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

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

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

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

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

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

        Hal

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

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

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

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

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

          Pascal Roy





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


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        • Andrew Gilmartin
          ... teams ... Once upon a time, long long ago, I once asked a toy maker how he could use an online tool to facilitate communication between all parties
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 13, 2003
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            > But then again, it would seem to be really hard to provide a
            > communication/cooperation tool that would fit all the needs of diverse
            teams
            > working under different conditions. Maybe that's why there is nothing out
            > there that has managed to stick...

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

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

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

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

            -- Andrew

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