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Re: [XP] How does your user story board work?

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  • D. André Dhondt
    Ours looks much more like what you ve drawn below. I don t have pictures, but some that have been shared in this group are:
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 31, 2007
      Ours looks much more like what you've drawn below. I don't have pictures,
      but some that have been shared in this group are:

      http://www.scissor.com/resources/teamroom/

      http://www.xp123.com/xplor/room-gallery/index.shtml

      We really like the physical motion of moving cards, and the
      resulting information radiator makes it clear to ourselves (and to our
      customer) whether we're making progress on the iteration, and whether we're
      likely to finish everything or not.

      On 1/31/07, Psychie Naill <psychieslash@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello All,
      >
      > I've been trying to implement XP for a good while now. When I started I
      > used
      > to lay my User Stories out on the bed and do them in order of the most
      > important first. Not I'm working in an office environment, and trying to
      > implement XP there. We've created our first release plan and our first
      > iteration plan. The stories were estimated in days and the person I've
      > assigned as the customer has chosen what he thinks are the most valuable
      > from a business point of view and only chosen a set where the amount of
      > estimated days add up to two weeks (the chosen iteration length).
      >
      > I've been looking for the optimal story board (informative workspace) set
      > up
      > and from the pictures I've seen I can't really see any like the one in
      > Kent
      > Beck's lovely book "Extreme Programming Explained - Embrace Change". It
      > goes
      > something like the following IIRC:
      >
      > +-------------------------+---------------------------------------+
      > | Finished Stories | This Week |
      > |
      > | |
      > +-------------------------+-------------------+------------------+
      > | |
      > | |
      > | Not yet Estimated | This Release | This Iteration |
      > | |
      > | |
      > +-------------------------+-------------------+------------------+
      >
      > I have seen stories on a wall with coloured stickers like green stickers
      > on
      > the corners. I presume this means a story is done and rather than moving
      > the
      > cards around, they are left in position and marked as done. Am I correct?
      >
      > On another site I read about having your stories separated into three
      > columns, like the following:
      >
      > Not Started | Started | Finished
      > ---------------------+----------------+-------------------
      > | |
      > | |
      > | |
      > | |
      > | |
      >
      > I'm not sure whether this method is used for stories of tasks.
      >
      > I was wondering how other people are tracking/laying out their stories and
      >
      > Tasks during iterations so they have the optimal informative workspace,
      > and
      > what do they do with the stories when they move on to the next iteration?
      >
      > Forgive me if this has been asked before but the search functionality in
      > Yahoo leaves a lot to be desired for and I couldn't find my answers.
      > Any replies would be greatly appreciated.
      >
      > Cheers,
      >
      > Sonic
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >



      --
      D. André Dhondt

      If you're a software developer in the area, join Agile Philly (
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agilephilly/)!


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Psychie Naill
      Hi André, Thank you for the links. I have seen both those before. The second one in particular was a source of confusion for me due to the amount of different
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 31, 2007
        Hi André,

        Thank you for the links. I have seen both those before. The second one in
        particular was a source of confusion for me due to the amount of different
        setups people used. This is why I asked my question in the first place; to
        see how people would discuss the pro's and con's of each method.
        From the links I'd say that my favourite method would be a mixture
        between William
        Pietri's team room <http://www.scissor.com/resources/teamroom/> and Mike
        Cohn's generic task board<http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/taskboard.php>;
        and this<http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/system/hidden_asset/file/36/CabinetTaskBoard.jpg>version
        in particular.

        I have a couple of questions/comments about both though:

        In relation to the generic task board, (which by the way I love; if only I
        had the time to make one :), in Williams team room; this suggests that each
        of the next nine week's iterations are planned out already. I thought the
        idea of the iteration planning meeting was to plan only the next iteration.
        I wonder how he would account for inaccurate estimates? If a card had to be
        moved to the next iteration, how would it affect the flow of things?

        In relation to the generic task board, I see hours spent coding are tracked,
        yet the stories are estimated in points. I'm a little confused as to how one
        relates time to points. I usually estimate stories in days.

        I would appreciate it someone could enlighten me further.

