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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs

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  • worleys@project-inspiration.com
    laughing I got so involved at looking in p-logs and blogs that I forgot that I am using sharepoint team services for a lot of my project and list tracking, and
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 19, 2002
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      laughing I got so involved at looking in p-logs and blogs that I forgot that I am using sharepoint team services for a lot of my project and list tracking, and using the discussions like a mini blog.
       
      heh, talk about not seeing the forrest for the trees ;)
       
      Scott Worley,
        Blind in the fa
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 12:35 AM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs

      Months ago I customized a wiki-engine to let a customer of mine use it for requirements management in a collaborative way. That tool is proprietary but I uploaded an alpha-version of an open source implementation here: http://armwiki.agilemovement.it/

      Development of this OpenSource version has been stopped on August 2002.....

      Just to let you know about it :-)

      >My current p-log plans focus on zwiki as a platform. see
      >http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/ProjectManagementSoftware for linky
      >writeup.


      Marco Abis - CEO & Chairman
      Agility SPI: Software Process Improvement
      abis@... - abis@...
      http://agilemovement.it



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    • Alan Shalloway
      Yeah, there are disadvantages. Verbal communication on some things is just more energizing and clearer. I don t mean to imply that written communication is
      Message 2 of 21 , Jan 31, 2003
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        Yeah, there are disadvantages. Verbal communication on some things is
        just more energizing and clearer. I don't mean to imply that written
        communication is superior to verbal, just sometimes (and at least not
        always inferior).

        The thing that is often overlooked in verbal communication (and
        definitely in pairing in design/coding) is that there is synergy between
        two people talking to each other. It can't be explained, but it can be
        experienced. However, if it's opinions on things you want, or tracking
        facts, written works well.

        Alan Shalloway, Sr. Consultant, CEO
        office: 425-313-3065. mobile: 425-531-0810

        Net Objectives' vision is effective software development without
        suffering. Our mission is to assist software development teams in
        accomplishing this through a combination of training and mentoring.


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
        Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 2:32 PM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs

        On Friday, January 31, 2003, at 5:21:50 PM, Alan Shalloway wrote:

        > Trust and e-mails.

        Trust is good. So is email.

        > Everyone in my company, for example, is supposed to check the recent
        > changes topic and look. Otherwise, we post an entry to the wiki and
        > just tell people - hey read this!

        > The advantage is two of us can have a conversation when a third person
        > isn't there and then they can catch up by reading the entries. For
        many
        > things, however a bulletin board with a threaded discussion is better.
        > We use both, depending upon the type of material to be discussed.

        Of course, I see the advantage. Do you see the disadvantage?

        > We have one client who uses a wiki to discuss QA issues - relates
        > acceptance tests back to the use-cases. We have another client who
        uses
        > a bulletin board (we like the UBB from info pop - cheap and easy) to
        > coordinate his customers (they've got lot's of users so the lead - who
        > plays the role of customer as he used to be one - coordinates with
        > dozens of customers to get a single voice).

        Yes, lots of people use them. They're good. They have that one key
        disadvantage, however.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        Accroche toi a ton reve. --ELO


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      • Andrew Gilmartin
        A principle advantage to using a weblog to support Scrum over a wiki to support Scrum is the time dimension. Weblogs are primarily organized by time. This
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 2, 2003
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          A principle advantage to using a weblog to support Scrum over a wiki to
          support Scrum is the time dimension. Weblogs are primarily organized by
          time. This makes them a great tool for delivering project information to
          tangential parties and keeping a record of the history of the project. Each
          day's signature graph could be published in the weblog along with a
          transcript of the stand up meeting. These parties now have a single place to
          go to see what is happening without being a direct part of the sprint.

          ps I thought the news.com article was awful. I don't think the author
          understood that weblogs -- as they are used by most development projects --
          have a single author with a single perspective and are not collaborative
          tools at all.

