What's in Your Agile Toolkit?

Toolbox.jpg

A hammer is very effective at pounding nails, but not so good at turning screws. Different tasks benefit from using the proper tool.

Use of the wrong tool or an improperly used tool can have unintended consequences.  There's an old saying, "Give a 5 year old a hammer, and suddenly everything needs pounding" -- with predictable results.

There are a number of agile frameworks out there, but one of the most popular, Scrum, doesn't prescribe the use of specific tools. This lack of guidance presents a question:  If you are new to Scrum, or are simply trying to increase proficiency, what agile practices should you use? What tools should you pack in your toolbox?

 Scrum Skeleton

Scrum Skeleton

 Scrum with Practices

Scrum with Practices

Figuring which tools to use is not trivial.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of potential practices.  If you don't believe me, here's starter list ( I stopped at 101 practices):

 101 Practices

101 Practices

The answer to which tools to use lies in understanding the problem that you are trying to solve.  In an earlier post, "Where do you want to get to?", I suggest a model for narrowing down the choices to tools that fit the problem space.  This narrowing creates focus on a smaller set of tools best suited for the job.  Add the right tools to your toolkit and learn how to use them effectively in the context of solving the problem.