Nektion is developed by Agilefant Ltd. Originally Agilefant was an open source tool for combining portfolio management and iterative development that was invented by a research group at the Aalto University. As the tool became the #1 downloaded open source project in its category, in 2014 Agilefant was spun-out from the university to its own company.
Over the years of working with many large clients, the Agilefant team realized that modern enterprises need a tool that is designed from first principles to support organizational agility and autonomy. Modern companies are embracing things like hypothesis-driven experimentation, developing smaller/fewer features at a time that can be brought to the market faster, lower hierarchies with more decision-making authority for experts, and an increased sense of ownership among employees.
In any large organization that starts adopting principles of agility and autonomy, the tools support will sooner or later become an obstacle because they are not designed for both scale and continuous improvement. Post-it notes on a wall, Trello, or other simple tools can easily be “configured”, but they don’t scale. Team-level tools like Jira or VSTS and enterprise agile tools like VersionOne, AgileCraft or Agile Central have a fixed concept model that is hard or impossible to configure and often very engineering-oriented whereas enterprise agility is about the whole company.
Nektion was released in 2018 as a tool that makes it easy to adopt organizations’ mental concepts (portfolios, release trains, epics, features, stories, teams, products, systems, statuses, roles, etc.) in a work management tool and allows continuous improvement of the way of working. In Nektion configuration of the concept model is the core feature that allows companies to set up boards, timelines, tree views, lists, and other views that are in sync with how work is done in the company.