We can’t solve the problems by using the same kind of thinking when we created them – Task Management.


With the continued advancement in the tech world and development of top notch software, the need for a robust task management tool has never been this important. No wonder why businesses are switching from the old system to a new automated task management system that simplifies work place activities. And for companies who have invested…

When I bring the topic of task management to some companies I get back. “We have E-mail, Word, spreadsheets and a shared drive, we’re good.”  Yea… no your not.  This might work for a single project but not when you have 10, 20 or more projects at a time.

I preach the use of task management software dedicated to the process of watching over each project with the ability to zoom up to see the entire workload.  Use something like JIRA or Basecamp.  There are cost and some start-up learning required.   Make the investment in your survival, read this article as it is very insightful.

via Top Five Reasons Why You Can’t Win Without Task Management — DZone Agile Zone

Moving a JIRA Cloud instance to a Server instance using AWS

JIRACloudLogo.pngWe have been using JIRA On-Demand or JIRA Cloud for a few years now.  It was an easy SaaS decision and helped us get started very quickly.  After a while, we realized that most of the cool add-ons for JIRA are only available to the JIRA Server instance.  Our web applications have an Issue-Track (Critical-Response) form  that users fill out to report a problem or ask for an enhancement.  Currently we take these forms and manually transfer them into JIRA.  The JIRA licenses are too expensive to give all our customers a JIRA user ID’s.  So we designed an integrated JIRA interface into our Issue Track page that talks direct to our JIRA-Cloud  Instance. No more copy-paste.  One of our government customers has a security rule that only allows API usage to servers with a single IP address.  Well, JIRA Cloud instances from Atlassian are actually hosted on Amazon Web Services which uses a pool of IP addresses for better performance which makes sense.  For us to get a single IP we will need to migrate our JIRA Cloud instance to a JIRA server instance.  We have decided to stay as close to the way Atlassian manages their cloud instances so we will be using AWS as well but, with a single IP address.  I will document this journey over time in this Blog, one for some reference documentation and two because I like to share.



Rapid Prototyping web applications.. the best way


I have been doing rapid prototyping for web and mobile applications for a few years now.  The answer to the question above is a definite YES!  If the user can “play” the prototype on the device it will be used on; they will be more likely to see things that need to adjusted.  “Play” includes viewing pages, entering data into forms, interacting  and navigation.  This article from Justinmind’s  E explains better than I can, more of the justification for real Rapid Prototyping web and mobile applications.  As a designer, I’m a big fan of Justinmind and use it  every day.     As a developer, I could write prototype scaffolding that could become the framework for the actual application.   While this may save a little time; Justinmind adds a collaboration layer that makes interaction with the user simple.  Recently Justinmind and Atlassian’s JIRA announced requirements integration which allows the prototype to feed the requirements to the developers via of JIRA’s.  If you’re going to be agile then you have to seriously consider rapid prototyping.


Atlassian JIRA, Agile and GIT what a combination.


Git is the de facto standard for agile software development when it comes to version control systems. This well-supported open source project is flexible enough to support a range of workflows that suit the needs of any given software team.  This Atlassian article is a great overview on how to handle the branches in a typical development project that has small and big changes as well as things breaking.

Kanban, Scrum aren’t equal to the Agile Manifesto


No truer word are spoken than these, “The Agile Manifesto is simple, clean and doesn’t enforce any methods.”  This opinion piece by Yusuf Autas is right on the money.  Less is more, less meeting, less new roles, less new terminology.   Focus on building something quickly, refine it until the customer says “Wow”!  Some of the Scrum disciplines are just in place so management can see a process they might be able to interject new goals and visions.  I like to use Kanban Tool to organize my projects.  This is simple and to the point task management system.


Larger projects may require some better tasks tracking in which case I would use Atlassian’s JIRA and its boards.  It is possible to connect these two tools together to take advantage of the best features of each of them.

jira.jpgI am currently working on some presentation and course material on putting the Agile train back on track after the Scrumnado wrecks I have witnessed.  I will post them here at GeekMustHave.