Best Big Data Graphics
Note : The below article may not be appropriate for Latest version of VSTS since it provides web interface for all the tasks mentioned in this article, due to non-availability of older version of studio some of the snips/screenshots are from VS 2010.
Opportunity: Most of the users in our Organization use Visual Studio for creating Requirements, work Items etc. Currently Developers, Testers and Program Managers/Solution Managers use VSTS as a Source code control and a repository for maintaining and tracking Requirements, Tasks, Risks, Issues.
SharePoint is a common tool for collaboration and its primarily being used as a document repository. since these tools can be connected seamlessly with out of box feature and zero coding effort. There is an opportunity to use these for effectively surfacing the data in VSTS using Excel on SharePoint.
These tools can be used for creating dashboards accessible over web browser to audience across the organization. It would be help Project Stakeholder effectively track an Agile Project.
An ideal dash board can be built with following features contain the following
· Executive Summary :
· high level description of current status of the project. Status indicated in Red, Green, Yellow colors and summary of any Risks that need immediate attention (beyond teams control that might need external or higher management intervention/help)
· High level project plan (this is useful in case of a project having multiple sprints, each sprint ending with a specific done criteria that helps in starting next sprint)
· Current week Highlights/Low lights
· Scrum Section
· Burn down
· Sprint Backlog – should include the estimated and actual hours
· Sprint Dates
· Daily Scrum Note (Very important in case several teams are working across geographies in parallel sprints)
Below is a mock-up of a Dash board in discussion
High level solution approach
· Create Requirements/Backlog in TFS
· Using Excel TFS data access tab, pull all the work-items (Requirements/Tasks etc) to Excel
· Excel is hosted on to SharePoint as Web Part.
· Each sheet in excel can be hosted as separate Web Part and represents one section in the above dashboard
· Developers, Testers will update the VSTS work-items as they progress during the sprint
· Sprint Burndown chart is prepared in Excel
· Using refresh feature in Excel the data is refreshed in Excel on a day to day basis and available for global view every day. Scrum Master can refresh the excel on a daily basis to provide updated view of data.
· A List web part in SharePoint can be added to site to Update daily Scrum Notes.
· The excel work book that is uploaded to SharePoint can have one sheet exclusively for Capacity and team details.
· Existing infrastructure like Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, SharePoint, and Excel that are currently discretely used. Can be integrated with minimal our of box features without coding
· No custom application is required. Graphs and calculations feature in Excel can used to prepare Daily Burn Down Chart
· SharePoint can be use for Hosting and provides access over intranet. User Access feature of SharePoint can be used for controlling access.
· No additional training is required since Developers and tester will update their Tasks as they do in Visual Studio
· Product Backlog :
· VSTS provides an ideal way to capture requirements. Subsequently the requirements can be linked to Epic, Stories, UserScenarios, UseCases, Code check-ins and Test Cases. This helps maintain requirement matrix in a clean way.
All the Requirements are created in VSTS as work Item with type Requirement by the Product Owner, all necessary documentation and wireframes are attached to the requirements. Each of these requirements are decomposed to a Use cases. , this helps in fine grain understanding of the functionality that is being built into the system. VSTS provides a way to create Use Cases and linked to parent User Scenarios and Requirements. Below is a the traceability matrix that can be enabled using VSTS
· Against each of the Use Case, Development, Test and Infrastructure (Build, Documentation, Server Setup) VSTS Work items with type Task are created, each task not exceeding Eight Hours . Having granularity of the tasks at eight hours not only helps in better tracking on a day to day basis but also helps in getting a meaning full burndown.
· Built in features of VSTS help maintain history and tracking, easy access to external apps.
Area Path attribute is used to maintain the Functional version and Iteration Path is used to maintain the Sprint version of the project. Work items, scope can be segregated and maintained for use by different Sprint teams by using Iteration path attribute.
§ A clean Requirements traceability matrix, along with data required for tracking the sprint will be available.
