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886Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs

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  • Pascal Roy
    Feb 12, 2003
      Thanks for sharing that Mary,

      I can't really point to specific products but my first impression is there
      has got to be some products out there that would allow you to do a lot of
      what you are looking for, no? Maybe I'm wrong. Or perhaps there are but
      everything is not in one well integrated product...

      Now that I thnk of it, I haven't been too impressed with the collaboration
      tools I've tried up to now (especially in terms of people in the team
      acutally using it even if they selected it)...

      But then again, it would seem to be really hard to provide a
      communication/cooperation tool that would fit all the needs of diverse teams
      working under different conditions. Maybe that's why there is nothing out
      there that has managed to stick...

      It really is an interesting problem. Is it me or does it feel like it has a
      tendency to polarize people in two camps? People looking for the tool to fix
      all their communication problems and people who say that tools are useless
      and you must communicate mano a mano to get things done anyway. But things
      are not always ideal and we must very often live with very real constraints.
      Perhaps there is a sweet spot in the middle where a good tool might actually
      support enhanced communication for remotely located (and even collocated)
      teams, we just need to figure what that is... Easier said than done...

      Pascal Roy

      >From: "Mary Poppendieck <mary@...>" <mary@...>
      >Reply-To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      >To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs
      >Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 19:44:27 -0000
      >--- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Pascal Roy"
      ><pascal_roy_1967@h...> wrote:
      > > Hi Mary,
      > >
      > > Can you describe what was not working? What useful features do you
      > > think would help remotely located teams?
      > >
      > > Pascal Roy
      > >
      >What didn't work:
      >First of all, the project management system which was chosen was a
      >bad choice. It was clumsy to use and had a structure which made
      >relevant information difficult to find. It was laborious to set up,
      >so it was set up quickly and poorly. I imagine there are better
      >ones out there, but this one was chosen on the (mistaken) notion
      >that it could be used as a time tracking system.
      >Second of all, there was no motivator for using the system. It
      >never replaced e-mail and regular video conferences as the way to
      >exchange information. The biggest problem with most systems like
      >this is that no one NEEDS to keep it up to date or read it to get
      >information. Unless such a system becomes the only way to transfer
      >information, it simply will not be used, because it is an extra
      >step. And yet, it is not possible to transfer all � or even most �
      >information by writing it down. Since this system did not work
      >well, it was abandoned as the authoritative source of information.
      >I think that EVERY blog, WIKI, or bulletin board suffers from this
      >likely problem. Few become indispensable.
      >What did we need?
      >1. We kept and regularly revised use cases, because these were
      >what everyone used to communicate. They were very useful, but they
      >needed to be versioned and people had to know when a new version
      >affecting them was posted. The mechanism for doing this was so weak
      >as to be useless. Too bad, because assuring we were working with
      >the latest use cases and notifying the RIGHT people when changes
      >were made was not done very effectively. Everyone turned off the
      >notification system immediately, because it flooded them with
      >useless update notifications. In fact, full notification of any
      >file changes or discussion postings was set `on' by default. One
      >day I did a web file transfer of hundreds of files to fill the
      >database, and every single member got an e-mail of every single file
      >transfer. It brought down the e-mail server � since most people
      >were in the same company � similar to a denial-of-service attack.
      >2. We needed to be able to post issues � questions � that one
      >team had of a remote team, with the expectation that the team
      >needing to address the issue would know it was posted and address it
      >the same day. This is much more tricky than a threaded discussion,
      >but that was about the level of the tool we had to use. Again,
      >notification of an outstanding issue was a big issue � e-mail always
      >worked better. But also, you needed to have a trail of the
      >discussion to see the progress of the issue, as well as a quick
      >summary of outstanding issues. Also, typically, issues were
      >assigned to someone to answer � normally the person who should know
      >the answer. Then they would re-assign it, etc. The system needed
      >to support this, but it didn't.
      >3. The same kind of issue tracking system was needed to track
      >defects, with perhaps a few added features, like defect resolution,
      >date/build of resolution, etc.
      >4. We needed general threaded discussions also, but they
      >somehow never happened. Things like � this batch process is really
      >tricky � who knows about it? Pretty much it's hard to replace face-
      >to-face conversations in this regard.
      >5. Finally, there was a BIG DEAL as to whether or not the
      >customer should have access to the system. Because of the time
      >tracking (which never worked) and because some things were written
      >on the system that should not have been said in the presence of
      >customers, they were never allowed access � which made the system
      >really ineffective. It was a bad decision, and not one I agreed

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