Case study on agile planning sessions

Daphne Ogle daphne at
Thu Oct 11 20:48:45 UTC 2007

On Oct 11, 2007, at 1:23 PM, Michelle D'Souza wrote:

>> Some questions to ponder before next week's meeting:
>> -  Are there applications that can help us replicate the  
>> interactive moving around of story cards in our distributed world?
> I think Breeze has a whiteboard feature but I haven't played with  
> it. Could that be used?
It could.  What would be really good is an application that allows us  
to drag the virtual story cards (like post-its or index cards) to see  
in real time how moving activities around affects the schedule.  Then  
we can do things like move a card up an iteration and see that we'll  
have to move something out to allow the new one to fit in the  
allotted time for an iteration.  I'm not sure this is doable on- 
line.  We used to have all the cards spread out on a table (as shown  
in the pics in the case study).
>> -  What's the best way to do estimating?  My experience has been  
>> that each team member gives an estimate for a particular activity  
>> based on that individual doing the work and then an average is  
>> used for planning.  In that case, we didn't know who would be  
>> assigned to each activity at the point of estimating so it made  
>> sense to take an average.  We may have more information about who  
>> will be working on particular activities.  How does Toronto handle  
>> estimates?
> Generally, we estimate our tasks together deferring to the person  
> with the most knowledge or experience with the specific work. We  
> sit down together, go through a stack of features and quickly put  
> times on them. It's easier and quicker to estimate when we can  
> think in ideal time - meaning uninterrupted time to spend on the  
> task - so we don't worry about how long in real time it will take.  
> We've been tracking how many ideal work days worth of work we  
> accomplish in an iteration and we use that history to schedule work  
> for iterations.
Makes sense -- thanks!
> Michelle
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Michelle D'Souza
> Software Developer, Fluid Project
> Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
> University of Toronto

Daphne Ogle
Senior Interaction Designer
University of California, Berkeley
Educational Technology Services
daphne at
cell (510)847-0308

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