Pivotal Tracker is used daily by Moffitt's Collaborative Data Services Core, which facilitates access to clinical, tumor and biospecimen data for high-impact translational research. The CDS Core uses Pivotal Tracker as a project planning tool to form realistic expectations about when work might be completed based on the team’s ongoing performance.
Other Moffitt departments also use Pivotal Tracker for bug tracking and as a shared team-level 'to-do' list.
- Pivotal Tracker helps our team visualize our projects in the form of stories (virtual cards) moving through our workflow. This encourages us to break down projects into manageable chunks and have important conversations about deliverables and scope.
- The forced-prioritization allows our team to have a shared understanding about what is most important and make collective decisions about what our team will work on next.
- By dividing future iterations by our team's velocity, Pivotal Tracker accurately predicts when we will complete future work.
- In-story task management is still a weak point. The ability to @mention users in tasks and mark tasks as 'in-progress' would go a long way.
- Epics do not span projects. This becomes troublesome when scaling Pivotal Tracker's agile methodology to multiple teams.
- Splitting stories is often confusing for team members as there is no concept of a 'parent' story with child stories that have split off of it. There are only two levels: Epic & Story.
As an Admin
When I am on the dashboard
And I click "show stats"
I should see stats within a given date range.
- Measuring the velocity of the team. Every week there is an estimated velocity of how many points can be accomplished per week, or per sprint.
- Managing priority of stories. Whatever is at the top of the backlog takes precedence over what's below.
- Integration points. We use the webhooks for git and for Slack that makes the monitoring really easy.
- Bulk adding of stories in reverse order. When you create a bunch of stories, you often do it in the order you want them done, and they inputs them in backwards. So you need to drag each one over individually in order to get the sequence that you want. This is particularly annoying for epics.
- Track Projects; this system allows you to create multiple projects for different large tasks. This is easily labeled and displayed for ease of use and identifying.
- Multi-user assignment; I can assign a task to multiple team members at a time. This works well when they are working together to make a deadline and letting everyone in the team know where they are at.
- History tracking; When it came down to auditing time, the history tracking and exporting has been a fantastic tool. We were able to export our notes into a readable Excel format for documentation submission.
- Categorization of Stories. It would be nice to have the ability to create our own custom categories on top of the backlog, ice box and my work sections.
- Time lines; although we can put in stars for level of difficulty; it would be more beneficial if we can add in due dates, benchmarks and time lines into the system. This would allow us to easily calculate projects and the resource allocation.
- Reports; although we can export and review our history, it would be nice to have the ability to pull reports on progress, % of story completion, and success rate.
- The stages a task can go through i.e. Deliver and Accept are great at helping you keep track of what is going on
- The integration with Slack is useful so that our team is notified when specific aspects of a task changes
- The burn down charts are not something we use, I think this feature isn't 'culturally' useful for our team since we do not work in this way
- I would like to be able to bundle the tasks under specific releases within a sprint and not have them move around based on their status
Out of all the tools I have seen I do think it is the best for managing sprints however it is not a good external facing roadmap. However, I do not think it is trying to be that.
- User story creation and management (discussions around stories)
- User story estimations
- Grouping stories under epics to show progress
- Add blocking tasks or tickets to stories
- No native desktop app - would love to see one implemented well for Mac
- Custom estimation point system (let teams define their own units)
- Tasks are very easy to view and update. Adding descriptions, attachments and notes are very good for difficult tasks.
- Subtasks are especially useful for our engineers as each task can be broken down into smaller steps.
- Assigning and sharing tasks and the approval process is very good as each area QA's their specific task.
- Prioritizing larger initiatives is very simple as they are constantly changing based on customers needs
- I think it could use a bit more customization. It seems to want you to work in a very specific way and that does not work for all teams.
- Approvals are great, but can use more of a QA process that can be implemented if needed.
- Bugs are not counted as points, and sometimes we feel we are not getting a true velocity of our teams performance.
- Summarize and track larger feature and project status with Epics.
- Help easily break down projects into testable, manageable user stories.
- Bring tasks and bugs into one structure.
- Collaboration between multiple developers is simple.
- Structure is very rigid, and we often found we had to force our projects to fit that structure rather than customize the tool to fit how our process was structured.
- Tracking epic progress might not give a very accurate picture into actual remaining effort. It's possible to come close, and I don't think there's much that can be done about this because it isn't a tool for time estimation.
