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I'm looking for a simple tool to visually communicate the delivery schedule of Epics (parent stories). What has worked in the past is a simple diagram like the following:

enter image description here

(The columns titles indicate the bi-weekly sprint. "1507-2" just means 2nd half of July 2015, it's a shorthand used forever to communicate our entire company, to avoid ambiguity of saying "Sprint 17")

What I'm looking for is essentially a Gantt chart, but just a friendly version.

Right now we manually create these in Visio or PowerPoint, but it's a pain. I've looked at Project, and it's overkill with it's version of Gantt chart.

Ideally, I'd like to just take an excel spreadsheet to generate this for me from columns of "User story", "Start" and "End". Even if it didn't take it from an excel spreadsheet and I had to enter all the epics in manually, it would be better than manually creating all those dang boxes and moving around.

Does anything exist to address what I'm looking for?

  • Are you looking for a paid or free solution? – rrirower Aug 9 '15 at 16:09
  • @rrirower prefer free or freemium – TMC Aug 9 '15 at 20:15
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You picture actually reminded me a lot of Trello

enter image description here

I think if you use that paid version you might be able get colors etc.

This link might allow you to check out this example board (You may need to create an account though)

Things I like about Trello are:

  • Very simple interface basically you just create list and can easily drag items between list.
  • You can assign people to items.
  • Don't have to install anything its an online only tool(Depending on you data this might be bad)
  • Android app
  • iOS App
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  • It also has an ios version. One little tidbit is that it is not made for offline usage. Trello is worth checking out. – holroy Aug 8 '15 at 19:20
  • Trello won't work as its a kanban type format which every item in each column is discrete. Meaning there is no notion of an item spanning columns. – TMC Aug 9 '15 at 6:25
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If a programmatic solution will be acceptable, a combination of Essential XlsIO and Essential Presentation can be used to generate a PowerPoint showing the sprints and epics.

Simple sample application that generated the image below with source code: link.

The source requires Visual Studio and Syncfusion Essential Studio to compile. Please let me know if you need just the executable.

The whole suite of controls is available for free through the community license program if you qualify. Note: I work for Syncfusion.

screenhot

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If you are willing to change up your project management tool, Eylean Board can be a solution. They offer a schedule option, that visualizes tasks/epics (whatever you choose) in a calendar view. So you choose the start and end date and the box will be automatically added to the schedule. You can also modify the colors and names of rows to add more clarity.

Besides that, you can manage the team, overview the progress, track time and more.

enter image description here

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