Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Project Planning and Tracking Tools

Expand Messages
  • Mark the Shark
    Hi guys, I m a PM who s used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress against Agile
    Message 1 of 22 , May 26, 2006
      Hi guys,

      I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
      recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
      against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
      the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
      but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
      Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
      tracking and planning?

      Thanks in advance.

      Mark
    • Derik Whittaker
      I personaly like VersionOne. They are putting out new features every month or so (go figure, agile software by agile developers). You can find them a
      Message 2 of 22 , May 26, 2006
        I personaly like VersionOne. They are putting out new
        features every month or so (go figure, agile software
        by agile developers). You can find them a
        www.versionone.net

        Tell them Derik sent you :)

        Derik Whittaker
        Derik.Whittaker@...

        --- Mark the Shark <markyboyuk@...> wrote:

        > Hi guys,
        >
        > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile
        > projects. Can anyone
        > recommend the best tool for both planning and
        > tracking progress
        > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix
        > of FDD and XP for
        > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do
        > tracking quite well
        > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time
        > for developing each
        > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything
        > that will cover
        > tracking and planning?
        >
        > Thanks in advance.
        >
        > Mark
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to:
        > extremeprogramming@...
        >
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
        >
        > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/extremeprogramming/
        >
        > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >


        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        http://mail.yahoo.com
      • Mark the Shark
        Thanks Derik. I ll go take a look. Do you know how much it s likely to cost? I want to try things out and see which I can work with best
        Message 3 of 22 , May 27, 2006
          Thanks Derik. I'll go take a look. Do you know how much it's likely to
          cost? I want to try things out and see which I can work with best

          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Derik Whittaker
          <graudowd@...> wrote:
          >
          > I personaly like VersionOne. They are putting out new
          > features every month or so (go figure, agile software
          > by agile developers). You can find them a
          > www.versionone.net
          >
          > Tell them Derik sent you :)
          >
          > Derik Whittaker
          > Derik.Whittaker@...
          >
          > --- Mark the Shark <markyboyuk@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Hi guys,
          > >
          > > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile
          > > projects. Can anyone
          > > recommend the best tool for both planning and
          > > tracking progress
          > > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix
          > > of FDD and XP for
          > > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do
          > > tracking quite well
          > > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time
          > > for developing each
          > > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything
          > > that will cover
          > > tracking and planning?
          > >
          > > Thanks in advance.
          > >
          > > Mark
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > To Post a message, send it to:
          > > extremeprogramming@...
          > >
          > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
          > >
          > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/extremeprogramming/
          > >
          > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          > http://mail.yahoo.com
          >
        • Willem Bogaerts
          ... I just like the classic tools: a wall, magnetic paint, magnets and lots of index cards. And some tape off course, to draw lines between the iterations /
          Message 4 of 22 , May 27, 2006
            Mark the Shark wrote:
            > Hi guys,
            >
            > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
            > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
            > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
            > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
            > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
            > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
            > tracking and planning?
            >
            > Thanks in advance.
            >
            > Mark

            I just like the classic tools: a wall, magnetic paint, magnets and lots
            of index cards. And some tape off course, to draw lines between the
            iterations / teams / individuals / projects / whatever you like.

            Planning follows the line of thought for a Singleton: there should only
            be one planning, and every developer should have easy access to it. This
            is where most digital systems fail.

            Best regards,
            Willem Bogaerts
          • grahamastles
            ... wrote: Hello Mark. You can also check out our tool, ProjectCards. It takes a two-stage approach whereby you can first work in the Themes perspective to
            Message 5 of 22 , May 27, 2006
              --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Willem Bogaerts <w-p@...>
              wrote:
              Hello Mark.

              You can also check out our tool, ProjectCards. It takes a two-stage
              approach whereby you can first work in the "Themes" perspective to
              identify the features, and then you can build your release/iteration
              view in the "Planning" perspective. You don't have to have estimates,
              to plan, but once you do it will give you feedback on how "full" your
              iteration is based on your stated velocity.