          --
          Andrew Gilmartin
          US Engineering Team Leader
          andrew.gilmartin@...
          401-743-3713 (cell)
          andrewgilmartin (aim)
        • Alan Shalloway
          Andrew: I would appreciate your saying more about this. I have great experience with wikis and bulletin boards in supporting Scrum. We get some of the time
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 2, 2003
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            Andrew:
            I would appreciate your saying more about this. I have great experience
            with wikis and bulletin boards in supporting Scrum. We get some of the
            time issues done by using the recent changes page to find latest entries
            (although this doesn't track things this way). We also just put entries
            in at the bottom, so we get some chronological order.

            I'll admit I've never used a blog and therefore do not know all of its
            capabilities. One thing I really like about a wiki that I did not see a
            blog could do was its sort of reorganizing capabilities. In other
            words, when our wiki starts expanding in an area where it becomes
            unwieldy, it is really easy to reorganize it by adding some pages and
            splitting some things out (hyperlinks are wonderful aren't they?).
            Also, little functions are easy to write in perl or vbscript if you need
            them (two on our team can write special scripts so we can organize
            things even more).

            My impression (probably incorrect) of blogs is that they are best used
            as an automated journal, so to speak. You can split things up into
            topics, but hyperlinking from one to the other or reorganizing as new
            structures makes sense is not that easy.

            Please advise.

            Alan Shalloway, Sr. Consultant, CEO
            office: 425-313-3065. mobile: 425-531-0810

            Net Objectives' vision is effective software development without
            suffering. Our mission is to assist software development teams in
            accomplishing this through a combination of training and mentoring.


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Andrew Gilmartin [mailto:andrew.gilmartin@...]
            Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 6:48 AM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] daily status blogs

            A principle advantage to using a weblog to support Scrum over a wiki to
            support Scrum is the time dimension. Weblogs are primarily organized by
            time. This makes them a great tool for delivering project information to
            tangential parties and keeping a record of the history of the project.
            Each
            day's signature graph could be published in the weblog along with a
            transcript of the stand up meeting. These parties now have a single
            place to
            go to see what is happening without being a direct part of the sprint.

            ps I thought the news.com article was awful. I don't think the author
            understood that weblogs -- as they are used by most development projects
            --
            have a single author with a single perspective and are not collaborative
            tools at all.

            --
            Andrew Gilmartin
            US Engineering Team Leader
            andrew.gilmartin@...
            401-743-3713 (cell)
            andrewgilmartin (aim)


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          • Andrew Gilmartin
            ... This is correct. I was thinking only about supporting Scrum in particular and not software development in general. Wikis and weblogs offer good ways of
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 3, 2003
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              > My impression (probably incorrect) of blogs is that they are best used
              > as an automated journal, so to speak.

              This is correct. I was thinking only about supporting Scrum in particular
              and not software development in general.

              Wikis and weblogs offer good ways of recording what is happening and why.
              For long lived projects or projects with staff turnover having this record
              is important to continuity. Both tools would benefit from being combined.
              That is, the development record would greatly benefit from being accessible
              from topic, time, and person dimensions. E.g., "show me everything about
              search (topic) for AccessMedicine (topic) written by Andrew (person) and
              Yuliya (person) early last year (time)."

              -- Andrew

              --
              Andrew Gilmartin
              US Engineering Team Leader
              andrew.gilmartin@...
              401-743-3713 (cell)
              andrewgilmartin (aim)
            • Andrew Gilmartin
              ... I forgot to mention that I am assuming a software development team with a tendency to write as much as talk. Over the last five years, however, I have
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 3, 2003
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                > Wikis and weblogs offer good ways of recording what is happening and why.

                I forgot to mention that I am assuming a software development team with a
                tendency to write as much as talk. Over the last five years, however, I have
                found that I seem to be working more in verbal development cultures than
                written ones. I don't know if this is an industry trend or not.

