Agile Software Review: PlanBox

Disclaimer: Yes, I am biased. I’m a founder of TargetProcess, so you definitely can’t trust my review

Recently I stumbled upon a new agile project management software – PlanBox. It is quite small, but has some thoroughly implemented features. It has some problems too, but in general I think it is a very good hit and small companies should seriously think about PlanBox instead of PivotalTracker. 

To be honest, several new tools appear on agile project management market every month. And it is a rare case when the tool has some fresh ideas with a good implementation.

Here are my very random thoughts and feelings about initial try of PlanBox.

Right after the login I decided to add several stories in the backlog. It took me almost a minute to find how to do that! Phrase Search or Create was confusing.

It seems these two actions should be separated. Or at least usability tests should prove that I ’m the only one who was confused 🙂

Absolutely best decision was made about a backlog design. I can do all important tasks here really quickly: add new stories, add tasks, prioritize stories, change details and update effort, assign people. When we brainstormed new Backlog design for TargetProcess, we came up with several decisions, and a very similar decision won. Left side is a list of stories, right side can contain details or other information. Well done!

And yes, multi-attachment works in Safari. We implemented similar functionality in TargetProcess, but jQuery plugin we’ve took doesn’t support that. So I was delighted it works in PlanBox.

Tasks creation is a breeze. Some very small delays that slightly affects the ideal flow, but still great implementation.

The bad thing is an overal navigation. It is quite complex and you need to spend valuable time to find areas like Features Customization. I think it should be improved.

Feature Customization itself has cool UI. You make some tweaks and see result right away. Fast feedback makes customization fun and clear. Small and easy feature, but it changes the experience.

There are definitely some things that can be improved (navigation, screen space utilization, overal style maybe), but I like the attitude and how this product thought out. I believe it is a decent choice for small teams.