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

ALM Ranger Solutions – Proposed innovations … a byte for your thoughts?

ALM Ranger Solutions – Proposed innovations … a byte for your thoughts?

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In ALM Rangers Ruck – Proposed innovations to the v1.2 guidance we discuss proposed innovations in our project process guidance. In this post we will explore how we currently see the project types, their duration and invite you to give us candid feedback on improving our value-add to the ALM Community.

objectives

As part of continuous innovations and learning, we are pondering over the following objectives:

  • Do less, better and quicker! We can always improve and do better next time.
  • Share solutions sooner, even if in ALPHA or BETA state to get early candid feedback.
  • Empower the ALM community to influence and take-over service mode ranger solutions.

project types and proposed innovations

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The quality bar at a higher resolution:
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As shown we triage project ideas, which happens quarterly, resulting in ideas categorised into GOclip_image002and NO-GO clip_image003categories. GO solution ideas which do not meet the pre-requisites, for example a dedicated product owner, project lead and sufficient volunteer bandwidth, are placed back into the NO-GO category.

community solution context

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The NO-GO solution ideas can then be triaged by the ALM community , rejected or launched as a community solution. A community solution  which are delivered by the ALM community with collaboration and support from the ALM Rangers are referred to as ALM Rangers Community Solutions. They are not included in ALM Rangers portfolio management and are not required to meet ALM Rangers quality standards, allowing the community to also be creative, agile, and responsive to community needs. As shown above  the quality bar ranges from none for unsupported, to minimal (quick reference solution) for supported solutions.

alm ranger solution context

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The GO solution ideas are scheduled for a kick-off, entering the process as outlined in ALM Rangers Ruck – Proposed innovations to the v1.2 guidance. The solutions are of type guidance, tooling, research, and  quick response, time boxed to 3-5, 3-5, 2-5 and 2-3 months respectively. The minimum quality ranges from minimal (quick reference solution) for both research and quick response, to high (ship binaries) for tooling solutions. The quick response solutions are shipped as one-off sample reference applications, which can be adopted by the ALM community and turned into an ALM Rangers Community Solution to maintain and enhance.

proposed innovations

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To cut a long story and context short … this is where we need your thoughts and ideas around improving our solutions, as listed on aka.ms/vsarsolutions.

here are some “rough” innovation thoughts …

  • Instead of waiting until we have hardened the solution in the HIP sprint, strive to drop “silent” ALPHA and BETA previews at the end of each DEV sprint.
  • Move all future guidance projects to the eBook format as introduced by the Better Unit Testing with Microsoft Fakes Guide project and continued with the TFS Upgrade Guide v3, the Visual Studio Lab Management Guide v3 and the forthcoming Version Control (ex Branching and Merging) Guide v3 projects.
  • Investigate the option of publishing guidance in an online (MSDN-like) style. Should this be in place or in addition to the classic PDF style guidance?
  • Move NO-GO or postponed GO projects ideas off the ALM Rangers idea queue and on to the community triage queue quicker.

we need your thoughts and consensus

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We need your thoughts and candid feedback, so that we can make decisions by consensus and start the dog-fooding of innovations with our next project adventures.

Add your comments below or contact us by email.

  • These are really good ideas.  I especially like the eBook format, which lets folks easily download and read the guidance offline and on devices like tablets and e readers.  Adding an MSDN-style online is also a good idea for browsers, but I would definitely suggest doing this in addition to eBooks, as each approach provides a unique value.

  • Regarding the Version Control guide, is it safe to assume that it will include guidance related to Git and TFS? As ALM consultants we are getting more questions about Git, but have varying levels of experience on our team. It would be great to get some more detailed guidance, especially around branching and merging since there seems to be a different mindset around branching and merging in the distributed version control world. Thanks!

  • @Dave, yes the Version Control guide will include four eBooks (Branching Strategies, TFVC Gems, Dependency Management using NuGet and Git for the TFVC User). The first three are available in a BETA Preview and the Git For TFVC Users will follow shortly.

  • @Edward, thank you for the candid feedback! In terms of MSDN-style, would you prefer the http://msdn.microsoft.com style or the http://blogs.msdn.com/ style?

  • I really like the idea to publish the guidance online. Especially the ability to switch between versions( I like this format : msdn.microsoft.com/.../ms165079(v=vs.120).aspx )

    I also think that you could just open up the "no-go" ideas to the community so that they (we) can poke around and possibly deliver some of the things in our own time.

    Sort of - these are good ideas, but the Rangers will not be taking them on in the foreseeable future.

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