                -- Andrew

                --
                Andrew Gilmartin
                US Engineering Team Leader
                andrew.gilmartin@...
                401-743-3713 (cell)
                andrewgilmartin (aim)
              • Mary Poppendieck <mary@poppendieck.com>
                I had experience using one of those project management sites with threaded discussions, issue tracking, and document management. We used it to coordinate a
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 7, 2003
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                  I had experience using one of those project management sites with
                  threaded discussions, issue tracking, and document management. We
                  used it to coordinate a development team in Malaysia and two
                  disperse teams in the US. Basically, it didn't work. The tool was
                  too difficult to use, the information that needed to be communicated
                  was too dense to be done by typing (you could spend all of your time
                  typing), and the document management system was not useful –
                  although that was what we needed more than anything. We reverted
                  mainly to e-mail, tried an unsuccessful web-based issue tracking
                  system, and finally settled on a spreadsheet-based defect tracking
                  system. Nothing worked very well, and I'd sure love to see more
                  useful tools in this area.

                  I don't see how a weblog works to maintain outstanding issues, or a
                  defect log. Of course we had a code repository, but it didn't work
                  for use cases, or other preliminary models. We could have used
                  better tools for all of these things. Our backlog was spreadsheet-
                  based, but that seemed adequate.

                  Mary Poppendieck

                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Dean Goodmanson
                  <goodmansond@y...> wrote:
                  > This article at CNet prompted a thoughts/questions..
                  >
                  > "Blogs open doors for developers"
                  > http://news.com.com/2100-1001-982854.html?tag=fd_lede1_hed
                  >
                  > Thoughts..
                  >
                  > 1. Using a weblog/rss feed for daily reporting?
                  >
                  > 2. Communicating status to customers via a weblog?
                  >
                  > Best Regards,
                  >
                  > Dean Goodmanson
                  >
                • worleys@project-inspiration.com
                  Hmm this is interesting, maybe I should think about creating some tools for this if there is enough requests, I will certainly do. What do you reckon, people,
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 8, 2003
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                    Hmm this is interesting, maybe I should think about creating some tools for this if there is enough requests, I will certainly do.
                     
                    What do you reckon, people, if there is enough feedback I will do and get this community to help me design it, maybe even set up a case study on scrum practice for this product for the community.
                     
                    please dump your comments either online here, or to my private account: zhangscott@... or worleys@...
                     
                    Scott Worley
                    CTO
                    Author: Inside ASP.NET, and a few others
                    Speaker, Consultant and Enabler
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Saturday, February 08, 2003 1:52 PM
                    Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs

                    I had experience using one of those project management sites with
                    threaded discussions, issue tracking, and document management.  We
                    used it to coordinate a development team in Malaysia and two
                    disperse teams in the US.  Basically, it didn't work.  The tool was
                    too difficult to use, the information that needed to be communicated
                    was too dense to be done by typing (you could spend all of your time
                    typing), and the document management system was not useful –
                    although that was what we needed more than anything.  We reverted
                    mainly to e-mail, tried an unsuccessful web-based issue tracking
                    system, and finally settled on a spreadsheet-based defect tracking
                    system.  Nothing worked very well, and I'd sure love to see more
                    useful tools in this area.

                    I don't see how a weblog works to maintain outstanding issues, or a
                    defect log.  Of course we had a code repository, but it didn't work
                    for use cases, or other preliminary models. We could have used
                    better tools for all of these things.  Our backlog was spreadsheet-
                    based, but that seemed adequate. 

                    Mary Poppendieck

                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Dean Goodmanson
                    <goodmansond@y...> wrote:
                    > This article at CNet prompted a thoughts/questions..
                    >
                    > "Blogs open doors for developers"
                    > http://news.com.com/2100-1001-982854.html?tag=fd_lede1_hed
                    >
                    > Thoughts..
                    >
                    > 1. Using a weblog/rss feed for daily reporting?
                    >
                    > 2. Communicating status to customers via a weblog?
                    >
                    > Best Regards,
                    >
                    > Dean Goodmanson




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


                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                  • Pascal Roy
                    Hi Mary, Can you describe what was not working? What useful features do you think would help remotely located teams? Pascal Roy ...
                    Message 9 of 21 , Feb 10, 2003
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                      Hi Mary,

                      Can you describe what was not working? What useful features do you think
                      would help remotely located teams?

