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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Tracking Actual Hours

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  • drc@outformations.com
    We track hours because, as a professional services company, we need them to bill the client. It takes some discipline NOT to use the actuals as a measure of
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
    We track hours because, as a professional services company, we need them to
    bill the client.

    It takes some discipline NOT to use the actuals as a measure of progress
    though. Since it's easy to track and measure them it's easy to get
    confused into thinking that they mean what you'd like them to mean. We
    have stopped estimating tasks in hours and now use "Task Points" which are
    basically Story Points for tasks. During our planning meetings we
    brainstorm tasks and post them on sticky notes on a whiteboard put into
    Task Point "buckets" from 0 to 5 where 5 is a full labor day and 0 is a few
    minutes. It's fast, easy and helps the whole team have a sense of the
    whole sprint. And mostly it's useful to give peace of mind to the client
    who wants to be able to see progress daily on the burn down charts.

    Here's a link to a mockup:
    http://agile.outformations.com/images/AgileTaskPointEstimatingMockup.png

    In the mockup diagram the task points total 52 which is ROUGHLY equivalent
    to 10 developer days. Maybe 5 or 6 days for a pair.

    -- David Chilcott
    Outformations, Inc.

    Keep Breathing. Tell the Truth. Be Fearless. Choose Love. Embrace the
    Mystery.
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    "cloud_strife6230
    1"
    <officeofthelaw@g To
    mail.com> scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
    Sent by: cc
    scrumdevelopment@
    yahoogroups.com Subject
    [scrumdevelopment] Re: Tracking
    Actual Hours
    11/04/2009 11:06
    AM


    Please respond to
    scrumdevelopment@
    yahoogroups.com












    Just as a background... I've been on numerous teams that have implemented Scrum
    and XP quite successfully... on those teams we sized in terms of complexity and
    used velocity for forcasting/decision making.

    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "cloud_strife62301" <officeofthelaw@...>
    wrote:
    >
    > Hi All,
    >
    > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to implement Scrum,
    and there's been several practices that naturally need a bit or work or even
    removal, but there's one that has really been bugging me: tracking actuals.
    >
    > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum Master
    asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've been working on. This
    means, in Rally they've been filling in the "actuals" daily to "accurately" track
    time spent on tasks, which devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time
    tracking system, and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
    >
    > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience, one should be
    more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking the number of hours spent on
    each task. Sadly, when I brought this to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able
    to find numerous articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum
    Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum templates you can find
    just about anywhere on the net have fields to enter estimated hours vs. actual
    hours.
    >
    > Seriousy... WTF!?
    >
  • Michael James
    I agree with WTF. Complex/creative work can t be expected to track a smooth line. If I were you, I d start reporting tasks as 1s or 0s, or discard tasks
    Message 2 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
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      I agree with "WTF." Complex/creative work can't be expected to track
      a smooth line. If I were you, I'd start reporting tasks as 1s or 0s,
      or discard tasks entirely.

      There's also numerous articles opposing this practice -- I know I
      wrote two or three.

      --mj


      On Nov 4, 2009, at 11:00 AM, cloud_strife62301 wrote:

      > Hi All,
      >
      > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to
      > implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally
      > need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really
      > been bugging me: tracking actuals.
      >
      > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum
      > Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've
      > been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the
      > "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which
      > devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system,
      > and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
      >
      > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience,
      > one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking
      > the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this
      > to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous
      > articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum
      > Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum
      > templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to
      > enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
      >
      > Seriousy... WTF!?
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
      > ! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • Michael James
      I get the impression your team needs a ScrumMaster, to protect you from its ScrumMaster. --mj
      Message 3 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        I get the impression your team needs a ScrumMaster, to protect you
        from its "ScrumMaster."
        --mj

        On Nov 4, 2009, at 11:02 AM, cloud_strife62301 wrote:

        > Just as a background... I've been on numerous teams that have
        > implemented Scrum and XP quite successfully... on those teams we
        > sized in terms of complexity and used velocity for forcasting/
        > decision making.
        >
        >
        > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "cloud_strife62301"
        > <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Hi All,
        >>
        >> Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to
        >> implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally
        >> need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really
        >> been bugging me: tracking actuals.
        >>
        >> As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum
        >> Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've
        >> been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the
        >> "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which
        >> devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system,
        >> and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
        >>
        >> Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience,
        >> one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking
        >> the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this
        >> to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous
        >> articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum
        >> Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum
        >> templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields
        >> to enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
        >>
        >> Seriousy... WTF!?
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
        > ! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Ron Jeffries
        Hello, cloud_strife62301. On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at ... You are correct. BTW, you didn t say what your role on the team is. Ron Jeffries
        Message 4 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello, cloud_strife62301. On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at
          2:00:09 PM, you wrote:

          > Seriousy... WTF!?