              You only pay for editors as you have unlimited guest users to publish
              your planning to stakeholders. It attains the "one planning"
              objective William mentions since every instance is connected by a
              syndication feed. If you search through this extremeprogramming you
              can get an independent point of view on how this works.

              A last point is that the editor portion is a full-featured rich-client
              gui interface with drag and drop. That, combined with the syndication
              feed, makes the group planning sessions very dynamic and "tangible",
              which is the strong point of the simple, physical tools (cards &
              whiteboard) give you. But if you want to get physical, simply
              generate hardcopies of the cards and turn your backs on the tool.
              Then at the end of the session split the cards up amongst the
              deveoppers for a 5 minute update session.

              Graham Astles
              grahamastles (at) projectcards (dot) com

              >
              > Mark the Shark wrote:
              > > Hi guys,
              > >
              > > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
              > > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
              > > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
              > > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
              > > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
              > > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
              > > tracking and planning?
              > >
              > > Thanks in advance.
              > >
              > > Mark
              >
              > I just like the classic tools: a wall, magnetic paint, magnets and lots
              > of index cards. And some tape off course, to draw lines between the
              > iterations / teams / individuals / projects / whatever you like.
              >
              > Planning follows the line of thought for a Singleton: there should only
              > be one planning, and every developer should have easy access to it.
              This
              > is where most digital systems fail.
              >
              > Best regards,
              > Willem Bogaerts
              >
            • Dave Rooney
              ... Hello Mark, Welcome to the Agile world! I realize that it s tough to let go of traditional PM tools, but this is likely a case where you would want to.
              Message 6 of 22 , May 27, 2006
                Mark the Shark wrote:
                > Hi guys,
                >
                > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
                > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
                > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
                > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                > tracking and planning?
                >
                > Thanks in advance.
                >
                > Mark
                >
                >

                Hello Mark,

                Welcome to the Agile world!

                I realize that it's tough to let go of traditional PM tools, but this is
                likely a case where you would want to. One of the best bits of advice
                that I've seen is to start with nothing and only add a tool or practice
                when its need is readily apparent. At that time, add the simplest
                possible tool for the job.

                So with that in mind, my advice to you would be to get as many of the
                people involved in the project to work in a single area or room. Put as
                many whiteboards as possible on the walls. Get a few packages of index
                cards from your local stationary store. Have the people who are the
                product's Customer talk about what the product is supposed to do. Write
                down a sentence or two about each individual Story on a card, focusing
                solely on business details and not technical ones. Don't worry about
                "getting the Stories right", because you simply won't. The intent at
                that point is to get enough information to figure out if the product is
                an ant, a mouse, an elephant or a blue whale. The cards can then be
                used to physically gauge the size of the project.

                That's a relatively simple view of it, because even the process of
                defining the Stories is iterative in nature. However, it's based on
                communication between all people involved, ideally face to face.

                Someone mentioned VersionOne as a possible tool. I've had a look at it
                before, and it is indeed quite good. Where I see the need for a tool
                like that, though, is when you start dealing with multiple applications
                and possibly multiple teams. Until that time, like I said, start low or
                no-tech and only add tools when you're feeling enough pain.

                If you haven't already done so, I would highly recommend that you engage
                the services of an experienced agile coach to guide your team through
                the initial stages of adopting an agile methodology. An experienced
                person would help you considerably in avoiding many pitfalls that can
                beset teams early on. I think there are a few here on this list. ;)

                Dave Rooney
                Mayford Technologies
                http://www.mayford.ca
              • Dave Churchville
                ... Mark, Can I ask what planning means to you at this point? It sounds like you consider that to be the process of enumerating features and determining how
                Message 7 of 22 , May 27, 2006
                  --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Mark the Shark"
                  <markyboyuk@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi guys,
                  >
                  > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                  > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                  > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
                  > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
                  > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
                  > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                  > tracking and planning?

