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Re: OT: project managmement/incident tracking software suggestions?
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: OT: project managmement/incident tracking software suggestions?
- From: Zach Garner <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 11:14:59 -0600
- In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- References: <email@example.com>
I'll tell you my situation first: I'm at a university department. Our
team is mostly comprised of interns that come and go. Most don't work a
specific set of hours, etc. Basically, we are at risk of losing
developer knowledge when an intern leaves (which is somewhat frequently)
Developers are likely working on a project while other team members are
gone. We also have lots of smaller, low priority projects.
Our main problem is not finding the right tool, but finding the right
process, and actually sticking to it. After figuring out the right
process, we basically mix and match tools to fit the process. This isn't
a great solution, but it's the only one we have.
When we started out, we looked at a lot of project management software,
bug management, task lists, etc, but we really couldn't incorporate them
into the team's workflow. People just didn't contribute because they
didn't understand what they needed to do. We sat down, and tried to
figure out exactly what it is we needed, this is what we came up with:
For each project (defined in whatever terms you want, a single product
may be composed of different projects), we create the following:
- A "Weblog" / Journal that each developer must contribute to.
Everything a developer does goes in here as the developer does it. If
done properly, this let's us know everything that has been done. It
tells us common problems and solutions as the developer is working on
the project. This is largely stream of conscious dialog.
- We have a Task list that is added as formal goals and milestones are
- A Bug List is created.
- HowTo Guides and FAQs are created for each project, and added to as
needed. (useful for infrequent system administration type tasks, but
also more formal documents such as Coding Standards go here)
- A References section is used extensively. Any link to an external
document is added here, likewise references are made from the WebLog to
the HowTo articles, from Bugs to the WebLog, etc.
- A commenting system is very useful for all of the above features.
After decided what we wanted, we set out to start tracking that
information. Initially, we used LyX to create basically a single text
document for each project. We manually managed Bugs and Tasks,
references we handled nicely with BibTeX.
As you start using a simple tool, you begin to understand where software
tools will help the process. Bugzilla handles bugs. A CMS (drupal) to
handle the weblog. A Wiki to handle the HowTo articles. Todo lists
haven't become large enough to be unwieldy and need a software tool.
When developers get used to blogging, we have a pretty accurate picture
of what everyone is doing. Likewise, Wiki's give developers a sense
responsibility to keep documentation fresh. The increased collaboration
seems to help motivate, at least to the point that developers don't want
to seem inactive.
On Mon, 2003-11-10 at 10:37, John Wells wrote:
> I just took over a very chaotic team and am looking for some software that
> will help focus our development and incident management processes.
> What software are you using for this role? I've looked at a number of
> open source packages but haven't found the right one yet. I'd prefer open
> source, as our budget is really low, but if I find the right OTS product
> I'll fight for it.
> Thanks for your insight!