Willy's Reflections - Visual Studio ALM Rangers

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

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  • Blog Post: Dog-fooding Journal #3 – Train-Research-Planning (TRP) Sprint Journey

    This is a continued journal for our dog-fooding, targeting primarily our Ruck masters and anyone who wants to understand what we do and why   We immerse ourselves into the 2-weeks of preparations enclosed in the TRP sprint and accompany Jon and his vsarSecurity team on their adventure. This is the...
  • Blog Post: Dog-fooding Journal #2 – Train-Research-Planning (TRP) Sprint … assembling the team

    As part of the preparations we have to commit the team, which often creates a dilemma  of having too many volunteers See I volunteered for a project, but am booked on another voyage … why? . commit, welcome and kick-start the team After selecting the “dream team” we add the team members to the vsarSecurity...
  • Blog Post: Dog-fooding Journal #1 – Train-Research-Planning (TRP) Sprint Preparations

    We will journal our Ruck innovations dog-fooding (see Proposed innovations … a byte for your thoughts? and Proposed innovations to the v1.2 guidance. Thoughts? for details) as part of the vsarSecurity prototyping project. This ensures that we have a transparent record when we eventually update our guidance...
  • Blog Post: ALM Ranger Projects - I volunteered for a project, but am booked on another voyage … why?

    We just completed the second kick-off meeting of a new project and are now in the frustrating dilemma of having too many volunteers, with other projects on the horizon. Working with part-time volunteers, scattered around the globe, we try very hard to embrace the lean software pillar “respect for people...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers Dogfooding – Epics are being assimilated into Features

    During 2010 we introduced Epics to the ALM Ranger “Ruck” process model to define the value proposition, elevator pitch and the team collaboration story. In essence it is an intent container for product backlog items and associated tasks. Back then … we had an Epic As part of the continuous 24x7 dog-fooding...
  • Blog Post: Let us talk about “Quality Bars”

    When we talk about quality bars, we are not talking about the phenomenal gems such as the Kalahari Oasis in the Mabalingwe game reserve, which I visited and thoroughly enjoyed on more than a couple of hot days under the sun. Instead we are starting a discussion on the quality bars we are using and considering...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers Dogfooding – Code Review and Build process

    As part of our dog fooding we have been working on improving the Quality Bar , Definition of “DONE” and knowing when it is safe to sleep peacefully , project principles and more recently code reviews with the overall objective of shipping better solutions and creating happier users. Updated : 2014-04...
  • Blog Post: How you | ALM Rangers can improve the elevator pitch

    My head literally started to spin during a recent PM event “How to Create Your Elevator Pitch”. I wondered how we used to pitch our ideas, how we evolved, how we intuitively adopted a lot of the improvements that were highlighted in the course and more importantly how we can improve going forward. Historical...
  • Blog Post: How the ALM Rangers are using Visual Studio ALM … in a practical nutshell

    Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 bring a valuable set of features and capabilities to agile teams, providing an easy, simple-to-use experience on top of a powerful, customizable platform that is continually evolving. We were the first users of the service and  have been embracing...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding – What is a silent release?

    ALM Rangers are passionate about technology and about adding value to the ALM community. Many have said that they do not have a 24x7 job … they are having fun 24x7. It is extremely important that our “hobby” and the “fun” does not turn into a “job” … otherwise we will loose the passion, the innovation...
  • Blog Post: Thinking aloud – Is it a feature or a separate product within an initiative?

    We have projects that are umbrella projects for other “related” projects, which are loosely coupled and usually share no common codebase. Our current logical structure in version control usually looks as follows. Each sub-product or initiative is represented as a separate feature, which came about as...
  • Blog Post: When do the ALM Rangers [not] ship source code–Part 9

    We have been asked as to when or why we are releasing the source code for our solutions. To find some answers we will start a discussion around the types of solutions we are working on, when/how we typically release the source code and explain some of the anomalies that are probably ruffling some feathers...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding … dealing with bugs on tfs.visualstudio.com – Part 8

