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Re: SCRUM & Change / Defect Management

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  • w6rabbit
    ... to ... you ... day ... JB, thanks for replying. This is exactly my point. I only want them to re-estimate how much time is remaining and not get caught up
    Message 1 of 23 , May 3, 2004
      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "J. B. Rainsberger"
      <jbrains@r...> wrote:
      > w6rabbit wrote:
      >
      >
      > > b) that programmers track their time on
      > > each task, as opposed to doing multiple
      > > things during the day.
      >
      > I don't know anything about XPlanner, but my understanding is that
      to
      > track time on a task, all that matters is "how much more time do
      you
      > need to finish?" In that sense, doing multiple things during the
      day
      > ought not to affect tracking this status.


      JB, thanks for replying.

      This is exactly my point.
      I only want them to re-estimate how much
      time is remaining and not get caught up
      in "how much time did I spend on this."
      But that does not appear, to me, to be
      how XPlanner works.

      For something that I took to be specifically
      tailored for XP, that seemed very odd to me.
      I assume I'm misunderstanding something.
      >
      > > I can imagine requiring each to re-estimate
      > > the units left on a task, but it's hard to
      > > imagine getting them to track their time
      > > daily without a fight.
      >
      > At the end of the day, they look at the two or three tasks they're
      > working on (this is an advanced practice, by the way -- one things
      at a
      > time is best) and estimate how much they have left to do, then
      update
      > that information. You have to fight them to do this? It takes less
      than
      > one minute per task.

      No. They are fine with this. It was
      XPlanner that I was confused on.

      Thanks,
      Brad.
    • J. B. Rainsberger
      ... ... I understand a bit better now. XPlanner expects you to track time spent rather than time remaining? ... I would venture over to the
      Message 2 of 23 , May 3, 2004
        w6rabbit wrote:
        > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "J. B. Rainsberger"
        > <jbrains@r...> wrote:
        >
        >>w6rabbit wrote:
        >>

        <snip />
        > This is exactly my point.
        > I only want them to re-estimate how much
        > time is remaining and not get caught up
        > in "how much time did I spend on this."
        > But that does not appear, to me, to be
        > how XPlanner works.

        I understand a bit better now. XPlanner expects you to track time spent
        rather than time remaining?

        > For something that I took to be specifically
        > tailored for XP, that seemed very odd to me.
        > I assume I'm misunderstanding something.

        I would venture over to the extremeprogramming list and ask them about
        it. They have experience with XPlanner that I don't have.

        >>>I can imagine requiring each to re-estimate
        >>>the units left on a task, but it's hard to
        >>>imagine getting them to track their time
        >>>daily without a fight.
        >>
        >>At the end of the day, they look at the two or three tasks they're
        >>working on (this is an advanced practice, by the way -- one things
        > at a
        >>time is best) and estimate how much they have left to do, then
        > update
        >>that information. You have to fight them to do this? It takes less
        > than
        >>one minute per task.
        >
        > No. They are fine with this. It was
        > XPlanner that I was confused on.

        Hm. Is there any way to hack XPlanner in the meantime to get it to work
        the way you (and I) would expect it to work?

        Good luck.

        (And people wonder why I stick with index cards and a wiki.)
        --
        J. B. Rainsberger,
        Diaspar Software Services
        http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1 416 791-8603
        Let's write software that people understand
      • Eric Chamberlain
        I participated in an earlier thread in this group about Xplanner. I have not been a fan of it for Scrum since it is XP-oriented but in the earlier thread, it
        Message 3 of 23 , May 3, 2004
          I participated in an earlier thread in this group about Xplanner. I have
          not been a fan of it for Scrum since it is XP-oriented but in the earlier
          thread, it was explained to me that Xplanner can actually work out fine AS
          LONG AS you ignore the daily task work additions feature and just adjust the
          task length (i.e. the task-specific burndown).

          In this case, less is more. Not using the daily Xplanner feature to log
          progress means that you are left with the simplicity of just the time-left
          in the task.

