Willy's Reflections - Visual Studio ALM Rangers

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

Visual Studio 11 Readiness Initiatives – Driven by Epics, Personas and Customer Types

Visual Studio 11 Readiness Initiatives – Driven by Epics, Personas and Customer Types

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In Requirements Management for Ranger Projects ... Epics, Team and Personas we introduced a more formalised requirements management process for all new Rangers projects, which were targeting Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2010.

Personas

In the upcoming Visual Studio 11 Readiness Content (Understanding our Visual Studio 11 Readiness conspiracy) we are reusing the personas and customer type definitions to map our out-of-band tooling and guidance with real-world scenarios. We introduced for new personas Alex, Bill, Jeff and Paul as required for the new solutions as shown in the summary illustration below:
Requirements Management for Ranger Projects - Master

Customer Types

Here is an example of a customer types used in the guidance, whereby this extract is from the Team Foundation Server Project Planning project:

Troy Research is a small application development organization that focuses on developing specialized solutions for numerous clients. Because of the volume of clients, they have to run a lean and efficient team. In addition to performing ISV work, a number of individuals from Troy Research travel to client sites to work on projects for the client, gather requirements, or perform integration work for solutions that the client has developed. Troy Research has around 100 employees with about 20 people interacting with Team Foundation Server.

How are the Personas and Customer Types used?

If we look at the Team Foundation Server Project Planning guidance document, we note the following in the overall table of content:

Requirements Management for Ranger Projects - Index
  1. Each document is encouraged to include a Customer Profiles section, which describes the hypothetical customer types and environments used by the guidance.
  2. Likewise each document describes the key personas targeted.
  3. The Epic Mapping section maps the Epics to the targeted personas and references the relevant Rangers solution content.
  4. Each practical guidance section has a Persona Mapping section, which ties back to the Epic Mapping.
  5. Customer Types and Personas are used in the documented strategies and recommendations, to ensure that the reader can picture the solution in the relevant environment.

Comments welcome! The above is an interim snapshot of work in progress, which implies that changes can still be made.

What’s Next?

We will be investigating the feasibility of aligning the ALM Ranger personas with the personas used by other groups, so that we can hopefully consolidate to one common set of definitions.

  • I know this is an evolving thing. But I thought of three roles that very conspicuous to me in their absence:

    * Product Owner - makes decisions on priorities, engages other stakeholders as needed

    * Subject Matter Expert - been doing her job for years, knows it well. Knows the rules, invaluable during test planning and testing

    * Professional Business Analyst - works with product owner to ensure backlog is healthy, helps identify inconsistent, missing, or incorrect requirements, teaches product owner and SMEs how to produce good stories, and helps them if needed

    Without the involvement of these three roles, we may deliver software extremely fast and often, it may be reliable, but it may be useless or even counterproductive.  Anything we can do with TFS and Visual Studio to help people in these roles collaborate and be full citizens in our product development community will be welcome.  

  • Great feedback. We have all three personas in our ALM Ranger projects these days, but have not highlighted them as part of our targeted personas. All three are pivotal to the success of our solutions. I have forwarded your feedback to the personas team for consideration.

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