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Re: [XP] Hatred of index cards

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  • Keith Ray
    regarding MS Project vs Index Cards, see the sunken cost fallacy . ... -- C. Keith Ray
    Message 1 of 121 , May 1 12:25 PM
      regarding MS Project vs Index Cards, see the "sunken cost fallacy".

      On 5/1/06, banshee858 <cnett858@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Then, an interesting thing happened. All of a sudden, I found that
      > > the Product Management side was really ticked off at me. After a
      > > lot of investigation, I discovered, and I am not making this up,
      > > that the thing that they were upset about was this wall of index
      > > cards! They felt that the cards were unprofessional, and had
      > > complained to my VP that it was wrong for a technology company to
      > > use something as low tech as index cards. My VP and I decided that
      > > of all the battles to fight, index cards just weren't that high on
      > > the list.
      > >
      > I never undestand this seemingly irrational behavior. Why do people
      > who have nothing to do with the cards, hate them so much? It almost
      > seems to me like a method of control and exercising power - "I'm so
      > important that I can tell all YOU people how to do your job. I don't
      > care if YOU find them useful, I don't like them and I don't want to
      > see them." It is very odd to me.
      > Carlton
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      C. Keith Ray
    • Ilja Preuss
      ... Steve, you continue to say that as if it were a major disadvantage. Do you feel that way? ... We also report at the story level. I have written a small,
      Message 121 of 121 , May 15 12:17 AM
        > Our distances from the board were about the same as yours. Even at
        > 5 feet cards start to be a bit hard to read unless you write the
        > story title so that the letters are relatively large. However, any
        > further details (other than the colored dots) were practically
        > inaccessible even at about that distance. At 20 feet, the
        > pattern of colored dots were the primary information.

        Steve, you continue to say that as if it were a major disadvantage. Do you
        feel that way?

        > We never used cards for reporting. We also copied some of
        > the card data to a spreadsheet. However, we provided
        > reporting visibility at the story level. The data copying
        > was a nontrivial activity. After moving the XPlanner, we
        > didn't have this duplication and the metrics and charts
        > were generated automatically (and after every change in
        > progress during an iteration).

        We also report at the story level. I have written a small, custom CSV export
        for Xplanner to support it (management uses a spreadsheet for further

        I also update a burn up chart daily. We discussed automating that, too, but
        I find that doing it manually has enough advantages that automation wouldn't
        be a good idea.

        > I don't know if this is significant, but we didn't have
        > a conventional manager. The team was self-managed
        > and reported directly to the CTO who was more interested
        > in technologies and product features than management per
        > se. He was interested in progress relative to the plan,
        > but the development team was just as interested (if not
        > more so) and was the primary user of the plan status.

        We do have a manager, but the team becomes more and more self-managing.
        Currently, management is responsible for release planning, but iteration
        planning is under full control of the developers. So we are very interested
        in plan status, too.

        > At this point, I think they are
        > both legitimate forms of planning support tools and it's
        > better to understand in what situations each is used most
        > beneficially.

        It's hard to disagree with that last sentence... :)

        On the other hand, I think it's hard to really grok the advantages of cards
        until you have experienced them. As far as I can tell, most people don't
        have. That's where my desire is coming from to nudge them to try cards.

        Cheers, Ilja
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