7 Great Tools for Running Bespoke Development Teams

We’ve spent years refining our processes at kwiboo and we know what works. The IT landscape changes regularly and new methodologies are born, having a flexible set of tools is an essential part of a strategic tool set. For an effective development team, you have to have the right tools for the job.

The kwiboo toolset: design, project management, agile tools, continuous integration, source control, time management

1. Plastic SCM – SOURCE CONTROL

Plastic SCM is an essential platform for source control, and its just as effective for both small and large development teams. kwiboo have been using Plastic SCM for years and have formed a good relationship with Pablo Santos (founder). Getting your team to adopt the “Task-per-branch” approach keeps audit-ability and quality high, it is also the corner stone of agile and concurrent development of features in an agile sprint model.

https://www.plasticscm.com

kwiboo is such a big fan of PlasticSCM we have even introduced it at a number of our client sites, including SONY DADC in Austria.

2. Jira – AGILE TOOLS

An absolutely essential tool, Jira from Atlassian, allows you to run sprints, manage defects and changes and can even be used to manage other business processes, such as a sales funnel and customise business workflows.

https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira

Cloud based or on premise licensing enables you to choose a license model that is right for your business.  In the cloud you can be on Jira in a few minutes.  We use email for messaging and Jira for requirements capture and feature requests. If its not in Jira, its not in the plan or in the sprint.  All of our clients have access to Jira when we are executing a development project.

3. Balsamiq – DESIGN

Balsamiq is a wireframing and mock up tool with a high focus on usability. We find it quick and easy to use. Wireframing is an essential part of our design and development process.

https://balsamiq.com/

4. Microsoft Project – PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Microsoft Project has been around for years and remains a popular tool with project managers. Tying tasks together with sprints and epics works well for us. “Actual Work” is reported daily and cross checked on our time tracking software (Paymo)

https://products.office.com/en-us/project/project-professional-2013-desktop-software

5. Jenkins – CI

Reliable code needs reliable deployments. Every check-in on the main (trunk) branch is deployed automatically and unit tests are run. Broken build? Inform the developers automatically. Automated SVN labelling helps identify what was released and when.

http://jenkins-ci.org/

6. Team Foundation Server – CI

http://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/tfs-overview-vs.aspx

Whilst kwiboo is more Jenkins centric we do use TFS with some clients.  Its a world class environment and tightly integrated with Visual Studio.

7. Paymo – TIME TRACKING

Time tracking can be a real pain to get adopted in an organisation. Paymo makes it easy, especially the latest version. Our team track time against tasks in Jira which helps monitor project progress, review relative estimates vs actuals, and identify any slippages before it’s too late.

http://www.paymoapp.com/

Summary

Every development company is different and whilst this isn’t an exhaustive list of the tools we use at kwiboo, these 7 great tools for bespoke development teams is a solid place to start.  kwiboo is ISO 9001:2008 certified, so we regularly review our processes and refine what is working and what we can do to make things work even better.

We even consult on bespoke development tooling, so if you would like to discuss your processes, please do reach out to Alex Driver.