Fragile: an agile project management tool

Fragile is an Agile project management tool that we are building because we didn't find any other Agile PM tool to suit our needs. When Fragile is ready, we are planning to release it to the open source community. In the meantime, we want to share our work in progress since we've received interest from organizations with similar needs.

Fragile is based on the Drupal content management system, which provides a flexible way to customize the collection and display of data. We call the tool "Fragile" as a contraction of Freeform and Agile.

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Our approach to Agile project management is to take what we want and leave the rest. We do not have consistent teams: we have people who play different roles in different projects and we have multiple projects running at once. This meant that many of the available Agile project management tools would not work well with our needs.

Fragile was created because we felt it was the best option after we had investigated various project management systems - both Agile and traditional; written in PHP or Java. A quite popular Agile project management tool called Jira was considered and rejected. At the time of assessment (in 2008) Jira was missing time tracking abilities and some core functionality would have to be tweaked to suit our needs. Since Java isn't our core expertise, we decided on pass on that option.

In addition to that argument, we wanted to use Open Source software, since we believe in the value it provides. When we made the decision, there weren't any Agile project management tools written in PHP. This led us to decide to build our own Agile PM tool using Drupal, since it has become our main platform for creating online systems for clients. We also wanted to see how far we could push Drupal down this road.