        Cheers.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Steven Gordon
        ... Not quite. What is tracked is estimated hour remaining for each task (not all of which are coding). It does not really matter how many hours were
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 31, 2007
          On 1/31/07, Psychie Naill <psychieslash@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi André,
          >
          > Thank you for the links. I have seen both those before. The second one in
          > particular was a source of confusion for me due to the amount of different
          > setups people used. This is why I asked my question in the first place; to
          > see how people would discuss the pro's and con's of each method.
          > From the links I'd say that my favourite method would be a mixture
          > between William
          > Pietri's team room <http://www.scissor.com/resources/teamroom/> and Mike
          > Cohn's generic task
          > board<http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/taskboard.php>;
          > and
          > this<http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/system/hidden_asset/file/36/CabinetTaskBoard.jpg>version
          > in particular.
          >
          > I have a couple of questions/comments about both though:
          >
          > In relation to the generic task board, (which by the way I love; if only I
          > had the time to make one :), in Williams team room; this suggests that each
          > of the next nine week's iterations are planned out already. I thought the
          > idea of the iteration planning meeting was to plan only the next iteration.
          > I wonder how he would account for inaccurate estimates? If a card had to be
          > moved to the next iteration, how would it affect the flow of things?
          >
          > In relation to the generic task board, I see hours spent coding are
          > tracked,

          Not quite. What is tracked is estimated hour remaining for each task
          (not all of which are coding). It does not really matter how many
          hours were actually worked.

          > yet the stories are estimated in points. I'm a little confused as to how
          > one
          > relates time to points. I usually estimate stories in days.

          Estimated task hours are tracked to help the team see how they are
          progressing at getting their stories completed during the iteration
          (and figuring out how to address any problems that come up during the
          iteration).

          Story points are not a factor during the iteration (unless a story
          needs to be split or dropped). Story points are for tracking how much
          the team is getting done each iteration towards the product release
          goal. The team's velocity (the moving average of the number of story
          points per iteration) allows an evolving picture of what is likely to
          be done by the end of the release cycle.

          In other words, hours and points are used for two different levels of
          planning (iteration and product). While the number of hours of effort
          to complete a story should be roughly proportionate to the story
          points, both are rough estimates. No specific ratio between the values
          is really necessary to support agile planning at both the iteration
          and product levels.

          Putting them in different units helps avoid confounding these two
          different levels of planning. It is best to not worry about a
          consistent ratio between hours and story points. A more useful goal
          is a attaining a consistently nondecreasing velocity.

          Steve

          >
          > I would appreciate it someone could enlighten me further.
          >
          > Cheers.
          >
        • William Pietri
          ... If you d like one, I should mention that my brother is a furniture-maker, and is now making much nicer ones than what you see in those photos. I m glad to
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 31, 2007
            Psychie Naill wrote:
            > In relation to the generic task board, (which by the way I love; if only I
            > had the time to make one :), in Williams team room; this suggests that each
            > of the next nine week's iterations are planned out already. I thought the
            > idea of the iteration planning meeting was to plan only the next iteration.
            > I wonder how he would account for inaccurate estimates? If a card had to be
            > moved to the next iteration, how would it affect the flow of things?

            If you'd like one, I should mention that my brother is a
            furniture-maker, and is now making much nicer ones than what you see in
            those photos. I'm glad to put people in contact with him; just drop me a
            line off-list.

            Regarding those photos, we actually used two boards. The long-term
            product plan was kept on the big board:

            http://www.scissor.com/resources/teamroom/#storycards

            Every week at the iteration planning meeting, we would move the
            completed stories to the completed-stories zone at the top. We'd then
            select the cards for the next iteration, and the product manager would
            adjust the cards for the next couple of months of work. The only thing
            we took very seriously was the next iteration's work; the rest was just
            our best guess based on current priorities and recent velocity.

            Once we had selected the work for the iteration, we'd break down each
            selected story on the whiteboard:

            http://www.scissor.com/resources/teamroom/#current

            For each card, we'd write down its estimate and title in large print,
            and then do a smaller task breakdown underneath. In the process, we'd
            double-check our estimates. When we started work, we'd check off tasks.
            That gave us an at-a-glance way to tell how the iteration was
            progressing and what to do next. Mike Cohn's task board would be a great
            way to do this as well.


            So to directly answer your question, when we discovered that something
            was inaccurate, we adjusted our plans by moving cards or changing the
            whiteboard.


            Does that address your questions?

            William
          • Psychie Naill
            Hi William, Thank you very much for your response. I did assume something like what you ve described but wanted to make sure just in case I was missing
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 5, 2007
              Hi William,

              Thank you very much for your response. I did assume something like what
              you've described but wanted to make sure just in case I was missing
              something. Thanks for clearing that up.
              As for the task board, I think the cost of shipping one over vs the cost of
              making one would be a bit high. I've set up a story board with a flattened
              cardboard box and use push-pins to hold the cards. I can get the required
              effect well enough for now, but thanks for the offer.

              I'm still a little rusty on estimating points vs time though, so I'll have
              to have a search around for more info on that.

              Thanks again,

              Psychie


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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