          HTH.

          == Eric ==

          -----Original Message-----
          From: J. B. Rainsberger [mailto:jbrains@...]
          Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 12:19 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: SCRUM & Change / Defect Management

          w6rabbit wrote:
          > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "J. B. Rainsberger"
          > <jbrains@r...> wrote:
          >
          >>w6rabbit wrote:
          >>

          <snip />
          > This is exactly my point.
          > I only want them to re-estimate how much time is remaining and not get
          > caught up in "how much time did I spend on this."
          > But that does not appear, to me, to be how XPlanner works.

          I understand a bit better now. XPlanner expects you to track time spent
          rather than time remaining?

          > For something that I took to be specifically tailored for XP, that
          > seemed very odd to me.
          > I assume I'm misunderstanding something.

          I would venture over to the extremeprogramming list and ask them about it.
          They have experience with XPlanner that I don't have.

          >>>I can imagine requiring each to re-estimate the units left on a task,
          >>>but it's hard to imagine getting them to track their time daily
          >>>without a fight.
          >>
          >>At the end of the day, they look at the two or three tasks they're
          >>working on (this is an advanced practice, by the way -- one things
          > at a
          >>time is best) and estimate how much they have left to do, then
          > update
          >>that information. You have to fight them to do this? It takes less
          > than
          >>one minute per task.
          >
          > No. They are fine with this. It was XPlanner that I was confused on.

          Hm. Is there any way to hack XPlanner in the meantime to get it to work the
          way you (and I) would expect it to work?

          Good luck.

          (And people wonder why I stick with index cards and a wiki.)
          --
          J. B. Rainsberger,
          Diaspar Software Services
          http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1 416 791-8603 Let's write software that
          people understand



          To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
          To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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        • Steve Bate
          ... Joe and Brad, See... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3273 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3295 and related
          Message 4 of 23 , May 3, 2004
            > From: "J. B. Rainsberger" <jbrains@...>
            > w6rabbit wrote:
            > <snip />
            > > This is exactly my point.
            > > I only want them to re-estimate how much
            > > time is remaining and not get caught up
            > > in "how much time did I spend on this."
            > > But that does not appear, to me, to be
            > > how XPlanner works.
            >
            > I understand a bit better now. XPlanner expects you to track time spent
            > rather than time remaining?

            Joe and Brad,

            See...

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3273
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3295

            and related messages in a recent thread on this topic.

            > > For something that I took to be specifically
            > > tailored for XP, that seemed very odd to me.
            > > I assume I'm misunderstanding something.
            >...

            I'm not sure why that's an odd XP feature. IIRC (I don't have the
            book in front of me right now) the Planning Extreme Programming book
            shows examples of time tracking.

            > >>>I can imagine requiring each to re-estimate
            > >>>the units left on a task, but it's hard to
            > >>>imagine getting them to track their time
            > >>>daily without a fight.
            > >>
            >...
            > >>that information. You have to fight them to do this? It takes less
            > > than one minute per task.
            > >
            > > No. They are fine with this. It was
            > > XPlanner that I was confused on.

            I'm curious why your developers are fine with daily updating of
            their remaining time estimates but they fight tracking actual time
            (again, for the purpose of calculating remaining time in the XPlanner
            context).

            > Hm. Is there any way to hack XPlanner in the meantime to get it to work
            > the way you (and I) would expect it to work?

            See the messages referenced above.

            Eventually I'd like to extend XPlanner so that the planning and
            tracking can be configured to handle a wide range of XP process
            variants. This (and a Scrum-specific web skin) should also make
            it an even better fit for Scrum teams.

            Regards,

            Steve
          • Ayerst, Tom
            ... The issue is that the effort expended has no definitive relationship with the remaining estimate to complete (ETC), the number can even be negative, i.e.
            Message 5 of 23 , May 4, 2004
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Steve Bate [mailto:steve@...]
              >
              ...