          You are correct. BTW, you didn't say what your role on the team is.

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          www.xprogramming.com/blog
          You don't want to sell me waterfall.
          You want to go home and rethink your life.
        • Juan Banda
          Accountants love keeping track of worked hours, it just make bill processing more easily and somehow transparent for clients. The big however is, are hours a
          Message 5 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Accountants love keeping track of worked hours, it just make bill processing more easily and somehow transparent for clients.

            The big however is, are hours a good thing to being tracked? My viewpoint is that hours alone can be very deceiving.

            Juan
            http://juanbandaonscrum.blogspot.com/

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael James <michael@...> wrote:
            >
            > I agree with "WTF." Complex/creative work can't be expected to track
            > a smooth line. If I were you, I'd start reporting tasks as 1s or 0s,
            > or discard tasks entirely.
            >
            > There's also numerous articles opposing this practice -- I know I
            > wrote two or three.
            >
            > --mj
            >
            >
            > On Nov 4, 2009, at 11:00 AM, cloud_strife62301 wrote:
            >
            > > Hi All,
            > >
            > > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to
            > > implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally
            > > need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really
            > > been bugging me: tracking actuals.
            > >
            > > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum
            > > Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've
            > > been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the
            > > "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which
            > > devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system,
            > > and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
            > >
            > > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience,
            > > one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking
            > > the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this
            > > to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous
            > > articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum
            > > Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum
            > > templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to
            > > enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
            > >
            > > Seriousy... WTF!?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            > >
            > > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
            > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
            > > ! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • cloud_strife62301
            Hi Ron, ... Just a developer, but trying to influence change from the trenches. :)
            Message 6 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
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              Hi Ron,

              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
              > BTW, you didn't say what your role on the team is.
              >

              Just a developer, but trying to influence change from the trenches. :)
            • Michael James
              Would you mind listing those ScrumAlliance articles so we can refute them in the comments section? --mj ... -- Sent from my mobile device
              Message 7 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Would you mind listing those ScrumAlliance articles so we can refute
                them in the comments section?

                --mj



                On 11/4/09, cloud_strife62301 <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Ron,
                >
                > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>
                > wrote:
                >> BTW, you didn't say what your role on the team is.
                >>
                >
                > Just a developer, but trying to influence change from the trenches. :)
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                > scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >

                --
                Sent from my mobile device
              • Alan Dayley
                Members of our Scrum teams track hours for accounting and tax purposes. They record hours spent on their project so tax benefits from R&D credits or other
                Message 8 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
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                  Members of our Scrum teams track hours for accounting and tax
                  purposes. They record hours spent on their project so tax benefits
                  from R&D credits or other such things can be accounted.

                  And actual hours worked is NEVER fed back into the team or the Scrum
                  process. Even when we did try to estimate tasks in ideal days we did
                  not track actuals against the estimates or anything like that. Once
                  we have a way to calculate velocity with story points, there is little
                  added value in tracking actuals to more detail than that.

                  I suggest you ask the entire team, including Product Owner and
                  ScrumMaster, who uses the actuals data and what they use it for. If
                  no one ever looks at the data, now or weeks later, it is waste to
                  track it. It may be that people are doing because they think they
                  must or think there is value. Question the assumption and eliminate
                  whatever does not bring value to the team and company.

                  Alan

                  On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:00 PM, cloud_strife62301
                  <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi All,
                  >
                  > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really been bugging me: tracking actuals.
                  >
                  > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system, and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
                  >
                  > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience, one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
                  >
                  > Seriousy... WTF!?
                  >
                  >
                • Lyles, Heather
                  Alan, What tool does your team use to track hours for R&D tax credits? We currently use excel and I am curious if anyone has found a tool to make this easier.
                  Message 9 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Alan,

                    What tool does your team use to track hours for R&D tax credits? We currently use excel and I am curious if anyone has found a tool to make this easier.

                    Thanks,
                    Heather

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alan Dayley
                    Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 7:48 PM
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Tracking Actual Hours

                    Members of our Scrum teams track hours for accounting and tax
                    purposes. They record hours spent on their project so tax benefits
                    from R&D credits or other such things can be accounted.

