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[XP] Re: Tracking (was tools)

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  • Ken Auer
    ... Sorry for the delay in getting back... Cunningham & Cunningham provides a service (for a monthly fee) to host the special wiki (developed in cooperation
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 16, 2000
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      > From: Marco Dorantes [mailto:marcodorantes@...]
      > >From: "Ken Auer" <kauer@...>
      > >
      > >... and an auto-tracker (this part gets used all the time).
      >
      > could you please explain further what do you mean with
      > auto-tracker? and how
      > do you use it?

      Sorry for the delay in getting back...

      Cunningham & Cunningham provides a service (for a monthly fee) to host the
      special wiki (developed in cooperation with RoleModel) that will take data
      from a template and roll-up the results. We're working on a paper that
      describes it in detail, but until then, here's a short description:

      For a given iteration, we have a page describing each of the stories/tasks
      we're tackling. E.g.

      ------------

      IterationSix

      For up to date tracking status, try http:rollup.cgi

      The goal of this iteration is...

      The following tasks/stories are part of this iteration:

      * AddGraphReadingsToNavigatorStory
      * AdjustIconsTask
      * AddQueriesForUserDefinedFieldsStory
      ...

      -------------

      Then for each story/task, we can break it further into tasks (or not). If
      we break it into tasks, it looks basically the same as the above... it's
      just another node in the tree. E.g.


      ------------

      AddGraphReadingsToNavigatorStory

      For up to date tracking status, try http:rollup.cgi

      The goal of this iteration is...

      The following tasks/stories are part of this iteration:

      * AddGraphReadingsNodeTask
      * AddGraphReadingsToExistingPerspectivesTask
      * AddGraphReadingsPerspectiveTask
      ...

      -------------

      Eventually, we get to the leaves. They use a template (keyed on the suffix
      'Task' in our case) when created, and we fill in the details. E.g.

      ------------

      AddGraphReadingsToExistingPerspectivesTask

      Risk: Low
      EstimatedTime: 1.5
      ActualTime: 0.75
      RemainingTime: 0.5
      Developer: JoeProgrammer
      Pairs: JeffFade, JoeMama

      Currently, nodes in the tree stop at Results.
      We'd like to add a node under the Results node to include Readings.
      When the Readings are selected, show a Graph which displays those
      readings...
      it should be the same graph we currently see when we press the "Graph"
      button when a Result is selected

      -------------

      At the beginning of each iteration, developers who have signed up for tasks
      enter the EstimatedTime and the RemainingTime (which should start out to be
      the same).

      During the iteration, at the end of each day (or more often), developers
      update the ActualTime and RemainingTime fields for all of the tasks they
      worked on... NOTE: ActualTime + RemainingTime will not necessarily equal
      EstimatedTime.

      At any point, if I want to see how a story or an iteration is going (with
      respect to estimates), I can just go to the corresponding "http:rollup.cgi"
      to see a table which shows me the items and the totals. It looks something
      like this:

      ------------

      Rollup of IterationSix

      ActualTime EstimatedTime RemainingTime
      ..AddGraphReadingsNodeTask 1 1 0
      ..AddGraphReadingsToExistingPerspectivesTask 0.75 1.5 0.5
      ..AddGraphReadingsPerspectiveTask 0 1 1
      .AddGraphReadingsToNavigatorStory total 1.75 3.5 1.5
      .AdjustIconsTask 0.5 0.25 0
      [...]
      .AddQueriesForUserDefinedFieldsStory total 4.5 5 1.5
      IterationSix total 13.25 46.5 33.75

      -------------

      So, I can see at a glance stuff like:
      how much more time is remaining to finish the assigned tasks of the
      iteration,
      whether we are currently in the ballpark of our estimates,
      which particular story/task(s) are threatening the completion of the
      iteration,
      whether there's more time than work remaining (or vice-versa),

      this ever-present feedback which helps me (as the coach) or anyone else on
      the team ask some good questions at the next stand-up, such as:
      Has everyone been updating the wiki at the end of the day? (hopefully the
      answer is "no" when the data that prompted me to ask showed we were behind
      schedule).
      It looks like the XYZ story has been giving us some problems... is it under
      control? is the customer aware of the issues?
      It looks like Joe has more tasks than he can finish in the remaining 5 days
      of the iteration. Joe, how can we help you out?... Mary, it looks like your
      tasks are done, can you help?

      This allows us to make the role of the Tracker a lot less time consuming.

      By the way, we could also organize pages by developer (which tasks are
      assigned to whom), or any other means. We can "rollup" the entire project,
      or any part of the project by simply creating a new wiki page with bullet
      items which point to other pages that contain stories/tasks.

      NOTE: We can, but we typically haven't. We would if we found much value in
      it. So far, we have found that rolling up the current iteration tends to
      give us all the feedback we need to make forward thinking decisions. Some
      project archaeologist could possibly find some interesting things by
      analyzing old iterations, but I don't know how valuable they'd be for what
      purposes. I have lots of guesses, but for a variety of reasons (mostly
      because the iteration pages tend to get munged at the end of an iteration
      and we have tended not to think about preserving them before we munge them),
      I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in much of the numbers.

      Hope this helps.

      Ken

      P.S. I'll be incommunicado for a few days, so don't be surprised if I don't
      respond promptly to any questions you might have... of course there are
      others who work with me lurking on the list who might wish to add/subtract
      from what I've said here.

      -----------------
      Ken Auer <kauer@...>
      The Extreme Programming Software Studio(TM)
      RoleModel Software <http://www.rolemodelsoft.com> (v) 919-557-6352
      5004 Rossmore Dr. (f) 919-552-8166
      Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526 (m) 919-630-5807
      "Christianity is not a plug-in, it's an operating system"
      Mark 12:28-31
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