When implementing scrum for the first time, you read all about the roles, meetings, user stories and more. However, when it comes to planning the first sprint, most of us feel lost and unsure in what exactly needs to be done.
The basic steps of a sprint are pretty straightforward – plan, execute and finish, with the help of various meetings in between. However, after starting to implement, a lot of questions and uncertainties seem to appear and at this point most of the teams tend to start looking for the best practices. Unfortunately there is no such thing, and it is each team’s specificity that determines how the sprint needs to be organized. In other words, the best practices can only be created by the team itself.
While the best practices do not exist, there are some guidelines that you can follow to make the process smoother. Here is our take on the most important ones.
The duration of the sprint. Deciding what the duration of the sprint is going to be is completely up to you. However, remember two things – at the end of the sprint you have to provide an incremental value to the end customer and the sprint should be a relatively short iteration when compared to the whole project (most of the sprints run between 7 and 30 days).
At the moment, more and more companies are turning away from the old project management practices and searching for the new trends like agile and one of its methodologies – scrum. While most are successful in adopting the new practices, some however are struggling. While the reasons vary from the incompatibility with the process to the feeling that the methodology is too strict, the end result is the same – a team that is not getting a 100% result. However there seems to be a solution on the horizon – scrumban.
To put it simply scrumban is a mix of scrum and kanban. It takes certain components of both practices and mixes them together in order to create a new and enhanced one. In this post, however, we will not focus on the complete methodology, but instead we will take a look at how scrumban can improve the process of an unsuccessful scrum team. There are various reasons why teams find the scrum methodology unfitting – strictness, time constraints, continuous planning and others. For these teams scrumban is a great solution because it still has the main scrum principles and at the same time offers more flexibility and freedom to move forward.
When talking about reports, the image that comes to most of our heads is hundreds and hundreds of pages filled with words, numbers and charts. In fact, most of us do not like to either prepare or to read reports unless they contain the exact information we are looking for. However, this image of reporting is a little outdated as with the new technology available, they have changed and are able to bring a lot more to the table.
Since the computerization of the office, the changes in reports can be summarized in three words – automatic, on time and insightful. Nowadays, the reports are mostly automatic as various project management software does exist for the sole purpose of generating them for the team. Because of that, reports are also usually live, meaning that the needed report can be accessed at any time and it will provide up to date information. The insight that reports can create for the team is also greater, as a computer can quickly analyze and cross-analyze the important data to provide information that may not be visible at first.
Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a tool widely used by companies all over the world. It offers a great variety of features and covers all of the development phases and aspects. However, when covering every aspect of a large process it is hard to be perfect and companies using TFS are still seeking additional features to get the perfect user experience.
Eylean Board aims to do exactly that – enhance TFS project management experience by providing additional features. In order to do that, Eylean works as a two-way integration into TFS. It takes all the information related to work items from TFS and represents it in visual task boards. The information in Eylean is updated regularly and any changes are immediately transferred back to TFS. This ensures that the users always have the most recent information and can use the two tools interchangeably. Let us look into what sought after additions does Eylean bring into the TFS experience.
Weapon manufacturers are among the biggest and the most powerful companies in the world. However, despite all their accomplishments, they have a couple of weaknesses as well. One which is their data that, if leaked, could cause tremendous trouble for the company and the stakeholders. That is why the security of data is taken very seriously and that is why some of these companies are turning to the Lithuanian startup Eylean.
Eylean is a project management software for teams and companies of all sizes. And only three years after starting operations, multinational companies such as L3 Communications, British Petrolium, Tesla Motors, If and others are on the client list. Unlike most of the project management tools Eylean Board is not cloud-based. It offers a great variety of features for project management, however not being in the cloud is the feature that attracts the big companies with the sensitive data most.
Last week we took a short glance at scrum basics in Eylean Board. This week we will continue our how-to series by taking a look at the ways a backlog can be managed when carrying out projects with Eylean Board.
Eylean is a versatile software and there are a few ways all of the things can be done. The backlog is no exception with a variation of backlogs through the different teams and projects. So just to get you on track, we will discuss the three most common ways the backlogs can be arranged – as a column, as a row and as a separate board.
Managing your backlog as a column is probably the most traditional way. In this case, you choose a section of columns, usually the one on the left side of the board and dedicate it to the backlog items. In this way, you will have a separate backlog for each row of the board and you will be able to see immediately how many tasks are waiting to be completed. While this is very convenient in seeing the progress of the project and the task load, it can get very busy and clustered when dealing with large projects. Therefore this way of backlog management is recommended for projects with fewer tasks.
Whether you are planning a project for the first time or you have been doing it for years, getting used to new project management software can take some time. That is why we at Eylean Board decided to provide you with a short guide on scrumming with Eylean.
This guide will discuss the main scrum elements – the board, sprints, epics, user stories, and how they are represented in Eylean Board. We hope this will give you a basic understanding of our software for your first scrum project.
It is often thought that people in managing positions are more or less the same – they take charge, make decisions and are the center of any team. And while this is true, it is important to understand that managers differ greatly from each other just like any other employee in the company and at the end of the day they are individuals just like everyone else.
The most common way to differentiate managers is by two aspects – the way they make decisions and the way they treat their employees. This separation provides us with two very broad categories of management – autocratic and permissive, first being the sole decision maker and second only being the supervising power over the team that makes decisions for themselves. However separating all the managers only into two simple groups would be very misleading, so let’s go ahead and separate them into five!
Team foundation server or TFS is a collaboration platform, it covers the entire application lifecycle management. It is mainly used by software developers and it provides the tools to manage software development projects. Its core functions are source code management, reporting, requirements management, project management, automated builds, lab management, test management and release management.
Great majority of software today is built by teams, which usually include project managers, developer, testers etc. To build it successfully, team members need to communicate and to understand what is going on in a particular stage of a project, or how the project is doing overall. TFS is all about helping a team to communicate through the entire application lifecycle management, so why would anyone need to use it with Eylean?
Planning on demand is a method suited for fast paced production planning which has a dynamic, always changing environment. It is based on Scrumban methodology, which combines the flexibility of Kanban and the basic features of Scrum. The key principles of planning on demand are that you don’t plan too much, you control what is being done, your team is always occupied and a team is always aware of the situation.