                      Pascal Roy





                      >From: "Mary Poppendieck <mary@...>" <mary@...>
                      >Reply-To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      >To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs
                      >Date: Sat, 08 Feb 2003 05:52:01 -0000
                      >
                      >I had experience using one of those project management sites with
                      >threaded discussions, issue tracking, and document management. We
                      >used it to coordinate a development team in Malaysia and two
                      >disperse teams in the US. Basically, it didn't work. The tool was
                      >too difficult to use, the information that needed to be communicated
                      >was too dense to be done by typing (you could spend all of your time
                      >typing), and the document management system was not useful �
                      >although that was what we needed more than anything. We reverted
                      >mainly to e-mail, tried an unsuccessful web-based issue tracking
                      >system, and finally settled on a spreadsheet-based defect tracking
                      >system. Nothing worked very well, and I'd sure love to see more
                      >useful tools in this area.
                      >
                      >I don't see how a weblog works to maintain outstanding issues, or a
                      >defect log. Of course we had a code repository, but it didn't work
                      >for use cases, or other preliminary models. We could have used
                      >better tools for all of these things. Our backlog was spreadsheet-
                      >based, but that seemed adequate.
                      >
                      >Mary Poppendieck
                      >
                      >--- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Dean Goodmanson
                      ><goodmansond@y...> wrote:
                      > > This article at CNet prompted a thoughts/questions..
                      > >
                      > > "Blogs open doors for developers"
                      > > http://news.com.com/2100-1001-982854.html?tag=fd_lede1_hed
                      > >
                      > > Thoughts..
                      > >
                      > > 1. Using a weblog/rss feed for daily reporting?
                      > >
                      > > 2. Communicating status to customers via a weblog?
                      > >
                      > > Best Regards,
                      > >
                      > > Dean Goodmanson
                      > >
                      >
                      >


                      _________________________________________________________________
                      MSN 8 helps eliminate e-mail viruses. Get 2 months FREE*.
                      http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus
                    • Mary Poppendieck <mary@poppendieck.com>
                      ... What didn t work: First of all, the project management system which was chosen was a bad choice. It was clumsy to use and had a structure which made
                      Message 10 of 21 , Feb 10, 2003
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                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Pascal Roy"
                        <pascal_roy_1967@h...> wrote:
                        > Hi Mary,
                        >
                        > Can you describe what was not working? What useful features do you
                        > think would help remotely located teams?
                        >
                        > Pascal Roy
                        >

                        What didn't work:

                        First of all, the project management system which was chosen was a
                        bad choice. It was clumsy to use and had a structure which made
                        relevant information difficult to find. It was laborious to set up,
                        so it was set up quickly and poorly. I imagine there are better
                        ones out there, but this one was chosen on the (mistaken) notion
                        that it could be used as a time tracking system.

                        Second of all, there was no motivator for using the system. It
                        never replaced e-mail and regular video conferences as the way to
                        exchange information. The biggest problem with most systems like
                        this is that no one NEEDS to keep it up to date or read it to get
                        information. Unless such a system becomes the only way to transfer
                        information, it simply will not be used, because it is an extra
                        step. And yet, it is not possible to transfer all – or even most –
                        information by writing it down. Since this system did not work
                        well, it was abandoned as the authoritative source of information.
                        I think that EVERY blog, WIKI, or bulletin board suffers from this
                        likely problem. Few become indispensable.

                        What did we need?

                        1. We kept and regularly revised use cases, because these were
                        what everyone used to communicate. They were very useful, but they
                        needed to be versioned and people had to know when a new version
                        affecting them was posted. The mechanism for doing this was so weak
                        as to be useless. Too bad, because assuring we were working with
                        the latest use cases and notifying the RIGHT people when changes
                        were made was not done very effectively. Everyone turned off the
                        notification system immediately, because it flooded them with
                        useless update notifications. In fact, full notification of any
                        file changes or discussion postings was set `on' by default. One
                        day I did a web file transfer of hundreds of files to fill the
                        database, and every single member got an e-mail of every single file
                        transfer. It brought down the e-mail server – since most people
                        were in the same company – similar to a denial-of-service attack.