              >
              > I'm curious why your developers are fine with daily updating of
              > their remaining time estimates but they fight tracking actual time
              > (again, for the purpose of calculating remaining time in the XPlanner
              > context).

              The issue is that the effort expended has no definitive relationship with
              the remaining estimate to complete (ETC), the number can even be negative,
              i.e. after a day of effort the task ETC may have increased. As we are
              focused on the planning aspect of the process (will we complete the selected
              work this Sprint?) the only thing we need to track is ETC, not actuals.
              Psychologically it is easier to re-estimate a larger ETC at the end of a
              days work than explicitly record the fact that your estimate was wrong or
              that you haven't worked hard/smart enough.

              >
              > > Hm. Is there any way to hack XPlanner in the meantime to get it to work
              > > the way you (and I) would expect it to work?
              >
              > See the messages referenced above.

              We are not using Xplanner yet but plan to simply update the ETC each day, as
              described on the Xplanner site. I would just like it to be as simple as
              updating the actuals (especially in the IDE plug-ins). Even better would be
              to be able to turn off the actuals completely.

              >
              > Eventually I'd like to extend XPlanner so that the planning and
              > tracking can be configured to handle a wide range of XP process
              > variants. This (and a Scrum-specific web skin) should also make
              > it an even better fit for Scrum teams.

              Cool idea. Once I've finished my house move I would like to help (Though
              that date is moving out two days per calendar day!)

              Cheers

              Tom


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            • Steve Bate
              ... Hi Tom, Right, most teams use XPlanner to calculate ETC based on the task effort estimate and the actual time worked (ETC = estimate - actual). However,
              Message 6 of 23 , May 4, 2004
                > > I'm curious why your developers are fine with daily updating of
                > > their remaining time estimates but they fight tracking actual time
                > > (again, for the purpose of calculating remaining time in the XPlanner
                > > context).
                >
                > The issue is that the effort expended has no definitive relationship with
                > the remaining estimate to complete (ETC), the number can even be negative,
                > i.e. after a day of effort the task ETC may have increased.

                Hi Tom,

                Right, most teams use XPlanner to calculate ETC based on the task effort
                estimate and the actual time worked (ETC = estimate - actual). However,
                ETC in XPlanner is always equal or greater than zero. If the actual would
                exceed the estimated effort, a new (larger) estimate is requested. A task
                can be reestimated at any time. After reestimation, the ETC might be larger
                or smaller.

                > As we are
                > focused on the planning aspect of the process (will we complete
                > the selected work this Sprint?) the only thing we need to track is ETC,
                > not actuals. Psychologically it is easier to re-estimate a larger ETC at
                > the end of a days work than explicitly record the fact that your estimate
                > was wrong or that you haven't worked hard/smart enough.

                I wondered if that last issue might be one of the sources of resistance
                to recording actuals.

                Our team uses ETC to track intra-iteration (we're an XP team) status. We
                generally use previous actuals and estimation accuracy during our planning
                activities although a task that's been significantly reestimated during
                an iteration might trigger a related discussion in the standup meeting.

                For example, we learned that we tend to underestimate web development
                stories and the team determined it was because the functional tests were
                difficult to write. This motivated us to improve our web testing
                framework. Other stories would tend to run over because they depended
                on obtaining business information from our parent company and we
                were often passed to several intermediate people while obtaining the
                data. Once we noticed the trend of those stories exceeded estimates
                and determined why, we worked with the parent company to create more
                efficient ways to obtain the data we needed. I believe that having
                hard evidence of the impact of these inefficiencies decreases the
                response time in addressing them.

                Ken Schwaber discussed the pros and cons of tracking actuals in
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/2832.

                I agree with Ken that it's not a silver bullet. Still, we have found
                the extra feedback to be useful.