                    And actual hours worked is NEVER fed back into the team or the Scrum
                    process. Even when we did try to estimate tasks in ideal days we did
                    not track actuals against the estimates or anything like that. Once
                    we have a way to calculate velocity with story points, there is little
                    added value in tracking actuals to more detail than that.

                    I suggest you ask the entire team, including Product Owner and
                    ScrumMaster, who uses the actuals data and what they use it for. If
                    no one ever looks at the data, now or weeks later, it is waste to
                    track it. It may be that people are doing because they think they
                    must or think there is value. Question the assumption and eliminate
                    whatever does not bring value to the team and company.

                    Alan

                    On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:00 PM, cloud_strife62301
                    <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Hi All,
                    >
                    > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really been bugging me: tracking actuals.
                    >
                    > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system, and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
                    >
                    > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience, one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
                    >
                    > Seriousy... WTF!?
                    >
                    >


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

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                  • Ron Jeffries
                    Hello, Heather. On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 9:53:51 PM, ... For years I took number of people on the project times 40 hours a week and reported that.
                    Message 10 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hello, Heather. On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 9:53:51 PM,
                      you wrote:

                      > What tool does your team use to track hours for R&D tax credits?
                      > We currently use excel and I am curious if anyone has found a tool to make this easier.

                      For years I took number of people on the project times 40 hours a
                      week and reported that. Worked just fine. Auditors didn't care a
                      bit.

                      Ron Jeffries
                      www.XProgramming.com
                      www.xprogramming.com/blog
                      I don't do force. People should do what they want, and experience
                      the consequences.
                      How are productivity and personal preference balanced?
                      You get to decide.
                    • Alan Dayley
                      Heather, Made me chuckle! We use spreadsheets also. Each developer is expected to track their hours on projects whatever way they wish and then provide a
                      Message 11 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Heather,

                        Made me chuckle! We use spreadsheets also. Each developer is
                        expected to track their hours on projects whatever way they wish and
                        then provide a simple, standard spreadsheet each pay period.

                        We have no reason to have more control than this. In fact, I will
                        argue strongly against any more complex a method should someone want
                        to bring it up. Our system assumes each engineer is responsible and
                        honest and causes the least amount of work while minimizing
                        opportunity for micro management by hours.

                        Alan

                        On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 7:53 PM, Lyles, Heather <Heather.Lyles@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Alan,
                        >
                        > What tool does your team use to track hours for R&D tax credits? We currently use excel and I am curious if anyone has found a tool to make this easier.
                        >
                        > Thanks,
                        > Heather
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alan Dayley
                        > Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 7:48 PM
                        > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Tracking Actual Hours
                        >
                        > Members of our Scrum teams track hours for accounting and tax
                        > purposes. They record hours spent on their project so tax benefits
                        > from R&D credits or other such things can be accounted.
                        >
                        > And actual hours worked is NEVER fed back into the team or the Scrum
                        > process. Even when we did try to estimate tasks in ideal days we did
                        > not track actuals against the estimates or anything like that. Once
                        > we have a way to calculate velocity with story points, there is little
                        > added value in tracking actuals to more detail than that.
                        >
                        > I suggest you ask the entire team, including Product Owner and
                        > ScrumMaster, who uses the actuals data and what they use it for. If
                        > no one ever looks at the data, now or weeks later, it is waste to
                        > track it. It may be that people are doing because they think they
                        > must or think there is value. Question the assumption and eliminate
                        > whatever does not bring value to the team and company.
                        >
                        > Alan
                        >
                        > On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:00 PM, cloud_strife62301
                        > <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Hi All,
                        > >
                        > > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really been bugging me: tracking actuals.
                        > >
                        > > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system, and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
                        > >
                        > > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience, one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
                        > >
                        > > Seriousy... WTF!?
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                      • Alan Dayley
                        ... Your point is well take, Ron. We could, in fact start doing this too. Our history has been that any given engineer was working on multiple projects, some
                        Message 12 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 7:58 PM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > For years I took number of people on the project times 40 hours a
                          > week and reported that. Worked just fine. Auditors didn't care a
                          > bit.

                          Your point is well take, Ron. We could, in fact start doing this too.

                          Our history has been that any given engineer was working on multiple
                          projects, some which would be R&D and some maybe not. This required
                          the reporting of multiple projects by any one engineer.

                          Scrum and other more Agile practices (planning by team instead of
                          individual "resources," more focus on project value at the portfolio
                          level, recognition that task switching is high cost, etc.) has help
                          change this scattered focus considerably. Nearly all the engineers
                          are now assigned to one project per sprint. That makes the reporting
                          you describe possible.

