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Finding The Best Project Management Tool

1. Visual board1

Being active members of project management community we often encounter questions on what is the best project management software, how to find the perfect solution and what would best fit in one situation or another. And while sometimes a recommendation can lead to a gem in a sea of tools, more often it provides an option that is just okay, but not great. Therefore, it is important to realize that finding the perfect tool is a job you and your team will have to do on your own.

The good news is we are here to help guide you towards that perfect option and have some simple tips on how to get there.

1.       It is not a popularity contest

When looking for your next company tool, you will inevitably want to do research online, ask for opinions and statements from other teams that have tried it. And while this is all great, you should always take the opinion of others with a grain of salt. A tool may fit one company perfectly and be completely wrong for another. So before looking into the vast array of options online and trusting the most popular tool is the best, you should lay some groundwork first.

2.       Analyze your processes

Instead of jumping online and reading hundreds of reviews, the first thing you should do is analyze your team and company processes. If you already know them by heart – great, if you need some time to get the hang of it – do it. By making yourself familiar with what happens on a daily basis you will be able to see how a tool can help your team and better understand what it needs to be instead of making presumptions based on the opinions of others.

3.       Create the Must-have list

After cracking the processes, turn your focus to the list of functionalities your tool must have. It can be anything ranging from the technical side of the operating system up the actual features like time tracking or the project management methodology used. Make sure to only add the features that are absolute must-haves to the list and create a nice-to-have list for other features you want to take note of. These two lists will be your best guide in weeding out the large array of possibilities and the true start of finding the tool for you.

4.       Take note of the tools you currently use

Before taking a look at the possible solutions, take some time do one more thing – analyze the tools your team currently uses. Observe, which tools are popular and which are forgotten and take note of their characteristics – is it a community or an individual tool, how is it accessed, what graphic design it has, etc. Try to get all of the details that are important to your team or better yet – ask them to paint you the full picture. After all, no tool will be successful if your team does not accept it and use it.

5.       Find the potential candidates

Once you get all of that, it is time to move on to the search. Go online, ask colleagues, read forums and find the potential candidates for your needs. Make sure to keep in mind the must have list for the initial search and then narrow it down to around 10 options based on the team preferences. Once you have this list, share it with your team, decide which you all like and try it out. It is best to try only one tool at a time and give it at least a week, but if you are in a rush, make adjustments that best fit your timeframe.

6.       Make the final decision

Once you’ve tried all of the candidates and chose your favorites, look at the nice-to-have list and other final factors such as the price to make the final decision. No matter which tool you end up using, this process will ensure that it fits your essential needs, goes well with your style of working and will be accepted by your team.

Happy hunting!


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Top 5 Most Interesting Scrumban Boards

scrumbanAs most of you know, Scrumban is a mixture of Scrum and Kanban methodologies made in search of a stricter Kanban or a looser Scrum. While there are not many companies that go to Scrumban straight out of the gate, many find their way into it after a while and settle in a comfortable balance between strict and loose that this approach brings.

Just as you might expect, every team strikes this balance a little differently and this is very clear looking into their boards. To compare, lets take a look at just a few of the most interesting Scrumban boards.

Back office manager

scrumban 1

The board used by Wibas, is a great example of Scrumban. It is a nice mix of the two methodologies that allows the company to manage their back office efficiently and with ease, while keeping the priorities straight.

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Improve your TFS experience with Eylean

Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a tool widely used by companies all over the world. It offers a great variety of features and covers all of the development phases and aspects. However, when covering every aspect of a large process it is hard to be perfect and companies using TFS are still seeking additional features to get the perfect user experience.

Eylean Board aims to do exactly that – enhance TFS project management experience by providing additional features. In order to do that, Eylean works as a two-way integration into TFS. It takes all the information related to work items from TFS and represents it in visual task boards. The information in Eylean is updated regularly and any changes are immediately transferred back to TFS. This ensures that the users always have the most recent information and can use the two tools interchangeably. Let us look into what sought after additions does Eylean bring into the TFS experience.


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Manage your backlog in Eylean

Last week we took a short glance at scrum basics in Eylean Board. This week we will continue our how-to series by taking a look at the ways a backlog can be managed when carrying out projects with Eylean Board.

Eylean is a versatile software and there are a few ways all of the things can be done. The backlog is no exception with a variation of backlogs through the different teams and projects. So just to get you on track, we will discuss the three most common ways the backlogs can be arranged – as a column, as a row and as a separate board.

Managing your backlog as a column is probably the most traditional way. In this case, you choose a section of columns, usually the one on the left side of the board and dedicate it to the backlog items. In this way, you will have a separate backlog for each row of the board and you will be able to see immediately how many tasks are waiting to be completed. While this is very convenient in seeing the progress of the project and the task load, it can get very busy and clustered when dealing with large projects. Therefore this way of backlog management is recommended for projects with fewer tasks.


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Scrum vs. Kanban vs. Scrumban: Iterations, Work Routines, and Scope Limits

As agile methodologies become more popular, there sometimes is confusion on what exactly they mean and how they differ. In this blog post we compare three methodologies and show how they differ across several dimensions.

While there are some other agile approaches as well, we compare here the most common ones – Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban – as these are the ones that are used the most commonly.

Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban: Agile Task Board



Iterations are predefined timeframes, during which a portion of work or a task is done. In Scrum, the teams typically work with 1-4 week sprints, during which the tasks are done before a deadline.

Kanban, on the other hand, does not have predefined iterations. Instead, teams work continuously, using releases shorter than one week, or bigger iterations like goals.

Scrumban combines the two approaches into one. Continuous work is used along with short iterations for planning, and longer cycles are used for release. 


Work routines define how the tasks are distributed among the team members. The push principle implies that tasks are assigned to the team members in a centralized way. The pull principle means that the tasks are “pulled” or chosen by team members themselves.

Scrum, Kanban and Scrumban are all agile methodologies, which use pull principle – whereby the team members choose the tasks they would like to work on. In Scrum, the tasks are chosen early by the team members. In every sprint, the tasks are chosen – or bound – by the team members before the sprint starts.

Kanban and Scrumban both use late binding – whereby the tasks are chosen during the work process. Once the current task is finished, the team members are free to choose further tasks they would like to work on. This is called late binding of tasks to the team members.


Scope limits define how the workload is limited in the agile methodologies.

In Scrum, the workload is limited with each sprint. The tasks cannot exceed the amount of work that can be done in one sprint. If the task cannot be completed within a sprint, it is typically split into smaller tasks, that can then fit within a sprint.

In Kanban and Scrumban, the work in progress limits define the scope of work. Therefore, if the maximum number of tasks in progress is three, the team members cannot work on more tasks than three at the same time.

In the next blog post we will cover planning routines, estimation, and performance metrics for each of these methodologies.

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Setting Up An Electronic Task Board

We recently talked about the advantages of using electronic whiteboard. If you are thinking about installing one, there are a few hardware options to choose from depending on your preferences. Here is a review of the most common ones – including our experience with the one that has worked best for us.

1. A projector and a computer

The simplest arrangement is to just use an existing computer and a projector. In such case, the computer is the input device for the board – any changes on the board can be made through the computer.

There are several advantages of this approach. First of all, it is cheap – there is no need for a board or another deployment. It is possible to reuse the company’s hardware instead of investing into a new one.

On the other hand, such arrangement requires space – as the team has to be away from the projector beam. In addition to that, the team cannot interact with the board during meetings – instead, the board needs to be controlled via the computer. If more people are involved, it can get crowded as the team members gather around the computer. Thus, this arrangement does not really work for large teams.

2. Infrared touch monitor or a large screen

The second option is to use a touch monitor or a large screen that reacts to touch.

The advantages of this option include good visual quality and medium price. However, the size of the board is limited, as the price grows significantly if you are looking into larger boards. Also, based on our experience, infrared multitouch systems might be buggy. They typically do not allow for multiple touch points, and if they do – it does not always work as expected.

3. Capacitive touch board with a projector

Capacitive touch board is based on the technology that detects any input that is conductive or differs from air. Therefore, the team can touch the board directly in order to control the software – and this option is by far our favorite.

The advantages of capacitive touch board include enjoying the high quality of touch – it is pleasant to use it and the board responds rapidly. The board can be accessed by the whole team at the same time, standing in front of the board. The look and feel is also the best of the three options as the board is convenient and easy to use.

On the other hand, capacitive touch board is the most expensive of the three options. It also has lower resolution on projectors. However, despite these disadvantages, capacitive board is our favorite – and below is our experience with setting up and using one.

Using capacitive task board for Scrum and Kanban

Capacitive touch board can cost from around 2,000 USD for the cheapest one, up to 10,000 USD for a medium solution and much more for the high-end product. The board typically consists of three components, which can be chosen based on price or other personal needs:

1. Capacitive board. Capacitive board is the whiteboard that reacts to touch and works as the input device. This means that instead of changing tasks via the computer, you can easily do that on the whiteboard.

Typically, the pricier the board, the better resolution for capacitive input points it can offer. The standard resolution of 1024×768 is typically enough for touch-friendly software to operate well, because human finger is large enough and hits several of the touch points at a time.

Multi-touch support that has at least 3-4 separate touch inputs is typically sufficient even for the large boards – but you can choose more advanced multi-touch functionality depending on the budget and needs.

2. Short-range projector. Short range projector is the device that projects computer screen onto the whiteboard. You should probably invest the most into this.

The projector needs to be bright and have a good resolution, as even medium-budget ones usually offer only 1024×768 resolution, which is very low. Such resolution is only sufficient for medium-sized boards, such as 48 inches. So if you are looking for quality, keep that in mind and do not cut the budget for the projector too much.

3. Whiteboard stand. Whiteboard stand is the frame that holds the board. In most cases, it is worth investing a bit into the stand, as later on it comes handy to be able to change its position, angle, height, and many more. This is particularly convenient when bringing the board to conferences and exhibitions.

In addition to that, you will need two other items for the board to work properly:

4. Computer. The computer can be a cheap, low-budget one, depending on the software you will run. There are a lot of resources on how to choose a computer, so we will not dwell deeper into that.

5. Software. If you are setting up an electronic task board, you will also need the software that is touch-friendly. For task management, it is possible to use Eylean or other touch-friendly software. For any other applications, you need to make sure that it works well with touch, is visual, and can be used with an interactive whiteboard.

At Eylean, we are using capacitive Panasonic board – here are a few images on how it looks in action:

Are you using an electronic whiteboard? Share your experience in the comments!

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