I was reading an article which had a link to one of the resources in BenchMarkQA web site. I downloaded the resource named "Tools for managing agile projects" and in the list I saw a new tool called Silver catalyst. I went to the silver catalyst website and found that it’s been developed by someone from Chennai. My interest got doubled and I downloaded the trail version from the site.
What I like?
1. Simple User interface: One of the advantages I see with this tool is that it has got a very simple user interface
2. A Decent Help Documentation
3. Easy to Install: There are lots of APM tools available in the market, but none of them (I did not try mingle) has a straight forward installation. I could install and get started in less than 5 minutes.
4. Project RSS Feed
What could be better?
1. Adding Team members to the Project: The interface could be better here. I did not like the concept of a user getting created during the time of import
2. I prefer windows service than a server getting started thru a command prompt. It always reminds me the JAVA server interfaces and I personally do not like keeping a command prompt open ("With the message … Server is up and running"
3. I would like to see the concept of releases. "Release Plan -> Iterations -> User Stories -> Iteration Tasks"
4. A different interface for updating the remaining effort. Say for example, if the Iteration length is of 10 days, I would like to update remaining hours (numbers) for Day 1, Day 2 …. Day 10(I know burn chart will give me this, but I will be more comfortable to see the numbers getting updated)
1. Can provide an option to attach Retrospective Notes to Iterations. I have not seen any tool doing this. I do not like maintaining this in a separate file, just because the tool doesn’t support this.
a. Same way Area of improvement list for iteration and a way to track how much we have progressed
2. Can provide support for maintaining user stories. With my limited interaction with Silver catalyst I do not see an option for maintaining user stories
3. Introduce Agile Earned Value Metrics. I do not think any tool is providing this today. I am using excel sheet to do this for me today.
4. I would like to know where the data is getting stored, so that I can take regular backups. I do not see this information mentioned in the documentation
Summary: My comments are based on my limited usage of this tool. Overall, It looks like a decent tool and it can definitely mature over a period of time. Let me see whether it works for us J