                  Mark,

                  Can I ask what "planning" means to you at this point? It sounds like
                  you consider that to be the process of enumerating features and
                  determining how long they will take to implement.

                  For Agile projects, a common approach I've seen used successfully (and
                  used on my own projects) is as follows:

                  - Collaborate with customers and other project stakeholders to
                  brainstorm a set of user stories (features).

                  - Do a high level estimate of the *size* of those stories relative to
                  one another (but not long they will take per se). You can do this in
                  either "ideal weeks/days/hours" or in "points" that are just relative
                  size measurements

                  - Plan a release by having customers prioritize the "raw" stories,
                  using the rough estimates as a way to make cost/benefit judgements
                  (i.e. I really want X, but it's expensive, so Y is probably a better
                  choice for now)

                  That gives you a high level plan to which you can either fix the scope
                  (I need these 27 features or we can't ship), or the duration (it has
                  to be finished by April 1st no matter what). Most agile projects I've
                  worked on had fixed durations and flexible scope, meaning we did as
                  many high priority items as we could in the time allotted.

                  As far as tool support, index cards and whiteboards can work well for
                  this kind of high level brainstorm if the team is small and
                  co-located. In fact, this is probably your best option to start with
                  if you're not sure what your needs are.

                  For remote teams or large teams, tool support can be a valuable aid
                  for tracking and communication. Aside from the other tools mentioned
                  so far, my company makes ExtremePlanner, an agile planning and
                  tracking tool which is pretty simple to start with, both in terms of
                  cost and complexity.

                  Hope this helps.

                  --Dave

                  David Churchville
                  ExtremePlanner Software
                  http://www.extremeplanner.com
                • Ron Jeffries
                  ... I was working last week with a large organization who are using VersionOne. I sat in on a bunch of their daily meetings and such. I made a point of asking
                  Message 8 of 22 , May 27, 2006
                    On Saturday, May 27, 2006, at 4:23:24 PM, Dave Rooney wrote:

                    > Someone mentioned VersionOne as a possible tool. I've had a look at it
                    > before, and it is indeed quite good. Where I see the need for a tool
                    > like that, though, is when you start dealing with multiple applications
                    > and possibly multiple teams. Until that time, like I said, start low or
                    > no-tech and only add tools when you're feeling enough pain.

                    I was working last week with a large organization who are using
                    VersionOne. I sat in on a bunch of their daily meetings and such. I
                    made a point of asking people if they liked VersionOne. They all
                    said that they did not. I asked them if they knew anyone who did
                    like it. They all said that they didn't know anyone personally who
                    liked it, but suspected that the people who decided to buy it might.

                    They said they supposed it was good for roll-up. My guess is that it
                    might be, but that a report of a different kind might be better. I
                    hope to get a chance to help them find out.

                    Ron Jeffries
                    www.XProgramming.com
                    Fear is the mindkiller. --Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
                  • Cory Foy
                    ... We ve been using ProjectCards for about 2 months now. Our situation is that the development team is in Missouri, and the Product Management is in Virginia.
                    Message 9 of 22 , May 28, 2006
                      Mark the Shark wrote:
                      > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                      > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                      > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
                      > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
                      > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
                      > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                      > tracking and planning?

                      We've been using ProjectCards for about 2 months now. Our situation is
                      that the development team is in Missouri, and the Product Management is
                      in Virginia. Our PM flies out every 4-6 weeks, and we go out once a
                      quarter, and at those times we sit down with the user stories and a nice
                      stack of index cards and have a story writing session.

                      At the conclusion of the session, all of the stories are placed into
                      ProjectCards as themes, in priority order. We then hold weekly planning
                      games via videoconference where we can see the ProjectCards interface
                      and we drag and drop the next priority stories into the iteration.

                      We don't track actual time or hours- we truly use yesterday's weather to
                      determine how much we are going to do this iteration (though one unit
                      for us roughly equates to two development sessions or one half day
                      (since we have four sessions a day)).

