making.