                        2. We needed to be able to post issues – questions – that one
                        team had of a remote team, with the expectation that the team
                        needing to address the issue would know it was posted and address it
                        the same day. This is much more tricky than a threaded discussion,
                        but that was about the level of the tool we had to use. Again,
                        notification of an outstanding issue was a big issue – e-mail always
                        worked better. But also, you needed to have a trail of the
                        discussion to see the progress of the issue, as well as a quick
                        summary of outstanding issues. Also, typically, issues were
                        assigned to someone to answer – normally the person who should know
                        the answer. Then they would re-assign it, etc. The system needed
                        to support this, but it didn't.

                        3. The same kind of issue tracking system was needed to track
                        defects, with perhaps a few added features, like defect resolution,
                        date/build of resolution, etc.

                        4. We needed general threaded discussions also, but they
                        somehow never happened. Things like – this batch process is really
                        tricky – who knows about it? Pretty much it's hard to replace face-
                        to-face conversations in this regard.

                        5. Finally, there was a BIG DEAL as to whether or not the
                        customer should have access to the system. Because of the time
                        tracking (which never worked) and because some things were written
                        on the system that should not have been said in the presence of
                        customers, they were never allowed access – which made the system
                        really ineffective. It was a bad decision, and not one I agreed
                        with.

                        Mary
                      • Mike Cohn
                        I worked on a project that started in December 1994 and went through almost all of 1995. When I first got there the company admitted to having a voice mail
                        Message 11 of 21 , Feb 10, 2003
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                          I worked on a project that started in December 1994 and went through almost
                          all of 1995. When I first got there the company admitted to having a "voice
                          mail rather than email culture." I thought that was nuts because voice mail
                          is so much more intrusive for most little communications. (I'm not saying
                          I'm opposed to verbal communication, just that email can be so much better
                          for little things.)

                          So, this company didn't have a big reliance on email and I needed a system
                          to do the things that Mary describes below--mostly, threaded discussion
                          about issues and some way of noting when an issue had been resolved. We put
                          Lotus Notes in place and it was phenomenal. I spent a few nights learning
                          how to program for it and set up different databases, such as our "issues
                          database." When issues were added you could indicate who needed to help
                          resolve the issue (multiple people if you wanted) and each issue had a
                          default set of people it started with. Each was subsequently notified via a
                          Notes "inbox" (not email). As long as everyone logged into Notes once or
                          more per day it worked great. I've never had as much success on a project
                          with issue tracking and resolution.

                          What killed it was that the company eventually settled on a Microsoft email
                          server and client and the whole company started using email for all the
                          little issues that had been going into Notes. I doubt things would have been
                          better if we'd used Lotus' cc:Mail product as the cause was the increased
                          use of email, not any specific product. Gradually people stopped using Notes
                          at all (and by then we were on to new projects). It was fantastic while it
                          lasted but with everyone so addicted to email today (count me among the
                          worst) it seems so much harder to achieve today due to the reasons Mary
                          points out below.

                          -Mike

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Mary Poppendieck <mary@...> [mailto:mary@...]
                          Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 12:44 PM
                          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs

                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Pascal Roy"
                          <pascal_roy_1967@h...> wrote:
                          > Hi Mary,
                          >
                          > Can you describe what was not working? What useful features do you
                          > think would help remotely located teams?
                          >
                          > Pascal Roy
                          >

                          What didn't work:

                          First of all, the project management system which was chosen was a
                          bad choice. It was clumsy to use and had a structure which made
                          relevant information difficult to find. It was laborious to set up,
                          so it was set up quickly and poorly. I imagine there are better
                          ones out there, but this one was chosen on the (mistaken) notion
                          that it could be used as a time tracking system.

                          Second of all, there was no motivator for using the system. It
                          never replaced e-mail and regular video conferences as the way to
                          exchange information. The biggest problem with most systems like
                          this is that no one NEEDS to keep it up to date or read it to get
                          information. Unless such a system becomes the only way to transfer
                          information, it simply will not be used, because it is an extra
                          step. And yet, it is not possible to transfer all - or even most -
                          information by writing it down. Since this system did not work
                          well, it was abandoned as the authoritative source of information.
                          I think that EVERY blog, WIKI, or bulletin board suffers from this
                          likely problem. Few become indispensable.