                      As we work on and complete the stories, we change their status in
                      ProjectCards. We've also just started printing out the stories in 4x6
                      "cards" which we physically put on a wall. This helps communicate to the
                      other teams what we are working on in case they want to swap over.

                      Before ProjectCards we had tried XPlanner and a simple Excel
                      spreadsheet, but ProjectCards has blown those away. The biggest downside
                      right now is lack of reporting, but I know they are working on that
                      because they are extremely responsive to requests, and I've been in
                      close contact with them.

                      --
                      Cory Foy
                      http://www.cornetdesign.com
                    • jonstewart.onyxweb
                      We have people involved in projects in 3 different locations (and in two different countries), so for us a project planning tool is essential. We use
                      Message 10 of 22 , May 28, 2006
                        We have people involved in projects in 3 different locations (and in
                        two different countries), so for us a project planning tool is
                        essential. We use ProjectCards, which is simple & intuitive to
                        use. Crucially, the teams like it - customer & developers alike.
                        Early versions were quite slow for larger projects, but the latest
                        release is very responsive even over the internet.

                        Would we use index cards if we could? Probably not now - the
                        convenience of ready persistence, organising, estimation &
                        scheduling is too great. But it's worth asking, what do we lose by
                        not using real cardboard? Gathering round index cards forces people
                        to communicate, and that's really the bottom line. Getting
                        communication up between customer, project management & the
                        development team is where it's at. Is it a problem that not
                        everyone is in the same location? Yes it is! It's one of our
                        biggest challenges and something we often review. We look at
                        anything that works to increase remote communication: conference
                        calls, video conferencing, rapid response to emails, short
                        iterations (1 week) & face to face meetings when possible. We often
                        have all parties looking at ProjectCards during a call. One neat
                        feature is that if one person saves a card, everyone else sees the
                        change a few seconds later. We just have to be flexible - and in
                        the end that's probably the most important ingredient for success.

                        Good luck, Jon

                        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Cory Foy <usergroup@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Mark the Shark wrote:
                        > > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                        > > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                        > > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP
                        for
                        > > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite
                        well
                        > > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing
                        each
                        > > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                        > > tracking and planning?
                        >
                        > We've been using ProjectCards for about 2 months now. Our
                        situation is
                        > that the development team is in Missouri, and the Product
                        Management is
                        > in Virginia. Our PM flies out every 4-6 weeks, and we go out once
                        a
                        > quarter, and at those times we sit down with the user stories and
                        a nice
                        > stack of index cards and have a story writing session.
                        >
                        > At the conclusion of the session, all of the stories are placed
                        into
                        > ProjectCards as themes, in priority order. We then hold weekly
                        planning
                        > games via videoconference where we can see the ProjectCards
                        interface
                        > and we drag and drop the next priority stories into the iteration.
                        >
                        > We don't track actual time or hours- we truly use yesterday's
                        weather to
                        > determine how much we are going to do this iteration (though one
                        unit
                        > for us roughly equates to two development sessions or one half day
                        > (since we have four sessions a day)).
                        >
                        > As we work on and complete the stories, we change their status in
                        > ProjectCards. We've also just started printing out the stories in
                        4x6
                        > "cards" which we physically put on a wall. This helps communicate
                        to the
                        > other teams what we are working on in case they want to swap over.
                        >
                        > Before ProjectCards we had tried XPlanner and a simple Excel
                        > spreadsheet, but ProjectCards has blown those away. The biggest
                        downside
                        > right now is lack of reporting, but I know they are working on
                        that
                        > because they are extremely responsive to requests, and I've been
                        in
                        > close contact with them.
                        >
                        > --
                        > Cory Foy
                        > http://www.cornetdesign.com
                        >
                      • Ilja Preuss
                        ... Planning: Index Cards Tracking: Burn Chart (manually drawn on a white board or flip chart or something) Works much better than any software tool I know -
                        Message 11 of 22 , May 30, 2006
                          > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can
                          > anyone recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking
                          > progress against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix
                          > of FDD and XP for the delivery. The tools I've looked at so
                          > far do tracking quite well but assume I've done planning (eg.
                          > length of time for developing each
                          > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                          > tracking and planning?

