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You are here: Home Community Minutes Conference Calls 2010 2010-01-19 Tuesday Meeting (Notes II)

2010-01-19 Tuesday Meeting (Notes II)

Project Management Meeting

January 19th, 2010

In Attendance: Ola, Andrew, Chris, Jean-Marie, Donald, Will, Scott, Brian, Josh, Carlow, Melissa, Scott, Colin

Meeting Minutes:
- Working with the Ethnography Master Students. JM has been talking to Cat about helping their students do some ethnography work here in the department. They would need one or two developers to work with them. Is this something we want to follow up? Who would be interested in participating in this? JM will talk with Cat about this and better define what's involved then get back to us.

Donald's Presentation:
- This is a followup from the talk at ASCB to discuss how better to manage our project.
 - Are we Agile? We should have short development cycles: 2-4 weeks between releases
 - No: We are probably more likely in a tight spiral model with 6 month iterations.
 -  Are we Agile or Plan Driven? Somewhere in-between? We have been moving away from Agile, with more developers we might move further (although we are largely Agile).
 - Current Tools:
   - Trac: Doesn't give us 'real' scheduling.
   - OmniGraffle: 'Gantt chart replacement'. Doesn't relate to other tracing systems or show dependancies.
 - Group Feedback about Process:
   - Interest from team over improving good practices, planning, scheduling, and iterations.
   - Tools should be simple, be publicly visible, and support planning, scheduling, medics, visualization, and history features.
  - Tools looked at:
    - Current system, FogBugz, Jira, Acunote, Agilo, Mingle.
    - One possibility is to adapt the current Trac system Wiki for each task which covers:
      - break down into 2 day tasks
      - documentation
      - commits
      - demo code
    - FogBugz
      - Uses trac-like tickets with add-on features
      - "Trac on steroids"
    - JIRA (with grasshopper)
      - Tickets (with TRAC import available)
      - dependencies and project management, visualization, burn down graphs
    - Acunote
      - Sits on trac, gives estimates, burnout graphs, easy to reorder tasks
    - Agilo
      - Built on TRAC. Provides scheduling, whiteboard, estimates, training.
    - Mingle
      - Most Sophisticated. Provides tasks, whiteboard, full integration of tickets to code, metrics (burnup, burndown, tickets completed), training.
    - Conclusion: We need commitment to process, what are our goals and which tools can help here?, retool is going to take time.

Followup Discussion:
- JM: We need to find better ways to utilize our team members more efficiently and track our time commitments more accurately. Tool should still provide that flexibility we need to do the other things we need like unexpected meetings with users, etc.
- Josh: important for him to see what everyone is doing.
- Will: that means everyone has to commit to putting that information in the tool. Is everyone committed to that?
- Scott: A good tool should help promote conversations between team members.
- Colin: One of the problems is "how much time is this going to take?" Do we have to commit to something to find out?
- Brian: whiteboard good, dependencies important, seeing what others doing is great, 2 day cycles is good!
- Ola: likes Agila and Mangle. Worried about how effort will this take to use?
- Chris: Do the current tools work for us? If we choose something else we are going to need to spend more time.
- Donald: Most of these tools seem no more time consuming then TRAC. Highly recommend everyone check out the demos for these tools
- Andrew: We need dependencies! Having everyone say what they are doing in the day is not hard. Seeing a users active tasks is vital.
- Donald: Its not 'what are you doing right now', agile is design to ask the question 'what are you active tasks in the next few days'
- Melissa: My $0.02 is that Mingle looks really nice, but maybe we should wait to switch until after 4.2.
- Chris: What we didn't talk about is how the code is structured. We have multiple instances of control systems. Everything will need to be unified if we go with one of these tools.
- Donald: Most of these tools will let us use multiple svn/project support.
- Carlos: Doesn't like our current system.
- Josh: Trac doesn't seem to be providing us with a clear view and everyone can do things their own way with it.
- JM: We need a way to visually represent tickets.
- Brian: This isn't just about picking a new tool its about refining our entire process - lets not forget that.
- Donald: We need to adopt the process that goes along with the tool we choose to use.
- Chris: Perhaps we should make a point list of what we want our process to do.
- Josh: We should take a survey about what process we need.
- Donald: Thinks we are better off buying in an existing process instead of 'reinventing our own process'
- Chris: Lets evaluate two of these tools, (JILA and Mingle), along with their processes, and have the person evaluating them come back with their impressions.
- Josh: If we are evaluating these tools it would be nice to integrate them with our current Trac in some way so those tickets aren't lost.

- Chris will set up and evaluate the tools, Josh/Scott will work on the survey. Those interested in looking at JIRA can look at the hibernate website (not sure about Mingle).

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