                >...
                > > Eventually I'd like to extend XPlanner so that the planning and
                > > tracking can be configured to handle a wide range of XP process
                > > variants. This (and a Scrum-specific web skin) should also make
                > > it an even better fit for Scrum teams.
                >
                > Cool idea. Once I've finished my house move I would like to help (Though
                > that date is moving out two days per calendar day!)

                :) I completely understand. I'm constantly doing a time balancing act
                between my myriad activities and working on XPlanner. Although the Scrum
                skin could be created immediately, the advanced configurability will require
                some significant internal refactoring over several releases. OTOH, even with
                the current implementation, the skin could present a view that only tracks
                ETC. Like I said in a previous message, I've never used XPlanner in this way
                but there shouldn't be any major problems. If there are small problems,
                I'd be happy to make those changes to better support Scrum teams.

                Regards,

                Steve
              • Mike Beedle
                Sometimes keeping actuals is not a choice , is a mandatory: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3300 mb ... From: Steve Bate
                Message 7 of 23 , May 4, 2004
                  Message
                  Sometimes keeping actuals is not a "choice", is a mandatory:
                   
                  mb


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Steve Bate [mailto:steve@...]
                  Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 9:20 AM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Re: SCRUM & Change / Defect Management

                  > > I'm curious why your developers are fine with daily updating of
                  > > their remaining time estimates but they fight tracking actual time
                  > > (again, for the purpose of calculating remaining time in the XPlanner
                  > > context).
                  >
                  > The issue is that the effort expended has no definitive relationship with
                  > the remaining estimate to complete (ETC), the number can even be negative,
                  > i.e. after a day of effort the task ETC may have increased.

                  Hi Tom,

                  Right, most teams use XPlanner to calculate ETC based on the task effort
                  estimate and the actual time worked (ETC = estimate - actual). However,
                  ETC in XPlanner is always equal or greater than zero. If the actual would
                  exceed the estimated effort, a new (larger) estimate is requested. A task
                  can be reestimated at any time. After reestimation, the ETC might be larger
                  or smaller.

                  > As we are
                  > focused on the planning aspect of the process (will we complete
                  > the selected work this Sprint?) the only thing we need to track is ETC,
                  > not actuals. Psychologically it is easier to re-estimate a larger ETC at
                  > the end of a days work than explicitly record the fact that your estimate
                  > was wrong or that you haven't worked hard/smart enough.

                  I wondered if that last issue might be one of the sources of resistance
                  to recording actuals.

                  Our team uses ETC to track intra-iteration (we're an XP team) status. We
                  generally use previous actuals and estimation accuracy during our planning
                  activities although a task that's been significantly reestimated during
                  an iteration might trigger a related discussion in the standup meeting.

                  For example, we learned that we tend to underestimate web development
                  stories and the team determined it was because the functional tests were
                  difficult to write. This motivated us to improve our web testing
                  framework. Other stories would tend to run over because they depended
                  on obtaining business information from our parent company and we
                  were often passed to several intermediate people while obtaining the
                  data. Once we noticed the trend of those stories exceeded estimates
                  and determined why, we worked with the parent company to create more
                  efficient ways to obtain the data we needed. I believe that having
                  hard evidence of the impact of these inefficiencies decreases the
                  response time in addressing them.

                  Ken Schwaber discussed the pros and cons of tracking actuals in
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/2832.

                  I agree with Ken that it's not a silver bullet. Still, we have found
                  the extra feedback to be useful.

                  >...
                  > > Eventually I'd like to extend XPlanner so that the planning and
                  > > tracking can be configured to handle a wide range of XP process
                  > > variants. This (and a Scrum-specific web skin) should also make
                  > > it an even better fit for Scrum teams.
                  >
                  > Cool idea.  Once I've finished my house move I would like to help (Though
                  > that date is moving out two days per calendar day!)