                          What did we need?

                          1. We kept and regularly revised use cases, because these were
                          what everyone used to communicate. They were very useful, but they
                          needed to be versioned and people had to know when a new version
                          affecting them was posted. The mechanism for doing this was so weak
                          as to be useless. Too bad, because assuring we were working with
                          the latest use cases and notifying the RIGHT people when changes
                          were made was not done very effectively. Everyone turned off the
                          notification system immediately, because it flooded them with
                          useless update notifications. In fact, full notification of any
                          file changes or discussion postings was set `on' by default. One
                          day I did a web file transfer of hundreds of files to fill the
                          database, and every single member got an e-mail of every single file
                          transfer. It brought down the e-mail server - since most people
                          were in the same company - similar to a denial-of-service attack.

                          2. We needed to be able to post issues - questions - that one
                          team had of a remote team, with the expectation that the team
                          needing to address the issue would know it was posted and address it
                          the same day. This is much more tricky than a threaded discussion,
                          but that was about the level of the tool we had to use. Again,
                          notification of an outstanding issue was a big issue - e-mail always
                          worked better. But also, you needed to have a trail of the
                          discussion to see the progress of the issue, as well as a quick
                          summary of outstanding issues. Also, typically, issues were
                          assigned to someone to answer - normally the person who should know
                          the answer. Then they would re-assign it, etc. The system needed
                          to support this, but it didn't.

                          3. The same kind of issue tracking system was needed to track
                          defects, with perhaps a few added features, like defect resolution,
                          date/build of resolution, etc.

                          4. We needed general threaded discussions also, but they
                          somehow never happened. Things like - this batch process is really
                          tricky - who knows about it? Pretty much it's hard to replace face-
                          to-face conversations in this regard.

                          5. Finally, there was a BIG DEAL as to whether or not the
                          customer should have access to the system. Because of the time
                          tracking (which never worked) and because some things were written
                          on the system that should not have been said in the presence of
                          customers, they were never allowed access - which made the system
                          really ineffective. It was a bad decision, and not one I agreed
                          with.

                          Mary



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                        • Hal Macomber <hal@halmacomber.com>
                          Mary s description of project collaboration and tracking environments was oh-too familiar. We have a practice of not providing the tools teams need (threaded
                          Message 12 of 21 , Feb 10, 2003
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                            Mary's description of project collaboration and tracking environments
                            was oh-too familiar. We have a practice of not providing the tools
                            teams need (threaded discussion) while insisting they use the
                            coprorately approved tools. This only adds waste to the project
                            while tearing down the spirit of the team.

                            I was the event producer (project manager) for the 2001 US Freestyle
                            (Skiing) Championships. I used an eGroup for that. The environment
                            was simple even though the task was immense. It helped that we were
                            all volunteers (all 400 of us). We had a middle school english class
                            do all the PR writing stories for the local papers every week. We
                            worked out the terms of our sponsor contracts among about 10 people
                            spread over the country. We organized the 400 volunteers for a
                            series of tasks that they had never performed before. It was hard
                            work, fun, and we used just the tools we needed to use.

                            Let's remember that. Provide only those tools that are of value to
                            the team AND they are prepared to use. Everything else is waste.

                            We might not agree on what we should be doing. Currently, best
                            practices fall short of sound theory. While we continue to work that
                            out, there are three things we can be doing:

                            ..1 Grant project teams legitimacy to do the job they set out to
                            do. Don't ask them to do what doesn't add value.
                            ..2 Be unconditionally constructive in our interactions with teams.
                            (more Larry Bird than Bobby Knight)
                            ..3 Continue to experiment, collaborate, and innovate project tools
                            and practices. There's a crack in the project paradigm; let's
                            redouble our efforts.