                          Planning: Index Cards
                          Tracking: Burn Chart (manually drawn on a white board or flip chart or
                          something)

                          Works much better than any software tool I know - assuming that your team is
                          colocated, of course.

                          Cheers, Ilja
                        • SherlockSridhar
                          Hi Mark, XPlanner is a good tool to begin executing XP. Its fairly lightweight and you can easily use a subset of its features. Regards Sherlocksridhar On Sat,
                          Message 12 of 22 , May 30, 2006
                            Hi Mark,

                            XPlanner is a good tool to begin executing XP. Its fairly lightweight
                            and you can easily use a subset of its features.

                            Regards
                            Sherlocksridhar


                            On Sat, 27 May 2006 16:23:24 -0400, "Dave Rooney"
                            <dave.rooney@...> said:
                            > Mark the Shark wrote:
                            > > Hi guys,
                            > >
                            > > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                            > > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                            > > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
                            > > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
                            > > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
                            > > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                            > > tracking and planning?
                            > >
                            > > Thanks in advance.
                            > >
                            > > Mark
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                            > Hello Mark,
                            >
                            > Welcome to the Agile world!
                            >
                            > I realize that it's tough to let go of traditional PM tools, but this is
                            > likely a case where you would want to. One of the best bits of advice
                            > that I've seen is to start with nothing and only add a tool or practice
                            > when its need is readily apparent. At that time, add the simplest
                            > possible tool for the job.
                            >
                            > So with that in mind, my advice to you would be to get as many of the
                            > people involved in the project to work in a single area or room. Put as
                            > many whiteboards as possible on the walls. Get a few packages of index
                            > cards from your local stationary store. Have the people who are the
                            > product's Customer talk about what the product is supposed to do. Write
                            > down a sentence or two about each individual Story on a card, focusing
                            > solely on business details and not technical ones. Don't worry about
                            > "getting the Stories right", because you simply won't. The intent at
                            > that point is to get enough information to figure out if the product is
                            > an ant, a mouse, an elephant or a blue whale. The cards can then be
                            > used to physically gauge the size of the project.
                            >
                            > That's a relatively simple view of it, because even the process of
                            > defining the Stories is iterative in nature. However, it's based on
                            > communication between all people involved, ideally face to face.
                            >
                            > Someone mentioned VersionOne as a possible tool. I've had a look at it
                            > before, and it is indeed quite good. Where I see the need for a tool
                            > like that, though, is when you start dealing with multiple applications
                            > and possibly multiple teams. Until that time, like I said, start low or
                            > no-tech and only add tools when you're feeling enough pain.
                            >
                            > If you haven't already done so, I would highly recommend that you engage
                            > the services of an experienced agile coach to guide your team through
                            > the initial stages of adopting an agile methodology. An experienced
                            > person would help you considerably in avoiding many pitfalls that can
                            > beset teams early on. I think there are a few here on this list. ;)
                            >
                            > Dave Rooney
                            > Mayford Technologies
                            > http://www.mayford.ca
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                            >
                            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                            > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                            >
                            > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >

                            -----------------------------
                            "A lot of preconceptions can be avoided by simply trying them out" - Bruce Eckel

                            --
                            http://www.fastmail.fm - Does exactly what it says on the tin
                          • Mark the Shark
                            We ve installed XPlanner and are using it now, looks pretty good so far. We re using FDD (mainly) as the approach and are hoping to extend XPlanner to give the
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jun 1, 2006
                              We've installed XPlanner and are using it now, looks pretty good so
                              far. We're using FDD (mainly) as the approach and are hoping to extend
                              XPlanner to give the standard tasks for a feature rather than entering
                              it by hand each time.