                          A much better world!

                          Alan
                        • Roy Morien
                          There is nothing especially wrong about tracking hours spent. There is frequently a need for this for various purposes, including th tax and accounting reasons
                          Message 13 of 21 , Nov 4, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            There is nothing especially wrong about tracking hours spent. There is frequently a need for this for various purposes, including th tax and accounting reasons indicated by Alan.
                             
                            The real 'smell' that arises from this is when the calculation is made Estimated Hours - Actual Hours = Remaining Hours to Completion.
                             
                            Actual Hours should have nothing to do with burndown charts or whatever means is used to indicate probably future effort. There is nothing wrong with recording actual hours as well as estimating in story points, for example. They serve separate purposes. Recording actual hours does have a significant problem, however, when you try to do a breakdown for actual hours spent on Analysis, Design, Programming, Testing  etc. In this day and age it is very difficult to clearly classify effort int these categories. There is far too much overlap of these classifications in what we actually do.
                             
                            Regards,
                            Roy Morien
                             
                            > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                            > From: alandd@...
                            > Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 18:48:19 -0700
                            > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Tracking Actual Hours
                            >
                            > Members of our Scrum teams track hours for accounting and tax
                            > purposes. They record hours spent on their project so tax benefits
                            > from R&D credits or other such things can be accounted.
                            >
                            > And actual hours worked is NEVER fed back into the team or the Scrum
                            > process. Even when we did try to estimate tasks in ideal days we did
                            > not track actuals against the estimates or anything like that. Once
                            > we have a way to calculate velocity with story points, there is little
                            > added value in tracking actuals to more detail than that.
                            >
                            > I suggest you ask the entire team, including Product Owner and
                            > ScrumMaster, who uses the actuals data and what they use it for. If
                            > no one ever looks at the data, now or weeks later, it is waste to
                            > track it. It may be that people are doing because they think they
                            > must or think there is value. Question the assumption and eliminate
                            > whatever does not bring value to the team and company.
                            >
                            > Alan
                            >
                            > On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:00 PM, cloud_strife62301
                            > <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Hi All,
                            > >
                            > > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really been bugging me: tracking actuals.
                            > >
                            > > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system, and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
                            > >
                            > > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience, one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
                            > >
                            > > Seriousy... WTF!?
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
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                          • Lyles, Heather
                            Thanks for the feedback. We are about to start our first scrum team in Jan., so I am looking forward to the easier reporting. I currently have many Designers
                            Message 14 of 21 , Nov 5, 2009
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                              Thanks for the feedback.  We are about to start our first scrum team in Jan., so I am looking forward to the easier reporting.  I currently have many Designers and QA who work across multiple projects in a year so tracking this is a bit labor intensive for me.

                               

                              From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alan Dayley
                              Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 10:20 PM
                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Tracking Actual Hours

                               

                               

                              On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 7:58 PM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

                              >
                              > For years I took number of people on the project times 40 hours a
                              > week and reported that. Worked just fine. Auditors didn't care a
                              > bit.

                              Your point is well take, Ron. We could, in fact start doing this too.

                              Our history has been that any given engineer was working on multiple
                              projects, some which would be R&D and some maybe not. This required
                              the reporting of multiple projects by any one engineer.

                              Scrum and other more Agile practices (planning by team instead of
                              individual "resources," more focus on project value at the portfolio
                              level, recognition that task switching is high cost, etc.) has help
                              change this scattered focus considerably. Nearly all the engineers
                              are now assigned to one project per sprint. That makes the reporting
                              you describe possible.

                              A much better world!

                              Alan

                            • huetlandry
                              ... Roy, You can dispell the smell by letting the PMs and bean counters know that: Estimated Hrs - Actual Hrs = *Estimated* Remaining Hrs to Completion. Huet
                              Message 15 of 21 , Nov 5, 2009
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                                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Roy Morien <roymorien@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > The real 'smell' that arises from this is when the calculation is made Estimated Hours - Actual Hours = Remaining Hours to Completion.
                                >

                                Roy,

                                You can dispell the 'smell' by letting the PMs and bean counters know that:

                                Estimated Hrs - Actual Hrs = *Estimated* Remaining Hrs to Completion.

