Marty Andrews

artful code

Sunday, March 7, 2004

www.bigvisiblecharts.com

I've had bigvisiblecharts.com registered for a while now, and given that my last two blogs were about BVC's, I decided I might take the time to set it up. Now I'm on the search for more content.

If you've got a BVC that you use on your project, and you can send it to me without breaching any confidentiality of your project, I'd love to put it up on the site. All you need to do is email me a picture of your chart with a description. I'll put it up on the site with your name so we can all share in each others BVC wisdom.

Saturday, March 6, 2004

BVC - Who have you paired with?

At one of our regular retrospectives a few iterations back, the team decided that we had a bad habit of not rotating our pairs enough. More specifically, we tended to pair with the same few people for all of our tasks. That meant we could improve the sharing our knowledge to other team member.

Perryn Fowler was charged with trying to rectify the situation, and he drew this chart up on a whiteboard shortly afterwards:

The idea here is that you put a mark in the square that intersects your initials and your pairs. We didn't enforce any rules other than that. Instead, we just let people come to the realisation that they were filling in some squares a lot, and others not so much.

Monday, March 1, 2004

BVC - Iteration plan whiteboard

I'm a fan of Big Visible Charts. Ron Jeffries recently reminded me that I've been meaning to blog for a while about one I use to help manage my iterations. Its the whiteboard that I use to draw up the iteration plan and track progression through stories. Here's what it looks like:

I've removed the story names to protect the innocent, but you can see a few things at a quick glance.

  • Each story card has a name and number.
  • People have signed up for stories to work on them.
  • Relative sizes of stories are immediately obvious.
  • Total size of the iteration can be seen (in this case we scheduled 44 points worth).
  • Progress on stories can be seen by the shaded areas.
  • The current status of our FIT tests can be seen.

This is enormously interesting to anyone involved with the team when they go past. Issues are sometimes noted on the board (see the "stalled" note). Anyone interested in a particular story can tell if it is done or not. I can get an early indication if we are not going to complete all the cards, or if we need to schedule more. All in all, this is the most widely and actively used tracking tool on the project.