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Using tools that works best for the team rather than searching for one size fits all in terms of tools ..

There is often conflict between senior management and the team members over the tools that are used for the project, in terms of what the tool offers and the ease of use of the tool. My typical experience with these 2 different sets of stakeholders is that team management looks for a tool that has a certain track record, a tool that helps easily generate the reports that they are looking for to monitor the performance of the team, and most of all, team management certainly does not want to get into the hassle of having multiple tools to monitor. So, if somebody comes to them with the promise of a tool that might be complicated, but is able to get all the work done, then it is likely to be a hit with the team management. So, if you promise a tool that integrates defect management, feature and task database and scheduling and tracking performance, it will be a hit with them even if it is not so good in terms of doing any of these tasks perfectly. However, this is not exactly the case with the team members. They are more likely to have the opinion that since team managers are more likely to look at reports than login into these tools, the managers will accept even a sub-standard tool which has a horrible user interface. The team is the one that has to take the pain of logging into these tools and suffering the pain of their interfaces and so on.
My experience as a project manager for the team was similar. We got sold into using a tool that promised a high degree of integration with the different needs such as defect management, feature details and task tracking (it sounded like nirvana when we were going through the description of the tool). A quick evaluation seemed to show that the interface was a bit clunky, but the tool did provide the integration. A cool deal, right ? However, whenever we held the post-mortems, the tool turned out to be the number one hated item in the entire list (it got so bad that at times of stress, individual managers took on the responsibility of updating tracking into the tool rather than having it being done by the team members – the tension levels was not something that we wanted to get added to). Even conversations with team members about what we could do better, in addition to other items, mentioned working in the tool as a pain. For some time, these reactions were dismissed as initial learning curves by the team members, but over a period of time, it seemed that the problem was just not going away.
Finally, in discussions with the team and with management, we junked the approach of having a tool that seemed to capture everything (or rather, gave up the initial tool that we were using, and left the quest for a super and great tool as an ongoing process), and decided to look for ways to simplify the tools that we were using, adding effort for doing the synchronization across the various tools on a regular basis. It seemed like that MS Excel was the best way to show information to the team about the product backlog and some level of detail (if they wanted to see the User stories and other documentation, we had a link to a site that had those details) – with the Excel being also sent to the team members with a fixed name on a regular day of the week, we used a specialist defect database that also had a web interface for tracking, and looked at a specialist analytics tool for ensuring that data was mined and sent off in the form of relevant reports to all the stakeholders (management, team members, external folks).

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