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Virtual Whiteboard

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  • Chris Brown
    Hi, My pet project at the moment is building a productivity tool for non co-located Scrum teams. I m just trying to solve my own personal problem as having
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 27, 2009
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      Hi,

      My pet project at the moment is building a productivity tool for non
      co-located Scrum teams. I'm just trying to solve my own personal
      problem as having tried maybe all of existing tools out there, not one
      has really done what I wanted it to do, and that is give me the
      ability to rapidly and effortlessly mimic the white boards in the team
      room, nothing more, nothing less. The tool is web based, so could then
      be viewed by team members or other stakeholders from other locations.
      It's never going to be as good as the real thing, but it will be
      better than nothing.

      As I'm spending way more time building this thing than my team will
      probably save in using it for the next x number of years I would like
      to make sure it will also be useful to other scrum teams in order to
      make the time spent justifiable.

      I will be following Scrum during the implementation of this project
      and already have my first backlog together. What I would like to know
      is whether it would be cool if I posted some of my ideas and
      prototypes here to gain feedback? I would really appreciate getting
      different perspectives and feedback from this great pool of Scrum and
      agile knowledge.

      Let me give you some rough details of my vision:

      -White Board Simulation-

      The great thing with a whiteboard(s) is that you can take a step back
      and look at the whole to get a quick idea of where the project/release
      plan/sprint is at. Your not close enough to read the text on the
      post-it notes, but just by quickly glancing at the stories in the back
      log, the team velocity and the burndown charts you can get an instant
      feeling about things. The problem with moving whiteboards to the
      screen is real-estate. White boards are huge, monitors are not (at
      least the ones I can afford), to get around this problem I have
      developed a framework which allows multiple workspaces in a web
      browser (people who use Gnome and Compiz will know what I'm talking
      about). The whole thing is being done in SVG, so you will be able to
      zoom out to get an overall view of the workspaces or zoom into a
      specific workspace which contains one thing, like say the backlog
      (kind if similar to how Google Earth works - I deveop a GIS mapping
      product for my day job).


      -Domain Model-

      When I model the domain I will be modeling Scrum in the context of the
      whiteboard. My aim is to have the application behave like the
      whiteboard and follow the same business rules. For example in Scrum
      the product owner is the only person who should change the order of
      the backlog. In the context of the whiteboard this is merely a
      convention as anyone in the team room could move a story card, it
      would be in contradiction to the convention, but it is still possible
      should the need present itself. This is just a single example, but
      hopefully it gives you an idea of how I'm approaching the problem.


      -Not an M&E tool-

      Most of the Scrum tools I've used seem to focus on funnelling data to
      management who choose to abstract themselves from Scrum. This isn't
      something my team wants or needs, but I can understand why it might be
      important in some other organisations. My aim is to have the web
      client communicate with the server via a RESTful interface, this way
      if someone wished to utilize the resources exposed by this interface
      to build a client that focussed on monitoring and evaluation it would
      be possible.

      Sorry that turned in to quite a long post but I hope it gives you an
      idea of where I'd like to go with this and I'm hoping it would be cool
      if I posted my ideas, prototypes and links to the tool as it evolves
      to this list.

      Regards,

      Chris
    • Robin Dymond
      Hi Chris, Do you have a blog and server where you will putting updates on your project? Robin. ... -- Robin Dymond, CST Managing Partner, Innovel, LLC.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2009
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        Hi Chris,

        Do you have a blog and server where you will putting updates on your project?

        Robin.

        On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:21 PM, Chris Brown <chrisincambo@...> wrote:

        Hi,

        My pet project at the moment is building a productivity tool for non
        co-located Scrum teams. I'm just trying to solve my own personal
        problem as having tried maybe all of existing tools out there, not one
        has really done what I wanted it to do, and that is give me the
        ability to rapidly and effortlessly mimic the white boards in the team
        room, nothing more, nothing less. The tool is web based, so could then
        be viewed by team members or other stakeholders from other locations.
        It's never going to be as good as the real thing, but it will be
        better than nothing.

        As I'm spending way more time building this thing than my team will
        probably save in using it for the next x number of years I would like
        to make sure it will also be useful to other scrum teams in order to
        make the time spent justifiable.

