Mingle Case-study with Minnesotta State Colleges and Universities


Published on

While adopting Agile processes for their state-wide
development teams at Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MNSCU), the
Enterprise Software Development division sought to develop more mature
Agile processes among their teams, and to find a tool that would facilitate
those Agile ideas in a distributed team culture. By using Mingle, they can
customize the tool to mirror and support their development, collaboration and
reporting needs. They also now deliver software products that are more timely
and well tested and better meet the needs of their customers, the students and
staff at MNSCU.

Published in: Technology, Business
1 Comment
1 Like
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Mingle Case-study with Minnesotta State Colleges and Universities

  1. 1. CASE STUDY mingle R MINNESOTA STATE COLLEGES Embrace Change. Agile Project Management & UNIVERSITIES MNSCU Deliver Certainty. Mingle Bene ts Taking Higher Education to New Heights MNSCU Enterprise Software IT Team Collaborates Flexibility To Improve Product Quality in Education Software Because the development team uses Mingle for their sprint planning and daily Executive Summary—While adopting Agile processes for their state-wide stand-up meetings, the team is more development teams at Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MNSCU), the nimble and can more easily Enterprise Software Development division sought to develop more mature accommodate to change, including bringing in ad hoc resources to complete Agile processes among their teams, and to nd a tool that would facilitate speci c tasks. Mingle also helps the team those Agile ideas in a distributed team culture. By using Mingle, they can evolve and de ne its organizational customize the tool to mirror and support their development, collaboration and processes over time. reporting needs. They also now deliver software products that are more timely and well tested and better meet the needs of their customers, the students and Visibility sta at MNSCU. By using Mingle, the team succeeded in providing real-time visibility into the development process to all participants, which helped to e ectively communicate The Customer project status and proactively manage The MNSCU Enterprise Software Development division provides software change. applications for 32 educational institutions, including 25 two-year colleges and seven state universities, reaching nearly 400,000 students and employees. The division has developed and maintains numerous enterprise systems including Collaboration human resources, online student application and class registration, online Mingle’s shared workspace allows the curriculum delivery, accounting and nance, student housing and nancial aid. A entire team to share all project artifacts division of the O ce of the Chancellor and based in St. Paul, MN, the Enterprise IT and avoid losing valuable information, division has 152 employees in seven o ces state-wide, including ve application such as lost discussions in email chains. development teams, one QA team, and three teams of support analysts. With Mingle’s centralized repository, the project’s backlog, key user stories, acceptance criteria, and task status updates are all in one place and are easily The Challenge In 2007, several of MNSCU’s Enterprise Software Development teams began to accessible by all team members. implement Agile “ideas” and processes. The Web Applications Development team in Minneapolis (WADM), which is responsible for HR applications, started to use Scrum and was searching for an Agile management and collaboration tool to For more information about Mingle automate release and sprint planning and to better manage overall product or to request a demo, please delivery e ort. contact: Prior to using Mingle, the team worked with Microsoft® Project, Word and Excel for EMAIL: studios@thoughtworks.com day-to-day project management and task organization. The team created and tracked stories, tasks, and dependencies in Microsoft® O ce documents and CALL: stored them as shared les on the network. This manual process required constant +1-312-543-2599 | North America attention to carefully track and communicate changes to requirements, status, stories, and plans. +91-80-4064-9703 | Rest of the world Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. www.thoughtworks-studios.com
  2. 2. CASE STUDY This labor-intensive project management process led to ine cient collaboration between local and distributed team members and Mingle has helped us perform sprint planning, manage the with management sta . The team wanted an online project management tool that would truly allow them to collaborate and daily tasks of development and testing, and track our velocity adapt to change using Agile Scrum guidelines, and was exible which feeds back into good planning. Mingle has raised enough to meet the needs of their distributed work environment. visibility of all aspects of our development process, and has helped us become more open and collaborative. The Solution The WADM team had three objectives when they started working --Dick McMullen, ITS Supervisor with Mingle: 1) develop the next version of their J2EE enterprise human resources system; 2) further develop and promote the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities adoption of Agile processes among their team; 3) and use Mingle as much as possible during the software development process within a speci c release schedule. Sta in distributed locations participate in these sessions using Six months later, Mingle drives the software development e ort for online conferencing and are fully engaged in the planning and the WADM team. Product requirements are gathered by the estimating discussions. All WADM team members leave the business analyst and put into Mingle as user stories, including planning session with a consistent understanding of the current priorities and acceptance criteria. The development team meets sprint, including story assignments. every two weeks for a sprint planning session to review stories and tasks, and to discuss and clarify requirements and acceptance The team also works with Mingle on a continual basis to track the