                                Huet Landry
                              • Roy Morien
                                I think even that modification is suspect. If you have to emphasise estimated here, then you are probably talking to people who have great faith in estimates
                                Message 16 of 21 , Nov 5, 2009
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                                  I think even that modification is suspect. If you have to emphasise 'estimated' here, then you are probably talking to people who have great faith in estimates and will call you out when you fail to deliver as promised ... ummmm ... deliver as estimated.
                                   
                                  Regards,
                                  Roy Morien
                                   

                                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: hlandry@...
                                  Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 19:28:30 +0000
                                  Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Tracking Actual Hours

                                   


                                  --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Roy Morien <roymorien@. ..> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > The real 'smell' that arises from this is when the calculation is made Estimated Hours - Actual Hours = Remaining Hours to Completion.
                                  >

                                  Roy,

                                  You can dispell the 'smell' by letting the PMs and bean counters know that:

                                  Estimated Hrs - Actual Hrs = *Estimated* Remaining Hrs to Completion.

                                  Huet Landry




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                                • Roy Morien
                                  I keep wondering about all this estimating stuff. When I arrive at work, which is about preparing and presenting lectures, assessing students work, reading,
                                  Message 17 of 21 , Nov 5, 2009
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                                    I keep wondering about all this estimating stuff. When I arrive at work, which is about preparing and presenting lectures, assessing students' work, reading, doing research ... it is an ongoing job. The only real time box I have is the 'term' or 'semester' ... for the teaching stuff. This, like so many other jobs, is on-going. Sure, I have daily 'plans' to let me do my job in an orderly fashion and not forget anything, and I have a timetable of classes and stuff like that. BUT my job is essentially on-going and continuous.
                                     
                                    I have always seen software development in a similar light, but that contradicts the whole 'project' mentality, where we must see our software devlopment efforts as having a starting point, and an end point. In reality, this is so artificial and basically damaging, in my view.
                                     
                                    I see a better analogy in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is a well known icon in Australia, and probably to many people around the world. A team of maintenance guys starts painting the bridge, and after a period of time and a lot of paint, 'finishes' the job. But then they just start over again. In other words, they have a continuous maintenance job. There really is no start and end to their job.
                                     
                                    Developing software as a series of 'projects' and developing 'systems', whiech are bounded by functionality, is actually quite damaging. The result is a set of not very well developed 'discrete' and bounded systems that usually have a lot of duplication, that are not 'enterprise' based, do not talk to each other, are based on separate and separately designed databases, and so on.
                                     
                                    In a way, we are never really 'developing' stuff ... we are maintaining and enhancing the organisation's information system, which may not already be computerised, but exists anyway.
                                     
                                    If we were able to see software development, in an organisation, as a continuous process intended to ultimately create the necessary enterprise system, and that developmewnt activity included 'repainting' the software on a continuous basis as necessary (ie: not separating 'development' from 'maintenance') I think we would have a whole lot better outcomes. AND Scrum is quite perfect as a software development and maintenance activity, as suggested here.
                                     
                                    OK, it's never gonna happen ... but it's food for thought, I think.
                                     
                                    Regards,
                                    Roy Morien

                                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                    From: hlandry@...
                                    Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 19:28:30 +0000
                                    Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Tracking Actual Hours

                                     


                                    --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Roy Morien <roymorien@. ..> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > The real 'smell' that arises from this is when the calculation is made Estimated Hours - Actual Hours = Remaining Hours to Completion.
                                    >

                                    Roy,

                                    You can dispell the 'smell' by letting the PMs and bean counters know that:

                                    Estimated Hrs - Actual Hrs = *Estimated* Remaining Hrs to Completion.

                                    Huet Landry




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                                  • Pablo Emanuel
                                    Huet, if
                                    Message 18 of 21 , Nov 6, 2009
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                                      Huet,
                                       
                                      <<You can dispell the 'smell' by letting the PMs and bean counters know that:

                                      Estimated Hrs - Actual Hrs = *Estimated* Remaining Hrs to Completion.>>
                                       
                                      if they're real PMs they'd know that even that is wrong. Real PMs have even metrics like SV and SPI to measure how unequal those things are.
                                       
                                      Regards,
                                      Pablo Emanuel, PMP
                                       


                                       
                                      2009/11/5 huetlandry <hlandry@...>


                                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Roy Morien <roymorien@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > The real 'smell' that arises from this is when the calculation is made Estimated Hours - Actual Hours = Remaining Hours to Completion.
                                      >

                                      Roy,

                                      You can dispell the 'smell' by letting the PMs and bean counters know that:

                                      Estimated Hrs - Actual Hrs = *Estimated* Remaining Hrs to Completion.

                                      Huet Landry



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