I've been trying out lots of different project management tools for our small software team (9 devs total, 5 of whom are in-house) and while I suppose no solution is a silver bullet, I find that all the tools I've seen seem unable to provide the perspective that a physical board can provide.

In the below "physical" example, each story for the sprint is on the left in it's own row and then the technical tasks for that story move through the phases. I find several important things in this:

  1. i can see the entire sprint and quickly have an idea of the progress
  2. i have clear lines for what tasks belong to what stories
  3. i can easily see what the state of the tasks for a particular story are, and how that relates the progress of the story as a whole

I find that in a lot of project management tools, you can create 'tasks' that exist inside the story, but you usually need to be in the 'individual story view' where the tasks are just checkboxes and you can't see them moving through board in relation to the whole sprint backlog.

Alternatively, you can create tasks on the board instead and "link" them back to stories, but then it's hard to easily see which tasks relate to which stories.

I know that a digital board inherently needs to be different to represent the same concepts as a physical board, but I was wondering if anyone else has struggled with these types issues and has found any sort of good solution?

I'd like to use a physical board, but half of our team is remote.

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  • Have you taken a look at JIRA with story swimlanes? – Barnaby Golden Sep 16 '19 at 7:05
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    I had, though found Jira cumbersome for other reasons. It was one of the first ones I tried about a year ago so perhaps I’ll revisit – djt Sep 16 '19 at 12:15
  • A little busy to post a complete answer. take a look at jetbrains.com/youtrack; if you like it, I will post a complete answer. JetBraisn make the best IDEs, I can't believe they give this away for free for up to 10 users – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 17 '19 at 11:45

Disclaimer: I work at Eylean.

Having said that, Eylean is focusing on simplification of everyday task management and doing so in Kanban style boards is the best option. Trying our software usually gives great comfort which no other tool has polished so much. Seriously - just try it www.eylean.com

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Scrumfast.com is a good new resource in case folks are coming here looking for answers to this old question. Task inclusion in stories might be past it's abilities as it's super simple and clean. But it definitely has a great physical layout.

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