New Product Announcement

by agilezen on May 10, 2012

In July 2009, we launched AgileZen with the goal of providing customers with a simple and visual way to organize their work on the web. We created AgileZen because we felt the pain of software that was difficult to use, complicated, and too focused on collecting information instead of on team communication. We knew there was a place in the market for a company that makes products for the people who use them.

Almost three years later, thousands of people have used our software to track their work items and become more effective at what they do.

But we can do better.

Working with other people is all about communication, and with more and more people working remotely, teams need a better way to collaborate. Understanding the context of what’s going on is more than knowing who is working on what and when it will be done. To have true insight into work, you also have to understand why and how.

The problem is that this contextual information is scattered across all kinds of different tools. Today, there’s no way to have visibility into all of the communication going on around the work without rummaging through all sorts of places: emails, chat messages, support tickets, documents, spreadsheets, CRM tools, SCM commits, and so on. Trying to understand the context of work by gathering information from all these sources is a huge waste of time. There has to be a better way to organize all this valuable information, and make it easy to access it when you need it.


While we always recognized the problem of work items and communication living in different places on the web, it wasn’t until recently that we figured out the solution. It took creating AgileZen, gaining an understanding of how customers were using it, and listening openly to their feedback for the solution to come into focus.

Because of this, we’re launching a whole new AgileZen with the goal of bringing clarity and visibility to work items and communication! This version of AgileZen will still be easy-to-use and intuitive; that will never change. However, the new product is not only about helping you visualize all your work in progress, but it’s also about connecting that work to the contextual information that matters. It will be a version of AgileZen that gets back to basics, focusing on only a few key features. This means that it won’t match the current version of the product feature-for-feature.

This version of the product will be free and unrestricted during the beta period, and even after there will always be a free plan available with the ability to collaborate with others.

We’ll launch a private beta soon, with a public beta to follow starting in August, 2012. We decided to get something out as soon as it was ready because we know the value of feedback from our awesome community of users.

If you’d like to be part of the beta, please sign up for our mailing list, follow us on Twitter, or check back to our blog, since we’ll announce more details over the next few weeks.

  • Dean Goodmanson

    I’m reading this with more trepidation than excitement. What features are dropping?

  • Niki Kohari

    We’ll have a post to talk through the details. The current product is not going away, so you can still use that until we have all the features in the new version

  • Johnkors

    I thought Rally Software just bought AgileZen off of Koharis? Rally was in it from the start?

  • Martin Burns

    Is this new version an addition to the AZ product family, or a replacement of what’s already there?

  • Alex Gibson

    The new product will be an addition – the existing version of Zen will remain intact. Our next post (coming early next week) will include all of the details on this very issue. Thanks!

  • Alex Gibson

    Rally purchased AgileZen in early 2010.

  • Dean Banks

    I’m really happy to see that development hasn’t completely stagnated on AgileZen.  The lack of any material updates for so long has been a source of concern over the longevity of the product.  While it is not clear why a total rewrite of the product is required as opposed to incremental feature additions, I’m hopeful that it will be a net win at the end of the day.   It would be really helpful to have a list of tangible improvements; this blog post is quite vague about what exactly the new product will do.  It’s tough to assess whether joining the Beta makes sense if we don’t have a solid understanding of what will be different.

  • Rick R

    Please, please, please include milestones or releases. Continuous integration isn’t an option for everyone…

  • Carlos Urtasun

    I like alot AgileZen. I hope the new version will confirm this opinion.

  • Matthijs Holter

     “Early next week” is going quickly :)

  • Alex Gibson

    Amen. Expect something tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.

  • Alex Gibson

    Great feedback. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing additional product updates and information (with more specifics). For the time being, we [briefly] discussed why we made the decision to do a product rewrite earlier this year:

  • Alex Gibson

    We believe it will. The new product is light years ahead of our current one.

  • Jayme Davis

    Our goal in August is to release a beta version of the new product to show off some of our new features. Where we go from there will depend heavily on feedback from our customers.

  • Rick R

    Sorry, I meant “please add milestone or release management features to AgileZen”. With this feature, we’d sign up, but as desktop software developers, we can’t use AZ without this feature.

  • Matthijs Holter

    Still checking the blog daily… :) Looking forward to hearing what you’ve got planned!

  • Colin Adan

    We began using AgileZen a few months ago and are on the unlimited plan. The product is good but there are a number of limitations (poor alert system being one of them. I’d like to see an alert fired off to the person who has been allocated the task rather than a general alert which gets lost amongst everything else.)

    Anyway, for users on the unlimited plan I hope to see MORE useful features and not less. If this is going to be a problem in the short term, how are you going to reimburse your customers for this? Or, do you plan to have us continue to use the current version whilst you develop the new version? At which point do we swap over? Is there any additional cost (I hope not)?

    I agree with Dean Goodmanson that this is filling me with more trepidation than excitement!

  • Alex Gibson

    Sorry for the delayed reply Colin. Thanks for the feedback. Upon the launch of the new version, the current version will stay the same and intact for at least 6 months (most likely 1 year). There will be a point where all customers will need to switch to the new version, but this will not take place until full feature parity is reached.

    As far as the cost is concerned, we have not finalized the plans as of yet. There will always be a free option. As soon as this decision is firm, we will announce it.

Previous post:

Next post: