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Re: [agile-usability] Looking for excel work flow

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  • Daniel Naumann
    Hi Maria, We use a combination of Confluence, Jira and Greenhopper - all products from Atlassian: http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/overview It
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 11, 2012
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      Hi Maria,

      We use a combination of Confluence, Jira and Greenhopper - all products from Atlassian: http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/overview

      It works pretty well. We still use cards and designs on a wall too, which is still my preferred method. 

      Cheers,
      Dan. 

      On Wednesday, 11 April 2012, mariawelch602 wrote:
       

      The company I work for hasn't decided on a tool to use with Agile yet, but that doesn't stop work. Working on a business intelligence platform (oracle) and trying to use the agile method. Tasked to create an interlinked workbook which the story is the first step, then source data, business logic and etl changes. Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points. Then add to additional tabs design changes, and finally a tab for testing planning. Before I tackle this anyone have something like this they would like to share with me or the group, or any design ideas?
      Thanks

      Maria Welch
      Darkeyemaria@...



      --
      Cheers,
      Dan.
    • Voris, John
      The Microsoft Product One-Note has tabs and has a less constrained format than Excel. Have you looked at using it instead of Excel? John Voris
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 11, 2012
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        The Microsoft Product One-Note has tabs and has a less constrained format than Excel.

        Have you looked at using it instead of Excel?

         

        John Voris

         

      • jinnes
        I do a lot of work in Excel because I work with clients that have all sorts of tools and often don t have access to them or time to learn them on a short
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 11, 2012
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          I do a lot of work in Excel because I work with clients that have all sorts of tools and often don't have access to them or time to learn them on a short project. While I'm also a fan or physical cards, let's face it you often have to create digital copies of these things. I've also run into a lot of problems with many of the agile tools that weren't designed with UX deliverables or processes in mind.

          Keep in mind the key is to link the tasks and associated artifacts to the stories. Seems like the source data, business logic and other artifacts you mention would be best captured in other tools. That's how I handle things like UI mockups, user research reports, etc.

          I'd recommend creating a column in Excel next to each story for each artifact and then put a hyperlink in the corresponding cell that points to the artifact on a wiki or file server. You can then count the number of cells in that column that are complete (have text like "Done"). I typically do this to create project dashboards in a separate worksheet.

          Think of these columns as like a column in a scrum or kanban board on physical wall, but with the benefit of being able to have Excel count items in each state. If you have several of them like you describe, label all these columns with a master label ("Tasks" is fine). I also typically put names of owners down in a separate column so you can see who's working on the story or tasks. Another variation is just to use the owner's names in the cells for each deliverable, but that makes it harder to track status.

          One thing I'd pass on from my years of doing this. Test planning should not be done at the end. Waiting till the end to plan tests (of any type) is the waterfall way.

          PS You can see examples of how I've done this in my posts to Boxes and Arrows and Slideshare.

          Good luck,

          Jon


          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "mariawelch602" <darkeyemaria@...> wrote:
          >
          > The company I work for hasn't decided on a tool to use with Agile yet, but that doesn't stop work. Working on a business intelligence platform (oracle) and trying to use the agile method. Tasked to create an interlinked workbook which the story is the first step, then source data, business logic and etl changes. Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points. Then add to additional tabs design changes, and finally a tab for testing planning. Before I tackle this anyone have something like this they would like to share with me or the group, or any design ideas?
          > Thanks
          >
          > Maria Welch
          > Darkeyemaria@...
          >
        • Justin Tauber
          Have you had a look at Trello (trello.com)? It s a cards in columns tool, but also with the ability to assign cards to members, attach resources to cards,
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 11, 2012
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            Have you had a look at Trello (trello.com)?

            It's a "cards in columns" tool, but also with the ability to assign cards to members, attach resources to cards, create checklists and vote on cards.

            It's only one step up from Excel, but that is what I like about it. Because it is such a simple interface, it is agnostic about the exact process you want to implement.

            There is also a neat little Chrome extension called Trello Scrum for adding story points to each card (story points are readable in the title of the card on any browser).

            I second Jon's point about overloading the cards with discipline-specific documentation. Better to focus on cards as conversation-starters that build shared understanding of scale and intended impact.

            - Justin


            On 12 April 2012 07:27, jinnes <jinnes@...> wrote:
             


            I do a lot of work in Excel because I work with clients that have all sorts of tools and often don't have access to them or time to learn them on a short project. While I'm also a fan or physical cards, let's face it you often have to create digital copies of these things. I've also run into a lot of problems with many of the agile tools that weren't designed with UX deliverables or processes in mind.

            Keep in mind the key is to link the tasks and associated artifacts to the stories. Seems like the source data, business logic and other artifacts you mention would be best captured in other tools. That's how I handle things like UI mockups, user research reports, etc.

            I'd recommend creating a column in Excel next to each story for each artifact and then put a hyperlink in the corresponding cell that points to the artifact on a wiki or file server. You can then count the number of cells in that column that are complete (have text like "Done"). I typically do this to create project dashboards in a separate worksheet.

            Think of these columns as like a column in a scrum or kanban board on physical wall, but with the benefit of being able to have Excel count items in each state. If you have several of them like you describe, label all these columns with a master label ("Tasks" is fine). I also typically put names of owners down in a separate column so you can see who's working on the story or tasks. Another variation is just to use the owner's names in the cells for each deliverable, but that makes it harder to track status.

            One thing I'd pass on from my years of doing this. Test planning should not be done at the end. Waiting till the end to plan tests (of any type) is the waterfall way.

            PS You can see examples of how I've done this in my posts to Boxes and Arrows and Slideshare.

            Good luck,

            Jon



            --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "mariawelch602" <darkeyemaria@...> wrote:
            >
            > The company I work for hasn't decided on a tool to use with Agile yet, but that doesn't stop work. Working on a business intelligence platform (oracle) and trying to use the agile method. Tasked to create an interlinked workbook which the story is the first step, then source data, business logic and etl changes. Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points. Then add to additional tabs design changes, and finally a tab for testing planning. Before I tackle this anyone have something like this they would like to share with me or the group, or any design ideas?
            > Thanks
            >
            > Maria Welch
            > Darkeyemaria@...
            >




            --
            "If I have seen deeper, it's for being stood on the shoulders by giants"
            - John Haugeland, with apologies to Isaac Newton

          • mariawelch602
            I use one-note every day to manage my projects meetings and notes never thought about using it for agile. Can you explain more? Maria
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 11, 2012
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              I use one-note every day to manage my projects meetings and notes never thought about using it for agile. Can you explain more?
              Maria

              --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Voris, John" <john.voris@...> wrote:
              >
              > The Microsoft Product One-Note has tabs and has a less constrained
              > format than Excel.
              >
              > Have you looked at using it instead of Excel?
              >
              >
              >
              > John Voris
              >
            • mariawelch602
              Thanks, very similar to my thoughts. Appreciate the input Maria
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 11, 2012
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                Thanks, very similar to my thoughts. Appreciate the input
                Maria

                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "jinnes" <jinnes@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > I do a lot of work in Excel because I work with clients that have all sorts of tools and often don't have access to them or time to learn them on a short project. While I'm also a fan or physical cards, let's face it you often have to create digital copies of these things. I've also run into a lot of problems with many of the agile tools that weren't designed with UX deliverables or processes in mind.
                >
                > Keep in mind the key is to link the tasks and associated artifacts to the stories. Seems like the source data, business logic and other artifacts you mention would be best captured in other tools. That's how I handle things like UI mockups, user research reports, etc.
                >
                > I'd recommend creating a column in Excel next to each story for each artifact and then put a hyperlink in the corresponding cell that points to the artifact on a wiki or file server. You can then count the number of cells in that column that are complete (have text like "Done"). I typically do this to create project dashboards in a separate worksheet.
                >
                > Think of these columns as like a column in a scrum or kanban board on physical wall, but with the benefit of being able to have Excel count items in each state. If you have several of them like you describe, label all these columns with a master label ("Tasks" is fine). I also typically put names of owners down in a separate column so you can see who's working on the story or tasks. Another variation is just to use the owner's names in the cells for each deliverable, but that makes it harder to track status.
                >
                > One thing I'd pass on from my years of doing this. Test planning should not be done at the end. Waiting till the end to plan tests (of any type) is the waterfall way.
                >
                > PS You can see examples of how I've done this in my posts to Boxes and Arrows and Slideshare.
                >
                > Good luck,
                >
                > Jon
                >
                >
                > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "mariawelch602" <darkeyemaria@> wrote:
                > >
                > > The company I work for hasn't decided on a tool to use with Agile yet, but that doesn't stop work. Working on a business intelligence platform (oracle) and trying to use the agile method. Tasked to create an interlinked workbook which the story is the first step, then source data, business logic and etl changes. Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points. Then add to additional tabs design changes, and finally a tab for testing planning. Before I tackle this anyone have something like this they would like to share with me or the group, or any design ideas?
                > > Thanks
                > >
                > > Maria Welch
                > > Darkeyemaria@
                > >
                >
              • Adrian Howard
                Hi Maria, ... Two things: 1) You do realise this is the agile usability group? It s just that I m not really seeing the connection of your question to the
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 12, 2012
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                  Hi Maria,

