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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 6:18 PM
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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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    • 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 2 of 21 , Feb 8 8:51 PM
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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 3 of 21 , Feb 10 8:55 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 21 , Feb 10 11:44 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            --- 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 5 of 21 , Feb 10 11:58 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 21 , Feb 10 7:15 PM
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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 7 of 21 , Feb 12 2:17 PM
                • 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 8 of 21 , Feb 13 6:04 AM
                  • 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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