I know that there are various existing topics on StackOverflow that discuss what the best tool is to organize your backlog in Scrum. However, these discussions are all pretty generic. I've been reading "Scrum and XP from the Trenches" and I like the fields that they attach to a story:

  • ID
  • Name
  • Importance
  • Initial estimate
  • How to demo
  • Notes

I've been using Pivotal Tracker, which works fine, but there's no way I can add these fields to a story. I'd rather not use spreadsheets because they're not great for reordering stories.

Has anyone been using the same structure for stories as described in the book and what tool do you use to organize your backlog? I'd rather not try out x different tools before finding the right one.

3 Answers 3


Thoughtworks Mingle:

Picture From Thoughtworks Mingle Website

Nice thing about it is that it supports custom fields. So for most of your fields you can just add them. (It has some default templates, but I ended up starting from blank.)

Notes can be added with the comment sidebar.

How to Demo is a bit awkward. To my knowledge it only supports one Rich Text Field. (Which takes html, with a wysiwyg interface) per card. You could use the rich text field for this and for your extended description, (since it has HTML you could break it up how you like).

Its other big features is its querying so for example I could do a query to find me all cards that has been in testing for more than 5 days. It has some fairly good charting, with a bit of work I got it to show a burn down chart, that excludes all cards that were prioritised as Don't Care.

Its workflow management is pretty good, though a thing that caught us out was you can't drag and drop a card from one area to the next to trigger a work-flow action. (Eg we had a action program that would Automatically Set a field to say which date it entered testing. This feild would be set if you clicked "move to Testing" but not if you dragged and dropped.)

its super configure-ability is really great. I manipulated it to be the bug tracker. I put together a Tech Debt Wall (with Pain caused vs Pain to Fix)

Learning Time: I would estimate it took me about 16 hours to become fully proficient in it, and about 4 hours before I could have enough understanding an d enough to create/setup a project to explain it to my team. Once i did have that done it took under an hour to explain it to everyone else.

Cost: It is Free for up to 5 users, and about $250/year for more.

You access it through your web-browser, you can either host the server yourself (I did) or Thoughtworks can host it for you. This may not be true any more, I can't find much about hosting it yourself on the website.


I am a developer of Eylean board and I offer to take a look at our tool as it covers your field requirements and has features like other do not: outlook, excel, TFS integration. Fits any agile process due to rich tool set. Has integrated time tracking (measure your employees)


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Rally would be my recommendation. Rally Website

Our IT department just 'transformed' so to speak to agile. Rally sells not only its tool but agile itself. They have knowledgeable coaches that are well versed in agile not just their tool. Demo video


  • Customize: Create user defined fields (string, text, dropdown, boolean, etc) on any artifact type
  • Utilize Kanban or iterative setups
  • Free for up to 10 users
  • Built in reporting and query tools
  • Excel integration used for import/export of data for tracking/reporting (very very handy)
  • Create teams, projects, releases, portfolio items, Features, User Stories, Tasks, Defects, Test Cases, all with hierarchy
  • Watch the demo...there's more.

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