Agile ALM tool vendor, Rally, just announced its acquisition of the Kanban project management startup, AgileZen. "We're going to use their Kanban board in Rally," said Rally CTO and co-founder Ryan Martens. AgileZen's web-based Kanban board is used to support limited work-in-progress (WIP), expose bottlenecks, display queues, and help eliminate waste.
AgileZen was launched only nine months ago by its co-founders, Nate and Niki Kohari. .NET developers may remember that Nate was the author of Ninject, an open source Dependency Injection framework for .NET. While developers waited for the GA release of Ninject 2 for more than a year, Nate was busy working on AgileZen (Ninject 2 final has been released
as of February). Nate was driven to learn about Lean software development when he realized, during his own development experience, that most of the effort in a project is actually spent on the product's maintenance and development after it is launched.
AgileZen Kanban Board
The Lean concept is based on a manufacturing methodology that delivers value and eliminates waste. WIP is limited at each stage of the value stream in order to establish a "pull" workflow. In software development, a pull workflow might include with stages like Backlog, Ready, Working, Done, and Production. This process makes value delivery consistent and predictable. Niki Kohari says that, "AgileZen enables teams to create a pull system that matches their unique workflow, provides an easy way to see the status of a project at a glance, and helps organizations understand how their process can be improved to eliminate waste and create value."
After launching in July 2009, AgileZen already has more than 9,000 users. It's low-cost solution, useful features, and friendly interface have thus garnered the attention of Agile heavyweight, Rally Software. "Last year, we supported Kanban and Scrum projects working side-by-side with the launch of our Kanban board mashup" said Martens. "Over the same period, AgileZen has fast become a favorite tool for managing Kanban projects. Acquiring AgileZen helps Rally meet the emerging need for Kanban in our core ALM market."
Rally says they will continue offering AgileZen at a low price. The ALM vendor also says it will offer AgileZen in hosted and behind-the-firewall versions after it is migrated into Rally's ALM platform. Rally customers can contribute to Kanban discussions and track release commitments at the Agile Commons Website
Images Credit: Rally