- Project management - helpful for tracking the overall project as well as sub-projects associated with it, thanks to Epic/Story/Mini-Epic/etc breakdown of items
- Cross communication - each posting (story, epic, etc) allows for commenting and communication regarding the topic so all communication can be logged under the task
- Analytics - PT shows you the speed at which project statuses change and are completed so you can track your team's efficiency.
- I imagine some people won't care for the post-style interface and would prefer more GANTT chart style PM software, but I'd say it's a matter of preference and project reqs.
- Good at allowing organization of tasks
- The UI receives updates fairly frequently
- The UI is dynamic, allowing some degree of customization for each user
- Flexible system, a variety of different ways to use it
- The UI has been buggy (maybe releasing too quickly without adequate QA).
- There is some rigidity in the UI which limits what it could be
- Lots of features...some which aren't particularly useful in every scenario (velocity) which could be omitted by option to make the app simpler.
- It's simple to use, which makes it really easy for managers and users outside software development and technology teams to participate.
- It requires virtually zero configuration, aside from inviting new users. I used to spend hours managing complex workflows with other products, but not any more.
- It encourages teams to follow a sound Agile process.
- The UI is beautiful, which sounds trivial, but I have it open all the time, so it's nice.
- The biggest strength of Pivotal Tracker is also its biggest weakness -- lack of configurability. The simplicity of administration means you can't create a bunch of complicated, custom workflows. But in my experience, you're better off not doing that anyway. Unless you want to spend a bunch of time managing complicated, custom workflows.
- The burndown chart recently moved off of the main page of a project and into its own Analytics tab with a bunch of new reports. That's cool for scrum masters and project managers, but it means the team is not looking at the burndown on a regular basis. I wish they'd bring the burndown back to the main page, in addition to deeper reports for manager-types.
- Pivotal tracker is simple to use. I can easily onboard a new developer to Pivotal with a 10 minute conversation.
- Pivotal tracker is very straight forward. It makes sense to craft the backlog in a linear fashion like Pivotal has it.
- Tagging and email notifications are great.
- Support for third party integrations is also a plus.
- Deleting a story means that it is gone forever. There is no archiving.
- [Doing a] stack of work becomes quite hairy, no great way to manage or modularize that information.
- Mobile application could be improved for sure, Pivotal seems very built for the web. I always get the notifications but they never bring me to the relevant story within the application. Even a tool like Basecamp can do that for me.
- It gives you a ton of features to track and manage a team and the projects
- Having native apps for different devices make it much easier to track your project and keep up to date with your team
- Notifications and color coding each task is very helpful when trying to quickly the state of the project tasks
- The board does not seem to have an intuitive flow which can become strange
- The learning curve is a little bit high for some one who does not have a lot of experience with boards like these
- The flexibility can be great if you need it but confusing and cumbersome if you do not need it or have not used it
- Clearly displays the status of a story, and clears up lines of communication on that front.
- Allows for prioritization of features and bugs.
- Allows for developers to estimate the difficulty and time needed for a story, so that project managers can adequately plan out sprints.
- Used to have a newsfeed-type feature with all the updates from the previous day. They removed it. I liked getting a snapchat of what changed from before.
- When signing up for email alerts, can be inundated with emails for every change to the status of a story.
- Communication on stories through the comment section can be a little difficult, and not very organized.
- The UI is very good. You can have it across multiple platforms too.
- You can track side by side backlogs.
- See cross project collaboration and apply agile methodologies to your projects.
- I thought at some point that if the project got too big, everything would have become clogged. You need to have a very strict convention on how to manage it with multiple people so that this doesn't happen.
- Pivotal Tracker makes it very easy to prioritize feature requests. It uses a drag and drop interface so you can easily reorder stories.
- You can easily give each story a number of points. By doing this, Pivotal Tracker automatically calculates your project's velocity and determines how many stories you can complete each week.
- One thing that I really love about Pivotal Tracker is that it integrates with several other softwares. We have an integration built out to Zendesk, which is used by clients to submit requests to our team. It was very simple to set up an integration between Pivotal Tracker and Zendesk. The integration eliminates several steps when having to send a ticket to Pivotal and saves our company time.
- If all of your projects are similar, you can create project templates. After creating a new project, you just have to upload the template CSV file.
- There isn't a simple way to view all of your assigned stories across all projects. You can set up a multi-project dashboard, but you have to add each project to the dashboard. If you have a lot of projects, it can take some time and you have to remember to add new projects when they are created.
