Pivotal Tracker Customer Profile: Mavenlink

October 12, 2011 Dan Podsedly

This is the first of regular featured Pivotal Tracker customer profiles. If you’d like to share your own, let us know!

What does your company do?

Mavenlink is a SaaS application that allows consultants and their clients to manage the full lifecycle of their projects together in one place. Our platform allows for project budgeting, task management, team collaboration, file sharing, time tracking, invoicing, and payments – basically every step of a paid engagement.

Has Tracker changed the way you work?

Absolutely – our team collectively has 30+ years of experience managing the software development process. Like many software guys, we all came from waterfall-based development in our prior lives and set out to build our own company using agile principles. We’ve had the benefit of working with Pivotal Labs and they’ve helped us embrace XP-principles generally. Tracker is essential to that process: it’s just simple enough to get out of your way, but be extremely effective.

What tools do you use in conjunction with Tracker?

Why, Mavenlink, of course! We’ve had the luxury to be developing a product we use to run our own business. We manage all of our external resources & projects through Mavenlink and do all development work in Tracker.

What’s your favorite Tracker feature?

As I mentioned before, we love the simplicity. Tools to manage people and projects need to stay out of your way – you can’t spend more time managing the tool than doing the work itself. From a pure feature standpoint, I really like where the new Epics are going. We’re right in the middle of a fairly significant feature re-factor & release and it’s been great to track progress on that effort. We’ve always been a heavy label user to visually distinguish multiple tracks of work.

Any pearls of Wisdom?

I really like the notion that user stories are an invitation to have a conversation about the thing that’s going to be worked on. It’s important to keep in mind that Tracker is, above all, a communication tool. It’s up to the team to use Tracker to reflect communications that have already been had: how long something will take, when it’s being worked on, what’s most important, etc. To get good estimates, it’s also vital to keep your stories broken down and specific (like talking points), not high-level and vaporous.

About the Author

Biography

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