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Planning, Estimating, Managing Documentation in Agile Environments Bombosch
 

Planning, Estimating, Managing Documentation in Agile Environments Bombosch

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This presentation introduces core concepts of Agile development and applies them to product documentation development.

This presentation introduces core concepts of Agile development and applies them to product documentation development.

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    Planning, Estimating, Managing Documentation in Agile Environments Bombosch Planning, Estimating, Managing Documentation in Agile Environments Bombosch Presentation Transcript

    • Planning, Estimating, and Managing Documentation Projects in an Agile Environment LavaCon 2010 San Diego, CA
    • Agenda
      • What is Agile development?
        • Principles
        • Methodologies
        • Practices
      • Challenges and opportunities for technical communicators
      • Agile information development
        • Planning
        • Estimating
        • Tracking
      • Discussion
    • What is Agile Development?
      • Agile Manifesto’s four core values
        • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
        • Working software over comprehensive documentation
        • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
        • Responding to change over following a plan
      • 12 Agile values (my short summary)
        • Collaborate with the customer
        • Accept and welcome change, even late in projects
        • Recognize that it is difficult to define requirements and recognize obstacles in advance
        • Promote teamwork, collaboration, and agility throughout the project life cycle
    • What are Agile Development Methodologies?
      • Scrum
        • Iterative development cycles called sprints
        • Daily standup meetings
        • Complete development process in each sprint
      • Extreme programming
        • Similar to Scrum
        • Coding in pairs
        • Strong emphasis on debugging for each release
      • Feature driven development
        • Develop feature by feature, not in sprints
    • Key Scrum Terms Planning terms Roles and Responsibilities
        • Sprints
        • Product owner
        • Scrum
        • Scrum master
        • Velocity
        • Customer
        • Points
        • Developer
        • Poker
        • Information developer?
      Artifacts Requirements
        • Burndown chart
        • Stories
        • Product backlog
        • Themes
        • Sprint backlog
        • Epics
    • Initial Planning with Scrum
      • Define and prioritize broad list of "user stories" with entire team
      • Estimate effort for each story in terms of “points”
      • Prioritize requirements
      • Develop rough schedule
    • Sprints
      • Sprint kickoff
        • Determine last iteration's velocity
        • Update the burndown rate
        • Start with high priority requirements first
        • Respond to changes to stories, schedules, estimates
        • Assign stories to team and individual in terms of points
      • Daily scrum
        • All team members
        • 10-15 minutes
        • Each member gives status update
        • Update activity on project board
        • Schedule time to resolve issues
      • Each sprint is a complete release cycle
    • Challenges for Technical Communicators
      • Roles
        • Writers
        • Managers
        • Project managers
      • Processes
        • Project planning
        • Information development
        • Editing
        • Tools
        • Training
    • Opportunities for Technical Communicators
      • Writers
        • Expand skills
        • Integrate and collaborate better with development team
        • Focus on user
      • Managers
        • Hire different writers
        • Expand scope of influence
        • Experiment
      • Project managers
        • New skills
        • Changing role--not necessarily confined to tech pubs role
        • Collaborate and facilitate
    • Initial Conclusions
      • Embrace Agile!
      • Adopt Agile methodologies for info development!
      • Focus on the user!
      • Expand sphere of influence!
      • Advocate for your area of expertise!
      • Make it hard to outsource technical writing!
    • Planning Fundamentals
      • Planning is everything, plans are nothing!
      • As projects progress, so does project knowledge grow
        • Better understanding of user stories
        • Better estimates of effort
        • Able to correct early schedule estimates
      • Express the schedule as a range of iterations, not a firm date
        • Example: 14-20 iterations
        • Reset expectations as project knowledge grows
        • Reset when stories are added or subtracted
    • Early Iteration Planning
      • Documentation is a user story too!
      • Agile information plan
        • Content matrix
          • Titles
          • Audiences
          • Delivery method
        • Packaging and localization requirements
      • User analysis/information architecture
        • Map information stories to project stories
        • Personas
        • Use cases
        • Scenarios
      • Release as early user documentation
    • Mid-Project Iteration Planning
      • Develop feature documentation
      • Update user analysis
      • Update earlier feature documentation
      • Start
        • Installation
        • Reference
        • Conceptual information
      • Produce documentation prototypes for each sprint
      • Act as QA for user expectations!
    • Late-Project Iteration Planning
      • Polish, review, complete information development
      • Start prototyping production output
      • Stay agile!
      • Prepare for launch:
        • Edit
        • Production
        • Localization
        • Packaging
    • Estimating
      • What is an appropriate level of estimating?
        • Point of diminishing return
        • Too much analysis may even be more inaccurate!
      • What are sources of estimates
        • Expert opinion
        • Analogy
        • Disaggregation
      • We are most accurate when we estimate size relative to other items, not in absolute sizes
    • Planning Poker
      • How big is the story in terms of points?
      • Each member must estimate
        • Write down number of points
        • Show answer at same time
        • “ Reasonable time limit”
        • Defend estimates
        • Repeat until a general consensus emerges
      • Suggested point spreads:
        • 1, 2, 4, 8
        • 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
      • Sand buckets, not water buckets
    • Tracking Progress
      • Velocity = number of story points completed in an iteration
      • How to give credit for work complete
        • Only if 100% complete and accepted
        • Velocity will suffer for one iteration
        • Velocity will increase in the next
        • Over time, the trend will smooth out
    • Velocity, Re-planning, and Re-estimating
      • What if something takes longer or shorter than expected?
        • Don’t change the estimates, use the velocity to re-plan the delivery dates
      • Re-estimating
        • Not necessary if stories sizes relative to each other has not changed
        • Necessary if you recognize that the size of a story was not sized properly relative to other stories
    • Agile Structured Writing
      • Pro’s
        • Topic oriented
        • Quick production
        • Quick localization
      • Cons
        • Inflexible
        • May not fit the organizational culture
    • Presentation Inputs
      • Experience
      • Discussions on STC management SIG
      • Survey
      • Literature review
        • Mike Cohn
        • James Highsmith
        • Internet
      • Draft of ISO standard for managing documentation in agile environments
      • I’m happy to share sources