                              I'll put a post on about that

                              --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "SherlockSridhar"
                              <sherlocksridhar@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Mark,
                              >
                              > XPlanner is a good tool to begin executing XP. Its fairly lightweight
                              > and you can easily use a subset of its features.
                              >
                              > Regards
                              > Sherlocksridhar
                              >
                              >
                              > On Sat, 27 May 2006 16:23:24 -0400, "Dave Rooney"
                              > <dave.rooney@...> said:
                              > > Mark the Shark wrote:
                              > > > Hi guys,
                              > > >
                              > > > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                              > > > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                              > > > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
                              > > > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
                              > > > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing
                              each
                              > > > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                              > > > tracking and planning?
                              > > >
                              > > > Thanks in advance.
                              > > >
                              > > > Mark
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > > Hello Mark,
                              > >
                              > > Welcome to the Agile world!
                              > >
                              > > I realize that it's tough to let go of traditional PM tools, but
                              this is
                              > > likely a case where you would want to. One of the best bits of
                              advice
                              > > that I've seen is to start with nothing and only add a tool or
                              practice
                              > > when its need is readily apparent. At that time, add the simplest
                              > > possible tool for the job.
                              > >
                              > > So with that in mind, my advice to you would be to get as many of the
                              > > people involved in the project to work in a single area or room.
                              Put as
                              > > many whiteboards as possible on the walls. Get a few packages of
                              index
                              > > cards from your local stationary store. Have the people who are the
                              > > product's Customer talk about what the product is supposed to do.
                              Write
                              > > down a sentence or two about each individual Story on a card,
                              focusing
                              > > solely on business details and not technical ones. Don't worry about
                              > > "getting the Stories right", because you simply won't. The intent at
                              > > that point is to get enough information to figure out if the
                              product is
                              > > an ant, a mouse, an elephant or a blue whale. The cards can then be
                              > > used to physically gauge the size of the project.
                              > >
                              > > That's a relatively simple view of it, because even the process of
                              > > defining the Stories is iterative in nature. However, it's based on
                              > > communication between all people involved, ideally face to face.
                              > >
                              > > Someone mentioned VersionOne as a possible tool. I've had a look
                              at it
                              > > before, and it is indeed quite good. Where I see the need for a tool
                              > > like that, though, is when you start dealing with multiple
                              applications
                              > > and possibly multiple teams. Until that time, like I said, start
                              low or
                              > > no-tech and only add tools when you're feeling enough pain.
                              > >
                              > > If you haven't already done so, I would highly recommend that you
                              engage
                              > > the services of an experienced agile coach to guide your team through
                              > > the initial stages of adopting an agile methodology. An experienced
                              > > person would help you considerably in avoiding many pitfalls that can
                              > > beset teams early on. I think there are a few here on this list. ;)
                              > >
                              > > Dave Rooney
                              > > Mayford Technologies
                              > > http://www.mayford.ca
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                              > >
                              > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                              > > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                              > >
                              > > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              > -----------------------------
                              > "A lot of preconceptions can be avoided by simply trying them out" -
                              Bruce Eckel
                              >
                              > --
                              > http://www.fastmail.fm - Does exactly what it says on the tin
                              >
                            • Ilja Preuss
                              ... I wholeheartedly disagree. It s not that it s a bad tool, or a heavyweight tool. It s just that by using a software tool, you will never learn about the
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jun 7, 2006
                                > XPlanner is a good tool to begin executing XP. Its fairly
                                > lightweight and you can easily use a subset of its features.

                                I wholeheartedly disagree. It's not that it's a bad tool, or a heavyweight
                                tool. It's just that by using a software tool, you will never learn about
                                the many subtle benefits of working with index cards.

                                It might be a good tool to migrate to, under some circumstances. A good tool
                                for someone new to XP to learn about how to implement "people and their
                                interactions over processes and tools" - I don't think so at all.