- There should be an easy way to move stories from one project to another.
- There are some instances where it would be nice to have more than one story owner. It would be great to have that feature.
I would not recommend using Pivotal for any projects unrelated to development or software work. For example, it's way too complex for agencies who only do design work.
- Easy to move a story to the appropriate person/team. The Accept/Reject was a nice feature which made it really easy to indicate the outcome of QA. When a story was "Rejected", it automatically moved to "Restart" and was picked up by the developers.
- Collaboration was easy. Product managers could post screenshots of specs in a story. QA could post screenshots of issues that were found. The comments section was easy to read and made collaboration easy.
- The ability to add Milestones was nice. We used this feature to track major milestones. We created a milestone and moved all stories to achieve to milestone before that and gave a date to the milestone. This made it easy to track milestones and made sure we were on track.
- Search feature could be improved. Right now it's hard to find an old story that was completed. The search could have more options like label, milestone, date range etc., to locate old stories.
- Brainstorming board or white board - most of the stories involve a lot of brainstorming. It would be nice to have a whiteboard where the team could brainstorm ideas and include it in the story. Right now, the team brainstorms ideas on a whiteboard, takes a picture of it and includes it in the story and sometimes people forget to do this.
- Ability to link a story to a CI build like Jenkins. In most software development teams, a story cannot be marked complete until a CI build has passed for those changes. It would be nice to integrate Pivotal with Jenkins so that a failed build will show up in Pivotal and could even change the status of the story to an appropriate status.
- The use of columns makes it easier to see which stories belong to what place. I also like that you can customize which columns to display so that the it is easier to see what's important to you (e.g. current, backlog, icebox, my work etc.)
- I like the colors the board used (grey, blue).
- It is easy to upload pictures onto stories.
- You do not have to change the page to make stories or update the descriptions. It can be done without proceeding to the next page.
- This is good for a startup or small groups but if a bigger corporation has to use it, it is more difficult to keep all the data organized. I've seen organizations migrate their pivotal tracker data to JIRA because they are more used to handling bigger amounts of data.
- Easy to create tasks/stories - not a lot of required fields, or fields that we don't generally need to fill out.
- Simple UI. Unlike other tools I've used in the past, Pivotal Tracker has a cleaner UI making it relatively simple to find something you're looking for.
- Predicting dates based on estimates - this is useful for stakeholders who generally ask "how far along are we, what is the remaining time."
- Not enough reporting capabilities
- Mobile app isn't as user friendly. Seems like they haven't solved for the mobile experience yet.
Design and Strategy also used it to track milestones on their projects.
Marketing and other non-project departments used it to track quarterly goals, although this was short-lived since it didn't help.
- Tracking requirements and monitoring them in one view makes it a nice Product Management tool.
- The fact it works out your velocity and shows the amount of stories that can be completed in a sprint makes it a nice Project Management tool.
- It gives metrics that Project Management and managers may find useful.
- They have an API that enables you to get real-time project data
- The ability to create your own charts, or anything related to business intelligence, rather than just the out-the-box ones.
- If a resource is working on multiple projects, it would be nice to see their work in one view.
- Easy interface that aligns with writing stories and assigning them to epics and team members
- Tag feature allows for easy filtering of stories
- Tracking feature allows PMs to know when stories are being worked on and delivered
- Icebox and backlog functionality allow you to move stories around when they are ready to be worked on
- Would like to be able to move stories around in a filter view and not just in backlog
- Autosync and refresh of updates would be nice
- Simple, focused workflow that has all the features we need, and nothing more.
- The ability to group tasks by epics allows us to have multiple focuses at once, not just a single "backlog."
- Setting weekly markers has drastically increased our focus, as it helps us visualize the affect of adding new work to our existing plans.
- Extremely easy to pick up. I have used many different traditional and agile systems and this was the easiest to pick up by the teams I have used it with.
- Tagging structure is great. Rather than strict hierarchies, Pivotal Tracker allows your teams to create a group of tags and use multiple tags with one story or bug.
- Powerful searching. Pivotal Tracker's search is definitely a huge strength. It allows you to search by date, words, authors, owners, and tags.
- Visual Design. This is directly related to the first item but it bears breaking it out as a separate item. This is a well thought out application.
- If you are looking for configurability, this application would not excel there. You can add users and tags.
- As a web application, you are at the mercy of your Internet provider.
- There are no built-in or user-created workflows. You have to assign items to the next person yourself.
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