§ Having the above matrix also helps Geographically disparate teams have visibility to respective owners of Tasks
§ Helps Product Owners to know the parts of requirements that are getting implemented and provides decision making ability on what to be added.
· Sprint Backlog and Sprint Planning Meeting:
· All the requirements along with their type, sub-type can be pulled into an excel sheet during Sprint Planning meeting, this helps Product Owner to pick the right scope for the Sprint. The Estimates for the requirements are directly retrieved from Baseline Work attribute of Task Work Item of VSTS and need not be added to excel manually
· Capacity Vs Estimates : Since available capacity is already available in one of the sheets in the excel. Graphs similar to below can provide visual representation of Capacity to Estimates
All the estimates are entered in the Baseline Work field for Task WorkItem in VSTS . This forms the basis for calculating the overall estimates for the sprint
§ One single view team can view during the sprint planning meeting
§ Easy identification of available capacity and required estimates will helps Product owners in choosing right scope.
§ Helps Geographically disparate teams have visibility of scope of a particular Scrum team
§ Built in features to capture estimates and day to day features
· Burn down: All the team members would be updating their respective Tasks in VSTS with Remaining Work and Completed work. These two fields along with Baseline Work Field help in building the Daily BurnDown.
· Cumulative Baseline work : Data for this trend line is retrieve from the Baseline Work field highlighted in the above picture
· Cumulative Completed work : Data for this trend line is retrieve from the Completed Work field highlighted in the above picture
· Cumulative Remaining work : Data for this trend line is retrieve from the Remaining Work field highlighted in the above picture
Above data is pulled into one of the sheets of excel hosted on SharePoint. Using Graphs feature of excel a burndown graph is created. Once in a day data refresh by scrum master keeps the data upto date from VSTS to Excel.
· Helps Geographically disparate teams have visibility to Scrum Team’s velocity
· No additional coding required since this can be accomplished using built in features of excel
· Tracking progress and identifying risk situation :
- if Green line and Red line the graph are getting closer that means the sprint is not on track
- if Green line deviates of from the linear Blue trend line in the graph would mean cumulative remaining work would take more time than anticipated.
· Scrum Meeting: All the Scrum notes can be maintained in free form text box on the sharepoint. Notes can be added on a day to day basis.
· Caution : team may be tempted not to attend the meeting but directly update notes, this should be discouraged since the intent of scrum is not about sharing status updates but for building collaboration.
· Helps Geographically disparate teams have visibility to Scrum Meeting details especially if teams work during different timezones. Sending emails can be avoided.
· No additional coding required since this can be accomplished using built in features of SharePoint
· Teams spend considerable time preparing excel sheets for sprint planning meeting, sending burndown emails, sending scrum notes if the several teams are located in geographically disparate locations. This solution provides a time saving as solution with minimal or no additional cost (since internal tools are used without any additional coding effort).
· For scaling projects, an additional section can be added per scrum team on the SharePoint to get multiple Scrum teams view.
There were some interesting aspects that i came to know when i moved from a programmer to a software project manager.
As a software programmer, i would always think
“had i got that additional day, i can add this additional feature”
“oh why the hell is this so urgent..when it was like this for last so many years”..
Switch gear..as a Project Manager
–need to stick to the scope, schedule, budget
–its urgent because, it hurts users productivity..
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■Bright sunlight coming over the back of you when taking a photo: -0.3 or -0.7 EV compensation
■For shots with strong light coming behind the subject (back lit): +0.7 or +1.0 EV
■Scene with bright sun: 0 to -2 EV
■Snow, beach or highly reflected water: -2/3 to -2 EV
■Close-up of white or yellow flower: -1/3 to -1 EV
■Dimly lit night sky: 0 to +2 EV
■Land or seascape taken just prior to dusk: 0 EV to +2/3
■Very dark or black objects: + 2/3 to +1 1/3