Phil Taylor

@phil.taylor.me

How I automated my team’s agile and Scrum processes with Scrumile

I work as an Agile Coach at a ~800 employee SaaS company. I coach 2 Scrum teams and naturally I just accepted that my job includes enormous amounts of manual work that has to be done — boy was I so wrong :)

Being in my role requires me to read loads of articles to keep myself up to date and I always felt bad that I never give back to the community, so I decided to write this article so that I can help my fellow colleagues and give a little back to the community for the help I’ve received through out the years.

Back to my teams. :) Our teams use JIRA for project management like probably most companies. JIRA is great for many many things but pretty limited in helping my job as an Agile Coach. My job is to grow my teams and I do that by relying heavily on data-driven decisions.

So to be able to measure my teams’ sprint progress I’ve started to use Google Sheets which does the job pretty well but obviously needs me to sync data manually with JIRA. Doing that for a year I got really used to the daily chore of copying data.

Getting closer to the end of the year I usually do a look back on my year and I realized that I spend too much time with administrative tasks like manually filling my Google Sheets with data.

I set out to find some solutions and the result was underwhelming, nearly all of the tools that do what I need has it’s own project management system instead of relying on JIRA. Sadly changing from JIRA to another system is not realistic for the whole company.

Almost gave up on the search when I’ve found a new tool called Scrumile (https://www.scrumile.com). (Was kind of hard to find though :() I downloaded it and was able to make it work with our on-premise JIRA in 2 minutes. It works without needing any JIRA side setup which in my case was very desirable.

It’s obvious that the tool is still in it’s early days but it already contains many features that I’m already fond of after just using it for 1 sprint (2 weeks).

So of the features that I really liked:

Stand-up It’s very close to what I had in my Google Sheet but at least now I don’t have to manually copy data from JIRA

Image from www.scrumile.com website

Grooming A nice tool that helps the team estimation in swim lanes which is fine but the best part is that we can do it online and since one of my team has a remote member this tool became and instant success.

Image from www.scrumile.com website

Action items It’s fun to keep the team’s action items with assignees in one place — though we usually use Todoist for this purpose.

Online team retrospectives Now this is where Scrumile shines. You can do multiple types of retrospective techniques with your remote team mates. Group your ideas, vote on them, discuss the result and create action items that you can follow up on in your action items tab.

Image from www.scrumile.com website
Image from www.scrumile.com website
Image from www.scrumile.com website

In conclusion Scrumile is a tool that fixes my problem and offers even more with it I’ve managed to automate our processes which saves me precious time. Aside from the fact that the tool still needs many improvement, Scrumile is something that really made my life easier.

Hope with this article I could give a little bit back to the community.

Phil T.

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