Willy's Reflections - Visual Studio ALM Rangers

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

Seattle – Day 1: Presenting the blueprint

Seattle – Day 1: Presenting the blueprint

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Pictures of the day

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As you can surely notice, the first ALM Rangers session was special, fun and we got *very* candid feedback from the audience, which is PHENOMENAL. Keep it up!

Learning's of the day

Concerns

The feedback we received in our first session is inline with what we have been hearing from the communities:

  • Some of the ALM Ranger guides are getting too comprehensive and big to consume.
  • Discoverability of ALM Rangers tooling and guidance is difficult on CodePlex!
  • Videos not considered valuable by some?!?
  • Effort invested in keeping screenshots to the latest version in Hands-on Labs is better spent in other areas?!?

Our current FY13+ thinking

It was great to get a lot of the candid feedback we got and having the discussions with the field engineers. Fortunately we have been mulling over many of the challenges raised in the first session. Here are some of the thoughts and discussions we are having.

We would like to …

  • Run with small (1-5) sized Ranger teams in future.
  • Reduce the cadence of Ranger projects to a quarterly rhythm.
  • Slice and dice traditionally large projects and deliverables into crisper, smaller and more focused deliverables.
  • Consider a new format for value-add guidance, creating scenario focused 5-10 page documents.
    • Traditional media:
      • 1 x Guide
      • m x Quick Reference Posters
      • 1+ Hands-on Labs
      • 0+ Videos.
    • Future media:
      • n x 5-10 page scenario (Epic) focused documents, which include Quick Reference Poster(s) and Walkthroughs
      • 0+ traditional Hands-on Labs
      • 0+ Videos

What do you think?

  • I like the direction this is going!  I will grab a doc over a video any day and I will be more likely to spot read a 5 or 10 page doc than dig into a 50+ page doc.

  • Absolutely agree with Tim. A video may intrigue me into reading a document. Can't comment on the size though, some times you really need to get into great detail to explain the subject. I wouldn't necessarily want to limit the size of the document to just 5-10 pages.

  • I've been using screenshots for software documentation since the late 90's and have noticed the burden of keeping them updated to the latest version of the software in the early 2000's

    I do agree that today it costs too much to keep screenshots updated. One way to solve the problem is to minimize the use of screenshots, but there are situations when they are really useful, so maybe the solution is finding a way to automate the capturing the screenshots

    Maybe the technology behind MTM could help somehow.

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