                  :) I completely understand. I'm constantly doing a time balancing act
                  between my myriad activities and working on XPlanner. Although the Scrum
                  skin could be created immediately, the advanced configurability will require
                  some significant internal refactoring over several releases. OTOH, even with
                  the current implementation, the skin could present a view that only tracks
                  ETC. Like I said in a previous message, I've never used XPlanner in this way
                  but there shouldn't be any major problems. If there are small problems,
                  I'd be happy to make those changes to better support Scrum teams.

                  Regards,

                  Steve




                  To Post a message, send it to:   scrumdevelopment@...
                  To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...


                • Deb
                  Agreed. For many of us, time reporting is mandated - usually not for the functioning of the team itself, but for management. I m of two minds as to whether
                  Message 8 of 23 , May 4, 2004
                    Agreed. For many of us, time reporting is mandated - usually not for
                    the functioning of the team itself, but for management.

                    I'm of two minds as to whether it's a bad thing to record time spent
                    and time remaining in the same tool...

                    In Scrum, I work hard to convince developers that I REALLY REALLY
                    mean it, when I say "upate your estimates to reflect *real* time
                    remaining". They have trouble believing that I DO want them to
                    increase estimates when needed. One thing I'm always saying (to get
                    them to lose the old habit of under-estimating) is "I don't care
                    about your actuals". I never come back to them about actuals, and
                    eventually they believe me...

                    If I ask them to put "time spent" into the same tool as "time
                    remaining", it /looks/ like I might be tracking their actuals vs
                    estimates... will this make them hedge on the "time remaining"
                    figures?

                    And on the other hand, it's more convenient than having to open 2
                    tools...
                    ???


                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Beedle" <beedlem@e...>
                    wrote:
                    > Sometimes keeping actuals is not a "choice", is a mandatory:
                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3300
                    >
                    > mb
                  • Doug Swartz
                    ... Of course, you re right, sometimes actuals are necessary. I think the point that Tom is making is that it makes more sense to most developers (myself,
                    Message 9 of 23 , May 4, 2004
                      Tuesday, May 04, 2004, 10:54:17 AM, Mike Beedle wrote:

                      > Sometimes keeping actuals is not a "choice", is a mandatory:
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/3300

                      Of course, you're right, sometimes actuals are necessary.

                      I think the point that Tom is making is that it makes more
                      sense to most developers (myself, anyway) to estimate a new
                      Estimated Time to Completion than to update ETC by attempting
                      to re-estimate the total task.





                      --

                      Doug Swartz
                      daswartz@...
                    • w6rabbit
                      ... Steve, I ve appreciated your interacting on this. I see now, why you might want to track the original estimate for planning purposes at the next sprint
                      Message 10 of 23 , May 6, 2004
                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Steve Bate <steve@x> wrote:
                        > Joe and Brad,
                        >
                        >
                        > Eventually I'd like to extend XPlanner so that the planning and
                        > tracking can be configured to handle a wide range of XP process
                        > variants. This (and a Scrum-specific web skin) should also make
                        > it an even better fit for Scrum teams.
                        >
                        Steve,

                        I've appreciated your interacting on this.
                        I see now, why you might want to track the
                        original estimate for planning purposes at
                        the next sprint meeting.

                        It turns out that it won't matter for me
                        for a while. My head IT guy doens't want to
                        install Apache on any of our servers.
                        I'm not sure what that's about, and he has
                        somewhat avoided the question. But I don't
                        want to irk him over such a small thing.
                        So look like we'll go a different direction.

                        We've got Deb's spreadsheet and I think that
                        will do us for a while anyway.

                        BTW, while I'm wrapping up this subject,
                        isn't there a way to provide a compiled version
                        of the app for common OSs for those who don't
                        want to set up a develpment environment to
                        recompile it? Might widen your market a bit.

                        Lastly, your required list only shows Ant,
                        but my understanding is that Ant requires Apache.
                        If so, you might want to list that up front
                        as a requirement. My IT people were a bit
                        put out after getting all the pieces on the
                        (IIS) web server to find that it needed
                        apache. They wished they had known that up front.

                        Thanks,
                        Brad.
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