        I will be following Scrum during the implementation of this project
        and already have my first backlog together. What I would like to know
        is whether it would be cool if I posted some of my ideas and
        prototypes here to gain feedback? I would really appreciate getting
        different perspectives and feedback from this great pool of Scrum and
        agile knowledge.

        Let me give you some rough details of my vision:

        -White Board Simulation-

        The great thing with a whiteboard(s) is that you can take a step back
        and look at the whole to get a quick idea of where the project/release
        plan/sprint is at. Your not close enough to read the text on the
        post-it notes, but just by quickly glancing at the stories in the back
        log, the team velocity and the burndown charts you can get an instant
        feeling about things. The problem with moving whiteboards to the
        screen is real-estate. White boards are huge, monitors are not (at
        least the ones I can afford), to get around this problem I have
        developed a framework which allows multiple workspaces in a web
        browser (people who use Gnome and Compiz will know what I'm talking
        about). The whole thing is being done in SVG, so you will be able to
        zoom out to get an overall view of the workspaces or zoom into a
        specific workspace which contains one thing, like say the backlog
        (kind if similar to how Google Earth works - I deveop a GIS mapping
        product for my day job).

        -Domain Model-

        When I model the domain I will be modeling Scrum in the context of the
        whiteboard. My aim is to have the application behave like the
        whiteboard and follow the same business rules. For example in Scrum
        the product owner is the only person who should change the order of
        the backlog. In the context of the whiteboard this is merely a
        convention as anyone in the team room could move a story card, it
        would be in contradiction to the convention, but it is still possible
        should the need present itself. This is just a single example, but
        hopefully it gives you an idea of how I'm approaching the problem.

        -Not an M&E tool-

        Most of the Scrum tools I've used seem to focus on funnelling data to
        management who choose to abstract themselves from Scrum. This isn't
        something my team wants or needs, but I can understand why it might be
        important in some other organisations. My aim is to have the web
        client communicate with the server via a RESTful interface, this way
        if someone wished to utilize the resources exposed by this interface
        to build a client that focussed on monitoring and evaluation it would
        be possible.

        Sorry that turned in to quite a long post but I hope it gives you an
        idea of where I'd like to go with this and I'm hoping it would be cool
        if I posted my ideas, prototypes and links to the tool as it evolves
        to this list.

        Regards,

        Chris




        --
        Robin Dymond, CST
        Managing Partner, Innovel, LLC.
        www.innovel.net
        www.scrumtraining.com
        (804) 239-4329
      • John Goodsen
        Hi Chris, What you want sounds incredibly similar to what I want to see in radtrack ( radtrack.com). I m thinking about open sourcing radtrack pretty soon,
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 2009
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          Hi Chris,

          What you want sounds incredibly similar to what I want to see in radtrack (radtrack.com).
          I'm thinking about open sourcing radtrack pretty soon, once it's usable.  It's written in Ruby on Rails.
          If you have cycle time and Rails expertise, maybe you want to look at radtrack.

          --
          John Goodsen                 RADSoft / Better Software Faster
          jgoodsen@...            Lean/Agile/XP/Scrum Coaching and Training
          http://www.radsoft.com          Ruby on Rails and Java Solutions
        • Jeff Myers
          John, I would like to look at radtrack but the links provided take me to a sign in page with no way of creating an account. do you have a different link?
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2, 2009
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            John,
            I would like to look at radtrack but the links provided take me to a sign in page with no way of creating an account.  do you have a different link?
             
            Thanks
             
            Jeff

            On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 9:12 AM, John Goodsen <jgoodsen@...> wrote:

            Hi Chris,

            What you want sounds incredibly similar to what I want to see in radtrack (radtrack.com).
            I'm thinking about open sourcing radtrack pretty soon, once it's usable.  It's written in Ruby on Rails.
            If you have cycle time and Rails expertise, maybe you want to look at radtrack.

            --
            John Goodsen                 RADSoft / Better Software Faster
            jgoodsen@...            Lean/Agile/XP/Scrum Coaching and Training
            http://www.radsoft.com          Ruby on Rails and Java Solutions


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