                                No hard feelings,

                                Ilja

                                --
                                "Information Radiation in Practice -
                                Communication Tools for Colocated Teams"

                                Tutorial at the XP2006 conference, Oulu
                                www.xp2006.org
                                17.06.2006
                              • Ilja Preuss
                                ... That s one of the effects. Others include - collaboration is very easy (handing around cards, writing cards concurrently etc.) - organizing cards (such as
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jun 7, 2006
                                  > But it's worth asking, what do we lose by
                                  > not using real cardboard? Gathering round index cards forces people
                                  > to communicate, and that's really the bottom line.

                                  That's one of the effects. Others include

                                  - collaboration is very easy (handing around cards, writing cards
                                  concurrently etc.)

                                  - organizing cards (such as rearranging them) is easy and unrestricted

                                  - huge working areas with incredible resolution available, without any needs
                                  for scrolling

                                  - very natural and intuitive interface (even for things such as zooming...
                                  ;))

                                  - makes stories tangible

                                  Cheers, Ilja
                                • Steven Ropa
                                  Ok Ilja, don t have a heart attack, but I agree with you 100%. Don t start with a tool. Start with index cards. If your situation then requires a tool, I
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jun 7, 2006
                                    Ok Ilja, don't have a heart attack, but I agree with you 100%. Don't
                                    start with a tool. Start with index cards. If your situation then
                                    requires a tool, I personally prefer Version One, but I hear a lot of
                                    good things about XPlanner also.

                                    But if you start with a tool, it will end up driving your process,
                                    rather than supporting it.

                                    Steve



                                    _____

                                    From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ilja Preuss
                                    Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 9:10 AM
                                    To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: RE: [XP] Project Planning and Tracking Tools



                                    > XPlanner is a good tool to begin executing XP. Its fairly
                                    > lightweight and you can easily use a subset of its features.

                                    I wholeheartedly disagree. It's not that it's a bad tool, or a
                                    heavyweight
                                    tool. It's just that by using a software tool, you will never
                                    learn about
                                    the many subtle benefits of working with index cards.

                                    It might be a good tool to migrate to, under some circumstances.
                                    A good tool
                                    for someone new to XP to learn about how to implement "people
                                    and their
                                    interactions over processes and tools" - I don't think so at
                                    all.

                                    No hard feelings,

                                    Ilja

                                    --
                                    "Information Radiation in Practice -
                                    Communication Tools for Colocated Teams"

                                    Tutorial at the XP2006 conference, Oulu
                                    www.xp2006.org
                                    17.06.2006







                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Ilja Preuss
                                    ... Thanks for the warning! :D Regards, Ilja
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jun 8, 2006
                                      > Ok Ilja, don't have a heart attack, but I agree with you 100%.

                                      Thanks for the warning! :D

                                      Regards, Ilja
                                    • Cory Foy
                                      ... I agree with you Ilja. When we first started our new group, we were given instructions to be a cornerstone for setting new ways. So we threw out XPlanner
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jun 8, 2006
                                        Ilja Preuss wrote:
                                        > It might be a good tool to migrate to, under some circumstances. A good tool
                                        > for someone new to XP to learn about how to implement "people and their
                                        > interactions over processes and tools" - I don't think so at all.

                                        I agree with you Ilja. When we first started our new group, we were
                                        given instructions to be a cornerstone for setting new ways. So we threw
                                        out XPlanner and Excel, and went back to index cards. Once we got that
                                        down, then we switched to using ProjectCards.

                                        We still do our story planning sessions with real cards, on site, but I
                                        know that doesn't work for every team.

                                        And XPlanner is fine - until you have to reorganize the cards, rebalance
                                        your iterations, etc.

