What is project management?

Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time.

There are various tools that can be used in software project management. These include but not limited to:

  • Pivotal Tracker*
  • Jira
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Microsoft project etc

Pivotal Tracker project management tool

Pivotal Tracker is a straightforward project-planning tool that helps software development teams form realistic expectations about when work might be completed based on the team’s ongoing performance.

PT visualizes your projects in the form of stories (virtual cards) moving through your workflow, encouraging you to break down projects into manageable chunks and have important conversations about deliverables and scope.

It helps understands how SCRUM meetings are run, and knows how to report status, and inform the team about blocker issues. They also know how to request additional details on a user story.

Getting started with PT.

Step #1: – Sign in or sign up

Go to https://pivotaltracker.com and login or sign up. On success, you will be directed to your personal dashboard which contains some of your projects that you did before or you are currently doing.

Step #2: – Creating a project

Create a new project by clicking the Create project button on the top right margin of your screen. A pop-up window will appear, enter the project name, account, and state whether the project is private or public.

creating a project

Step #3: – Creating a story

When successful, you will be directed to the specific project dashboard. On this board you can now start adding your stories.

pivotal tracker story
pivotal tracker story

Step #4 – Elements of the story


As illustrated above, when creating a story, you will need a short yet descriptive title eg

A user should be able to sign in


An admin user should be able /can deactivate accounts of other normal users

NB – The titles above are short, descriptive, in present tense and can be read and interpreted by any project stakeholder.

Story type

This can either be:

  • Feature – > system feature or user requirements
  • Chore – > Functional requirements
  • Bug – > Error fixation
  • Release – > Integration release

Estimation and assigning points to a story.

This refers to estimating the time/ duration it would take to finish working on a story. The points vary from time to time and its advisable you understand the project scope.


The person or working on the story


The person who wrote or requested the story


Any hindrance to that might affect timely delivery of the work. This can be :

  • Low network coverage
  • Power blackout
  • Limited knowledge gap etc


Refers to project story tags


This is more details related to the story. Based on the story type, different description styles have been defined.

Feature story

Title: (one line describing the story)
As a <type of user>  
I want <some goal> 
so that <some reason>
Acceptance Criteria: (presented as Scenarios)  

Scenario: Title  
Given <context>  
  And <some more context>...  
When  <event>  
Then  <outcome>  
  And <another outcome>...

Branch name  
Adhere to the branch naming convention for Kenya-tech.com outlined in the blog

Example of feature story

Story Title: As a Taskee I should be able to grant the Tasker access for offline communication  

As a Taskee
I want to be able to make my contact information visible to the Tasker after successful completion of tasks
So that they can be able to contact me offline

Scenario 1:  
Given that I am a taskee 
And I have finished a task assigned to me 
And all payments have been completed,
When I log into dashboard, 
Then I should see a link where I can decide to share or decide not to share my contact info with the tasker

Scenario 2:  
Where necessary, the story should provide more scenarios that cover other edge cases.

Branch Name

Bug story description example

Title: Unwanted spaces should not appear between tasks.

The number of tasks showing per row is inconsistent.

When users view the pages containing the tasks, each row should contain 4 tasks per row. 

Instructions To Display Bug  
Search for tasks and scroll through the results.  
Some rows should display unwanted spaces in between the tasks.

Attach a screenshot of the error caused by the bug if applicable.

Branch Name

Chore story description example

Add a Pivotal Tracker Story Convention page to the project wiki

The wiki should serve as a comprehensive guide for anyone about to create a pivotal tracker story for the project

1. https://www.pivotaltracker.com/blog/principles-of-effective-story-writing-the-pivotal-labs-way/
2. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uh0q0ppRHP7PFwOjwb5JKJGIuKILjzZmubPAE1Yskb4/edit

Acceptance Criteria
1. A wiki page on Github that contains the comprehensive guide to creating Pivotal Tracker Stories

Step #5: – Working on the story

Once done creating the story, save it. When ready to start the story, just click start on the story. The life cycle of the story will move from unstarted -> started -> Finished -> Delivered -> Accepted/Rejected.

That’s much about working with pivotal tracker. Was this helpful? let us know in the comment section.


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