                  On 11 Apr 2012, at 04:17, mariawelch602 wrote:

                  > The company I work for hasn't decided on a tool to use with Agile yet, but that doesn't stop work. Working on a business intelligence platform (oracle) and trying to use the agile method. Tasked to create an interlinked workbook which the story is the first step, then source data, business logic and etl changes. Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points. Then add to additional tabs design changes, and finally a tab for testing planning. Before I tackle this anyone have something like this they would like to share with me or the group, or any design ideas?

                  Two things:

                  1) You do realise this is the agile usability group? It's just that I'm not really seeing the connection of your question to the group topic of usability/UX in an agile context :-)

                  2) From what you've said so far it sounds to me like your agile adoption might be.... problematical... to pick one thing from your description:

                  "Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points"

                  This goes against the way that estimation works in any agile process I'm familiar with. The people doing the work do the estimates - not some external standard calculation.

                  In general I find that if folk's first thought when starting agile adoption is "what kind of tool" then there are going to be problems, since the biggest changes that agile drives are around how people work - not the tools they use (there are reasons everybody so far has mentioned using paper and physical cards :-)

                  Can you talk about the kind of adoption process that you're going through? What flavour of agile are you adopting (Scrum? XP? Something else?) We might be able to give you some pointers to other places that can help you.

                  Cheers,

                  Adrian
                  --
                  http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
                  t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh
                • kerrykimbrough
                  Hi, Maria For me, your questions raise the same sort of concerns that Adrian mentioned. Mainly because we don t know what you re hoping to achieve. Can you
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 23, 2012
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                    Hi, Maria

                    For me, your questions raise the same sort of concerns that Adrian mentioned. Mainly because we don't know what you're hoping to achieve. Can you clarify?

                    What are the results that you'd like a tool deliver? Why do you think these results will benefit your Agile process? In particular, why do you think these results will lead to a better user experience?
                  • Stacy Anderson
                    Jon s article on Boxes and Arrows has a wealth of information. Highly recommend! http://boxesandarrows.com/view/integrating-ux-into
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 23, 2012
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                      Jon's article on Boxes and Arrows has a wealth of information. Highly recommend!


                      On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM, jinnes <jinnes@...> wrote:
                       


                      I do a lot of work in Excel because I work with clients that have all sorts of tools and often don't have access to them or time to learn them on a short project. While I'm also a fan or physical cards, let's face it you often have to create digital copies of these things. I've also run into a lot of problems with many of the agile tools that weren't designed with UX deliverables or processes in mind.

                      Keep in mind the key is to link the tasks and associated artifacts to the stories. Seems like the source data, business logic and other artifacts you mention would be best captured in other tools. That's how I handle things like UI mockups, user research reports, etc.

                      I'd recommend creating a column in Excel next to each story for each artifact and then put a hyperlink in the corresponding cell that points to the artifact on a wiki or file server. You can then count the number of cells in that column that are complete (have text like "Done"). I typically do this to create project dashboards in a separate worksheet.

                      Think of these columns as like a column in a scrum or kanban board on physical wall, but with the benefit of being able to have Excel count items in each state. If you have several of them like you describe, label all these columns with a master label ("Tasks" is fine). I also typically put names of owners down in a separate column so you can see who's working on the story or tasks. Another variation is just to use the owner's names in the cells for each deliverable, but that makes it harder to track status.

                      One thing I'd pass on from my years of doing this. Test planning should not be done at the end. Waiting till the end to plan tests (of any type) is the waterfall way.

                      PS You can see examples of how I've done this in my posts to Boxes and Arrows and Slideshare.

                      Good luck,

                      Jon



                      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "mariawelch602" <darkeyemaria@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > The company I work for hasn't decided on a tool to use with Agile yet, but that doesn't stop work. Working on a business intelligence platform (oracle) and trying to use the agile method. Tasked to create an interlinked workbook which the story is the first step, then source data, business logic and etl changes. Based on the complexity set a standard (which can be overwritten) to calculate points. Then add to additional tabs design changes, and finally a tab for testing planning. Before I tackle this anyone have something like this they would like to share with me or the group, or any design ideas?
                      > Thanks
                      >
                      > Maria Welch
                      > Darkeyemaria@...
                      >


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