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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: SCRUM & Change / Defect Management

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  • 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 1 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 2 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



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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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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