Willy's Reflections - Visual Studio ALM Rangers

| Willy-Peter Schaub | Visual Studio ALM Rangers | In search of IT simplicity, quality and tranquility |

Visual Studio ALM Rangers – September Highlights

Visual Studio ALM Rangers – September Highlights

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This post is a terse summary of major events that occurred in the Rangers community during September 2010.

Rangers Index Updates

Six Rangers introduced themselves this month on our Rangers Index:

The top picture selected from these Ranger intros is:
… Michael proving that Rangers also venture into the open and have fun :)

Rangers Solutions started in September

We had three projects that were formally kicked off:

  • LAB Management Guide (TFSLM)
    The vision of this projects is to provide practical and scenario-based guidance, backed by  custom VM Template automation for reference environments
  • Word Plug-in for TFS (TFSWP)
    The vision of this project is to support the communication between the non-technical users, who prefer Word as requirements elicitation tool, and the developer persona. Bidirectional link between Word and TFS work item tracking is a typical example but as usual, all details will be defined by the project team.
  • Wall of Scrum (TFSSW)
    TFS 2010 has a  compelling story on agile development but there is something missing. Customers are asking for a digital Scrum board as an alternative to the sticky notes on planning board. This solution is going to be integrated with TFS for enhanced team collaboration. As usual, we are going to focus on a few top features and at the same time deliver an extensible and customizable solution.

Another one was announced, but will be kicked off next month:

  • Build Customization Guide (VSBCG)
    This Ranger project has the primary goal of delivering scenario based and hands-on guidance for the customization and deployment of TFS Builds activities such as versioning, code signing, branching.

Rangers Champions

We know who the new four top Visual Studio ALM Ranger Champions from our communities are and each has been notified. As soon as they appear on the Rangers MSDN Landing page, we will announce them on this blog and with the communities.

Rangers “Ruck” … looking back after one month of trial use

Our Ruck Master, Brian Blackman, has probably been tearing out his hair this month, as the TFSLM team is starting to use and settle down in the “Ruck” environment. From my perspective we are still busy filing rough edges, trying to get the backlog to a state where the reports are meaningful and generally flapping our wings at times … but, it has improved the transparency and collaboration within the team, and more importantly is highlighting project challenges we often only noticed towards the end of a project in the past.

From my side the Ruck Framework gets 5 stars, the Ruck Master 5 stars and the team’s use of the framework a 2 star … out of 5 stars.

Rangers Infrastructure Changes

As part of the new solutions we started and the Ruck framework, we introduced:

  • Consolidated SharePoint Portal accessible by all Rangers, used for Rangers cross-project collaboration and a good landing place for those, like I, that can not memorise all the links, templates and details associated with multiple Rangers projects.
  • Team Foundation Server 2010 Team Project accessible by all Rangers per project, ensuring we eat our own dog food and use the excellent ALM tools.
  • Controlled Vocabulary … to standardise emails and allow everyone to use effective rules, we have introduced the Controlled Vocabulary add-in for all email based communication.

Visual Studio 2010 Focused Solution Downloads

At the end of this month the popularity amongst the Visual Studio 2010 based Rangers solutions looks as follows:

  • My dogs are famous! ;-)

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