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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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    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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*.
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                  • 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 9 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 10 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 11 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...
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                          >
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                        • 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 12 of 21 , Feb 12, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 21 , Feb 13, 2003
                            • 0 Attachment
                              > 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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