Rike project management tool open sourced
German automation specialist Arago has made its Rike project management tool available as open source under the MIT licence. Used in-house by the company since December 2010 for its own product development, Rike is designed to help teams autonomously administer tasks according to the Kanban principle, while also taking into account elements of other agile methods such as Extreme Programming and Scrum.
Japanese for "signboard" or "billboard", Kanban is a scheduling system designed to better prioritise the individual activities of team members; it was first devised by Toyota and used for its Toyota Production System (TPS). Unlike other scheduling systems that are based on the classic "push" principle, Kanban uses the "pull" principle. Work that needs to be done on a project is shown on the Kanban board, which shows the status of the project and tasks available to be worked on. Developers can pull tasks from the board to work on and the system ensures no developer takes on too many tasks.
The Rike developers say that, by pulling from these methodologies, team members working on a project are more "equally challenged and able to bring their individual strengths to the table". Minimising simultaneously pending tasks also reduces the throughput time for other tasks.
Rike was developed using version 6 of the Liferay open source portal software and Java 1.6, as well as Portlets. To quickly get a Rike system running, an AMI instance is available which can be run on Amazon EC2. Further information about Rike, including system requirements and known issues, can be found on the project's GitHub page, where the developers have also published an overview of their development approach.