FogBugz – Agile Project Management Made Easy

Posted August 17th, 2019 in Productivity. Tagged: , , , .

There are a number of agile project management tools on the market but one of the oldest and focused agile project management solutions is FogBugz.

FogBugz

Launched in 2001, by legendary software developer Joel Spolsky (Founder of Stack Overflow and Trello) FogBugz was specifically designed for small to medium sized businesses with an audience of developers in mind.

The features listed below highlight the functionality FogBugz has to offer…

Agile Development

FogBugz is purpose built for software project management. You can build a backlog with ease and balance work by hours in addition to allocating resources within a sprint and creating kanban boards for better tracking.

Kanban Board View

This view gives a user visibility into upcoming tasks so you can continuously deliver. FogBugz allows for easy backlog management with all your features, bugs and issues already there to help build your backlog.

Scrumboards and iteration planning

FogBugz is fully equipped to help you manage agile software development projects using Scrum. Some of the features that help you along the way are:

  • Iteration planner – Allowing for you to plan your sprints better by moving tasks around so none of your high priority features are left out.
  • Backlog – With the FogBugz backlog you can create a product and sprint backlog from which you can then pull tasks that your development team will be working on each sprint. You don’t need any third party tools to manage your product backlog or burn down charts.
  • Email Support – Reporting and logging issues needs to be a smooth trouble free process. Entering bugs into a system can more than often be problematic for end users. With FogBugz users of your platform can log issues by sending emails to your support mailbox e.g support@companyname.com. Once received, FogBugz will automatically generate a case number. This allows your development team to review the logged issue and quickly identify if the logged case is a bug or not. The case can then be updated accordingly sending out an automated reply to the user that logged the issue.

FogBugz - screenshot

Document Collaboration

Collaboration is always a challenge when working in a team, which is why many businesses get standalone collaboration tools that teams can use to discuss projects and work on documents. Luckily with FogBugz you get to share technical specs, design docs, and knowledge base articles within your team. You don’t need to use a third party solution to achieve this.

You can also create public documentation for customers to access. This offers an excellent change log and lets you and customers know of the latest versions available tracking changes based on suggestions and enhancement recommendations.

Version Control

Fogbugz comes with Kiln which allows your code to always be secure and up to date. In addition, any changes and updates are sent to you as notifications in order to keep you informed.

Kiln also has a full audit history that shows you who committed, who pushed, who authored and when. It gives a case by case history of all events in your FogBugz case such as code reviews, number of changesets associated with a case, tags, and author. All this data helps you be more in control of your project allowing for better project oversight and management.

Activity Filters

You can easily keep track of any changes inside your code through activity filters. Updates across multiple projects can be monitored such as changes made to repositories or any recent commits. In addition you can filter activities based on changes made to a project, user, or activity type in order to focus on changes that require attention.

Time Tracking

Time tracking helps ensure a balanced workload and also helps you to understand how much work each team member has assigned to them. This allows you to re-assign tasks if necessary so no-one becomes a bottleneck.

FogBugz lets you easily estimate time spent on each task and also know how much time is remaining on cases. You can also generate scheduling reports like burndown charts that take into account work remaining and time to deliver.

The time tracking feature in FogBugz also helps you understand the impact of different tasks in your schedule. It lets you decide what work must be cut in order to be able to deliver by a specific date. Having a project time tracker is critical when it comes to determining real shipping dates that you can report to your customers.

You can easily estimate time on each task and also know how much time is remaining on cases. FogBugz allows you to generate scheduling reports like burndown charts that take into account work remaining and time to deliver.

Evidence Based Scheduling

One of the most powerful features in FogBugz is EBS, or Evidence Based Scheduling. EBS is a statistical algorithm that produces ship date probability distributions. The feature learns from your past projects, delivery timelines and project completion dates based on your teams past performance. Based on this data EBS produces a probability distribution curve, so that you know for any given date, the probability that your project will be completed.

This approach helps ensure clients always get the dates you can deliver on and allows you to improve estimates and scheduling so you get better and always deliver on time.

Evidence Based Scheduling is perfect for realistic estimates as it also takes into account factors like holidays and vacation time.

Conclusion

There are many solutions out there that are good Agile project management software but very few offer the experience and depth FogBugz does.

FogBugz was designed keeping in mind the development and issue tracking challenges faced by small to medium sized development teams. It was specifically built for teams with fewer management layers and less process.

At the end of the day the product that suits your business needs is what will help you decide which solution to purchase as it all really depends on what works for your organization. Factors like team size, organizational adoption, and your internal workflows are what will eventually be the main drivers behind your purchasing decision.


About the Author

Hamzah Tariq

Hamzah Tariq is a Marketing Manager at FogBugz. He writes on agile development, project management, issue tracking tools and software development trends.

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