In June, Stephen Forte wrote a great blog post on Transparency and Software Teams. As Stephen mentioned, Telerik has embraced transparency as a key practice of an effective Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) strategy. Quality is a result of feedback cycles – the tighter the feedback cycles on your team, the more ability your team has to recognize issues and resolve them early. In fact, at Telerik we went so far as to try to have almost real-time transparency with the release of our free Project Dashboard tool that sits on top of Microsoft Team Foundation Server. Our goal was to have the Project Dashboard running constantly in our team rooms to help giver our teams perspective and the high degree of feedback during the software construction process.

The Agile world is littered with practices that enhance transparency and meaning, which is why so many Agile teams use a very visual and very open “wall of cards” to not only help track their progress, but to easily communicate to all team members (and non-team members) the status of all work.

Keep your Team in the Loop

When we started to build TeamPulse, team transparency and tight feedback loops were at the heart of the design. TeamPulse V1, to be released at the end of July, has a number of features that promote transparency in teams.

The first thing you will see when you open a TeamPulse project is the project dashboard. Perspective is critical on projects, and we wanted to start the TeamPulse experience by providing you with perspective on your project.

clip_image002

(click image to enlarge)

The Dashboard will give you the following real-time perspective:

1. The rate of change in User Stories each day for the current sprint (Status History Panel)

2. The rate of completion of User Stories (Sprint Burn down Panel)

3. How much time you have left on your project (Project Timeline Panel)

4. What’s changed on the project (What’s New Panel)

5. Team member progress (Team Member’s Panel)

 

One of our team’s favorite features is the Dashboard RSS feeds. Story History, Sprint Burn down, and What’s New all have associated RSS feeds (you can get access to the feed by clicking on the RSS image in the top right hand corner of the panels to add to your favorite RSS aggregator). This will allow even non-TeamPulse users to keep up to date with the project!

clip_image004

(click image to enlarge)

Visualizing Progress

Card walls are also a fantastic way of depicting progress – especially if the card walls are easily accessible to the entire team. The problem with traditional card walls is that they don’t work very well for distributed teams. With the Telerik Work Item Manager you have the ability to have a Task Board representation of Team Foundation Server Work Items. In Team Pulse, we also provide a virtual card wall called the Storyboard.

clip_image006

(click image to enlarge)

 

The TeamPulse Storyboard works as you would expect. By default, the Storyboard shows the state of the stories assigned to the current iteration (since it is very rare to need a storyboard for past or future iterations). You can edit values right on the cards, and even drag and drop them from state to state. You can use the TeamPulse Storyboard to facilitate a daily scrum as the Storyboard can group stories by assignment to give you a clear perspective of the state of stories in everyone’s queue.

Sometimes you will need to work with a much larger set of stories than can be comfortably displayed on the TeamPulse Storyboard. For that reason we included the Progress Grid, which like the Storyboard automatically filters stories assigned to the current iteration, however provides a powerful grid interface for viewing and manipulating stories.

clip_image008

(click image to enlarge)

A strong team is a transparent team, and we all concur with Mr. Forte’s final quote on Transparency and Software Teams:

” This decade will be remembered as the era when technology teams fully embraced transparency. As teams start to automate their transparency and look for ways to be more open, the quality of the software they produce will only improve. I look forward to this brave new (open) world.”


Comments

Comments are disabled in preview mode.