                            So, in the spirit of this posting, tomorrow I will offer this group
                            my half-baked, hare-brained premature specification for a p-log. I
                            have been working on this to publish on my weblog in the next month
                            along with a template design. Instead, let's see what this group has
                            to say. And need I ask you to be unconditionally constructive? ;)

                            Hal

                            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Cohn" <mike@m...>
                            wrote:
                            > I worked on a project that started in December 1994 and went
                            through almost
                            > all of 1995. When I first got there the company admitted to having
                            a "voice
                            > mail rather than email culture." I thought that was nuts because
                            voice mail
                            > is so much more intrusive for most little communications. (I'm not
                            saying
                            > I'm opposed to verbal communication, just that email can be so much
                            better
                            > for little things.)
                            >
                            > So, this company didn't have a big reliance on email and I needed a
                            system
                            > to do the things that Mary describes below--mostly, threaded
                            discussion
                            > about issues and some way of noting when an issue had been
                            resolved. We put
                            > Lotus Notes in place and it was phenomenal. I spent a few nights
                            learning
                            > how to program for it and set up different databases, such as
                            our "issues
                            > database." When issues were added you could indicate who needed to
                            help
                            > resolve the issue (multiple people if you wanted) and each issue
                            had a
                            > default set of people it started with. Each was subsequently
                            notified via a
                            > Notes "inbox" (not email). As long as everyone logged into Notes
                            once or
                            > more per day it worked great. I've never had as much success on a
                            project
                            > with issue tracking and resolution.
                            >
                            > What killed it was that the company eventually settled on a
                            Microsoft email
                            > server and client and the whole company started using email for all
                            the
                            > little issues that had been going into Notes. I doubt things would
                            have been
                            > better if we'd used Lotus' cc:Mail product as the cause was the
                            increased
                            > use of email, not any specific product. Gradually people stopped
                            using Notes
                            > at all (and by then we were on to new projects). It was fantastic
                            while it
                            > lasted but with everyone so addicted to email today (count me among
                            the
                            > worst) it seems so much harder to achieve today due to the reasons
                            Mary
                            > points out below.
                            >
                            > -Mike
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: Mary Poppendieck <mary@p...> [mailto:mary@p...]
                            > Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 12:44 PM
                            > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: daily status blogs
                            >
                            > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Pascal Roy"
                            > <pascal_roy_1967@h...> wrote:
                            > > Hi Mary,
                            > >
                            > > Can you describe what was not working? What useful features do
                            you
                            > > think would help remotely located teams?
                            > >
                            > > Pascal Roy
                            > >
                            >
                            > What didn't work:
                            >
                            > First of all, the project management system which was chosen was a
                            > bad choice. It was clumsy to use and had a structure which made
                            > relevant information difficult to find. It was laborious to set
                            up,
                            > so it was set up quickly and poorly. I imagine there are better
                            > ones out there, but this one was chosen on the (mistaken) notion
                            > that it could be used as a time tracking system.
                            >
                            > Second of all, there was no motivator for using the system. It
                            > never replaced e-mail and regular video conferences as the way to
                            > exchange information. The biggest problem with most systems like
                            > this is that no one NEEDS to keep it up to date or read it to get
                            > information. Unless such a system becomes the only way to transfer
                            > information, it simply will not be used, because it is an extra
                            > step. And yet, it is not possible to transfer all - or even most -
                            > information by writing it down. Since this system did not work
                            > well, it was abandoned as the authoritative source of information.
                            > I think that EVERY blog, WIKI, or bulletin board suffers from this
                            > likely problem. Few become indispensable.
                            >
                            > What did we need?
                            >
                            > 1. We kept and regularly revised use cases, because these were
                            > what everyone used to communicate. They were very useful, but they
                            > needed to be versioned and people had to know when a new version
                            > affecting them was posted. The mechanism for doing this was so
                            weak
                            > as to be useless. Too bad, because assuring we were working with
                            > the latest use cases and notifying the RIGHT people when changes
                            > were made was not done very effectively. Everyone turned off the
                            > notification system immediately, because it flooded them with
                            > useless update notifications. In fact, full notification of any
                            > file changes or discussion postings was set `on' by default. One
                            > day I did a web file transfer of hundreds of files to fill the
                            > database, and every single member got an e-mail of every single
                            file
                            > transfer. It brought down the e-mail server - since most people
                            > were in the same company - similar to a denial-of-service attack.
                            >
                            > 2. We needed to be able to post issues - questions - that one
                            > team had of a remote team, with the expectation that the team
                            > needing to address the issue would know it was posted and address
                            it
                            > the same day. This is much more tricky than a threaded discussion,
                            > but that was about the level of the tool we had to use. Again,
                            > notification of an outstanding issue was a big issue - e-mail
                            always
                            > worked better. But also, you needed to have a trail of the
                            > discussion to see the progress of the issue, as well as a quick
                            > summary of outstanding issues. Also, typically, issues were
                            > assigned to someone to answer - normally the person who should know
                            > the answer. Then they would re-assign it, etc. The system needed
                            > to support this, but it didn't.
                            >
                            > 3. The same kind of issue tracking system was needed to track
                            > defects, with perhaps a few added features, like defect resolution,
                            > date/build of resolution, etc.
                            >
                            > 4. We needed general threaded discussions also, but they
                            > somehow never happened. Things like - this batch process is really
                            > tricky - who knows about it? Pretty much it's hard to replace face-
                            > to-face conversations in this regard.
                            >
                            > 5. Finally, there was a BIG DEAL as to whether or not the
                            > customer should have access to the system. Because of the time
                            > tracking (which never worked) and because some things were written
                            > on the system that should not have been said in the presence of
                            > customers, they were never allowed access - which made the system
                            > really ineffective. It was a bad decision, and not one I agreed
                            > with.
                            >
                            > Mary
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@e...
                            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                            > scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@e...
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Pascal Roy
                            Thanks for sharing that Mary, I can t really point to specific products but my first impression is there has got to be some products out there that would allow
                            Message 13 of 21 , Feb 12, 2003
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                              Thanks for sharing that Mary,