                                        --
                                        Cory Foy
                                        http://www.cornetdesign.com
                                      • Michael Dubakov
                                        I know there were many advices already. You don t have to have complex tool to start with XP. I won t recommend any of them. To feel XP, start with
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jun 10, 2006
                                          I know there were many advices already.
                                          You don't have to have complex tool to start with XP. I won't
                                          recommend any of them. To 'feel' XP, start with dashboards, index
                                          cards and so on. However, you may need Agile PM tool in several cases:
                                          1. Team is remote, for example, developers and QA located at different
                                          places
                                          2. Project is quite large
                                          3. You know XP pretty well and want to improve your development
                                          process based on several metrics that hard to gather manually.

                                          In case you still need online APM tool, you may take a look at
                                          TargetProcess (http://www.targetprocess.com
                                          <http://www.targetprocess.com> ).
                                          It is comparable with VersionOne, but have own strengths.

                                          Michael Dubakov,
                                          TargetProcess Team
                                          http://www.targetprocess.com/blog <http://www.targetprocess.com/blog>

                                          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Mark the Shark"
                                          <markyboyuk@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Hi guys,
                                          >
                                          > I'm a PM who's used just getting into Agile projects. Can anyone
                                          > recommend the best tool for both planning and tracking progress
                                          > against Agile projects. I'm looking at using a mix of FDD and XP for
                                          > the delivery. The tools I've looked at so far do tracking quite well
                                          > but assume I've done planning (eg. length of time for developing each
                                          > Feature) somewhere else first. Is there anything that will cover
                                          > tracking and planning?
                                          >
                                          > Thanks in advance.
                                          >
                                          > Mark
                                          >



                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Ilja Preuss
                                          ... That sounds interesting. What kind of metrics could that be? Curious, Ilja
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jun 11, 2006
                                            > However, you may need Agile PM tool in several cases:

                                            > 3. You know XP pretty well and want to improve your development
                                            > process based on several metrics that hard to gather manually.

                                            That sounds interesting. What kind of metrics could that be?

                                            Curious, Ilja
                                          • Michael Dubakov
                                            ... For example: 1. Estimates accuracy 2. Bug fixing velocity 3. Acceptance tests run over all builds stats 4. # of bugs for each user story 5. etc. Michael
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jun 13, 2006
                                              > That sounds interesting. What kind of metrics could that be?

                                              For example:
                                              1. Estimates accuracy
                                              2. Bug fixing velocity
                                              3. Acceptance tests run over all builds stats
                                              4. # of bugs for each user story
                                              5. etc.

                                              Michael
                                              http://www.targetprocess.com

                                              --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Ilja Preuss" <preuss@...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > However, you may need Agile PM tool in several cases:
                                              >
                                              > > 3. You know XP pretty well and want to improve your development
                                              > > process based on several metrics that hard to gather manually.
                                              >
                                              > That sounds interesting. What kind of metrics could that be?
                                              >
                                              > Curious, Ilja
                                              >
                                            • Ilja Preuss
                                              ... I m not sure I fully understand 3, though I could imagine that something like an build machine with automated reporting might come handy here. For the
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jun 14, 2006
                                                >>> However, you may need Agile PM tool in several cases:
                                                >>
                                                >>> 3. You know XP pretty well and want to improve your development
                                                >>> process based on several metrics that hard to gather manually.

                                                >> That sounds interesting. What kind of metrics could that be?
                                                >
                                                > For example:
                                                > 1. Estimates accuracy
                                                > 2. Bug fixing velocity
                                                > 3. Acceptance tests run over all builds stats
                                                > 4. # of bugs for each user story
                                                > 5. etc.

                                                I'm not sure I fully understand 3, though I could imagine that something
                                                like an build machine with automated reporting might come handy here.

                                                For the rest, it isn't obvious to me that those metrics are inherently hard
                                                enough to measure at an accuracy we need for process improvement, that we'd
                                                need an electronic tool.

                                                Take estimates accuracy, for example: What would a tool give us that weekly
                                                reflection based on notes on the story cards couldn't?

                                                Curious, Ilja
                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.