    Bugs? We are not talking about these interesting colleagues … … but about the Work Item Type “ Bug ”, used to report missing or incorrect features, crashes or other unwelcome guests in software development lifecycles. During the course of our dog-fooding adventures...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding … proving the new process and lifting the last confusions (we hope) – Part 7

    Backed by a successful dog fooding story! The vsarGuidance – TfsBranchTool team was the first team to start and finish a project using our latest revision of the Ruck process. With a minor burn down hicc up , resulting from team taking on more work mid-sprint (scope creep), the three sprint burn-down...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding … pondering over documentation – Part 6

    Continuing from ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding, Ruck and the new TLAs – Part 5 I decided to share some learning's and recommendations around documentation, which is part of a Program Manager ’s, in fact everyone in the team’s project lifecycle. Start with the basics Whether you are documenting a specification...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding, Ruck and the new TLAs – Part 5

    Continuing from ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding and the age of the visual board – Part 4 we will focus on the Ruck backlog in this post, sharing experiences, asking for candid feedback and giving the ALM Ranger project leads a checklist to work with. IMPORTANT : Always refer to the ALM Rangers Practical Ruck...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers – Raising the Quality Bar for Tooling (Part 1)

    When you ask the most pedantic and quality driven ALM Ranger to help you raise the quality bars, you are setting yourself up for an Epic adventure Jokes aside, Michael Fourie has not only been instrumental in the new ALM ranger documentation templates, but has become a feared reviewer for tooling and...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding and the age of the visual board – Part 4

    This is a continuation of the dog fooding discussions: ALM Rangers switching to single TPC/TP and multiple Teams model ALM Ranger solution types and a practical walkthrough of the Quick Response concept (Part 2)   ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding and the “Angst” Factor – Part 3   Dogfooding update...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers ALM Dogfooding and the “Angst” Factor – Part 3

    This is a continuation of the ALM Ranger solution types and a practical walkthrough of the Quick Response concept (Part 2)   and especially the ALM Rangers switching to single TPC/TP and multiple Teams model discussions, in which we covered the solution types and the Ruck continuous process improvement...
  • Blog Post: ALM Ranger solution types and a practical walkthrough of the Quick Response concept (Part 2)

    in World-Wide Virtual Teams from the ALM Rangers perspective (Part 1) we introduced the concept of teams, v irtual teams (vTeam) and the ALM Ranger w orld w ide v irtual Teams ( wwv Team). Operating within an organization embracing an ambitious goal to drastically reduce its solution release cadence...
  • Blog Post: FAQ - When can I submit ideas for ALM Ranger projects?

    In Submit your Visual Studio idea using UserVoice we explained how we listen to new ideas and how you should submit your ideas. In this post we will answer the “when can I submit ideas for ALM Ranger projects” question. Context – How did the ALM Rangers (p)=>{Listen(); Act...
  • Blog Post: World-Wide Virtual Teams from the ALM Rangers perspective (Part 1)

    Our team has been discussing books and, more recently, articles focused on leadership. The latest article, Look Beyond the Team: It’s About the Network , by Jon R. Katzenbach, made me contemplate why we are reading and not writing these articles, as our team has a platter of real-world experience that...
  • Blog Post: ALM Rangers switching to single TPC/TP and multiple Teams model

    We shipped the Team Foundation Server Planning Guide BETA a while ago and are currently in a holding pattern waiting for feedback from our product owner for the release candidate which is dusted, packaged and waiting for a go-for-launch sign. In parallel the infrastructure working group is looking at...
  • Blog Post: Pushing the request feedback feature to new limits as part of dogfooding

    The Visual Studio ALM Rangers have been dogfooding the Team Foundation Service to the limit for months, often exploring new features and literally misusing them for the better :) … request , submit and analyse feedback! Request Feedback feature The latest feature that falls into this category is the...
  • Blog Post: Why we believe in dogfooding …

    Who is we? We are the project team working on delivering practical and scenario based guidance for the implementation of Team Foundation Server. We will guide you through the decisions whether to have one or more Team Foundation Servers, one or more Team Project Collections, one or more Team Projects...
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