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

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

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

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

                              Pascal Roy





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


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                            • Andrew Gilmartin
                              ... teams ... Once upon a time, long long ago, I once asked a toy maker how he could use an online tool to facilitate communication between all parties
                              Message 14 of 21 , Feb 13, 2003
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                                > But then again, it would seem to be really hard to provide a
                                > communication/cooperation tool that would fit all the needs of diverse
                                teams
                                > working under different conditions. Maybe that's why there is nothing out
                                > there that has managed to stick...

                                Once upon a time, long long ago, I once asked a toy maker how he could use
                                an online tool to facilitate communication between all parties involved in
                                building a toy. (If the toy is a girl doll that talks then you have clothing
                                designers, mold makers, mechanical engineers (the leg bone is connected to
                                the thigh bone, etc), embedded systems engineers, toy brokers or companies,
                                parts suppliers, etc. There is a long list of specialists.) He told me that
                                he *would not* use it. The reason it added another means of communication to
                                the project. And further, the communication did not allow for the transfer
                                of all the artifacts of the project -- examples of molded pieces for
                                example. His current modes of communication worked well for him and his
                                business. Telephone calls where handled by his assistant, postal mail came
                                once a day at 1pm, and FedEx came once a day at 11am. These where the points
                                in his day when the vast majority of people working on the project contacted
                                him. His day was thus mostly uninterrupted time with which he could
                                concentrate on the project at hand.

                                The principles here are that the tools should not add another mode of
                                communication and should not frequently interrupt your day. Most tools out
                                there do both. (Software folk seem to be obsessed with the clock inside
                                their computer.)

                                In my office text email and instant messaging (im) are the tools of choice.
                                To facilitate projects in my office a tool should allow communication via
                                email and im. For example, want yesterday's project signature send a simple
                                request to a chat-bot via im and have it return the signature via email (or
                                perhaps a URL in the im response). For example, expect to receive a project
                                status summary in email each morning between 7am and 9am.

                                Most tools want you to be in the tool's interface. I want my project
                                management tools to be in my communication interface.

                                -- Andrew

                                --
                                Andrew Gilmartin
                                andrew.gilmartin@...
                                401-743-3713 (cell)
                                andrewgilmartin (aim)
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