criteria. status of their work, which provides real-time visibility to all team members and stakeholders. This includes using Mingle for daily The team determines the relative e ort and size of each task using stand-up meetings and moving cards across swim lanes as the “planning poker” estimation technique. During this planning activities are completed during the development process. The session, a Mingle card wall is projected within the meeting room WADM team enjoys the visual experience of tracking the status of so the entire team can openly interact and participate as a single their work and receiving acknowledgment of their group. Changes are made in real time, as stories are added, accomplishments during these meetings. changed, or broken down into tasks. This chart within Mingle shows the progression of stories through the development work ow process for the WADM team during a current sprint. By having easy access to this real-time information, the WADM team can make informed business decisions that move the project closer to a successful release. Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. www.thoughtworks-studios.com
  3. 3. CASE STUDY The card wall feature in Mingle serves as the focal point for the WADM team, and this view shows the card wall for one of the team’s sprints. During team planning sessions, the Mingle card wall is projected in the room, allowing everyone to interact and participate as a group. The card wall also is used during daily stand-up meetings to visually track the work progression of the team. With Mingle, the WADM team now has the exibility to self organize on a daily basis as needed. The team can quickly Mingle’s strengths are its visual presentation, its exibility, and recon gure to meet changing requirements, pulling in ad hoc its accessibility for all members of a distributed team. We use resources to keep the project moving forward. Managers have real-time visibility into exactly what the team is working on, as well Mingle’s visual presentation to facilitate our day-to-day project as overall project progress. This level of visibility allows them to management tasks, and we tailor Mingle’s worklow more quickly manage problems and additional requests. In the future, executive management also may have this visibility. to match our Agile Scrum development life cycle. Mingle has delivered what we expected and more to our development The Results team. The WADM team has successfully integrated Mingle into an Agile Scrum culture and enjoys using the product on a daily basis. With --Dick McMullen, ITS Supervisor Mingle, the team has found a tool that helps to improve Agile Minnesota State Colleges & Universities collaboration, planning and status reporting. The entire team now has a better understanding of project requirements, status and cooperative tasks, which has resulted in the team developing a software product that better meets the customer’s expectations. The Future The WADM team plans to expand their Mingle implementation to By using Mingle to facilitate Agile approaches, the team has additional development teams and locations and to re ne their captured missed requirements and bugs while still in Mingle customization. Through demonstrations, cross-functional development, rather than after being released. By reducing the team collaboration and mentoring, the WADM team intends to rework cycle often associated with bugs discovered after a release, aid other development teams in piloting Mingle while they adopt the team has decreased the overall cost of delivery. and mature Agile practices. The department also will continue to provide valuable feedback to ThoughtWorks Studios about And lastly, by utilizing Mingle’s collaboration features, which allows ongoing Mingle product development. the team to work more e ciently with stakeholders on a regular basis, the team has more easily and fully adopted Agile processes. The WADM team also has been using Mingle to demonstrate Agile methods to computer science students at campuses where MNSCU IT services are located. Mingle has provided a visual, real-life example of Agile principles, and these demonstrations have helped students become more interested in learning Agile methods and working in Agile development environments. Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. www.thoughtworks-studios.com
  4. 4. CASE STUDY About ThoughtWorks Studios ThoughtWorks Studios is a global leader in Agile software development tools, and its products can be found in development organizations seeking sustainable Agile adoption. The company’s Adaptive Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution provides a platform for managing all aspects of software development, from requirements de nition and project TM management to test automation, quality assurance, and release management. Adaptive ALM consists of the integration of three products: Mingle (project management), Twist (test automation) and Cruise (release management). Each tool is R R R available as part of a complete lifecycle solution or as a stand-alone product. Backed by more than 16 years of experience in Agile delivery, ThoughtWorks Studios is the product division of the ThoughtWorks, Inc., the pioneering leader in Agile development. ThoughtWorks Studios has 200 customers in more than 20 countries, including 3M, Honeywell, BBC, eBay, Barclays, Vodafone, McGraw-Hill and Rackspace. The company headquarters is co-located in San Francisco and Bangalore, with o ces in London and select cities in Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit www.thoughtworks-studios.com mingle Mingle, an Agile management and collaboration tool, R provides a common workspace for all team members and an automated system of record for all projects. Mingle can adapt any existing work ow process and easily manages daily Agile Project Management development activities. O ering true-to-life visibility into the entire development process for all stakeholders, Mingle helps development teams become more open and collaborative. twist R Twist, an automated testing solution, provides English-like constructs, making the testing process more productive for all team members. As applications grow in complexity, Twist helps to more easily maintain complex test suites. These Test Automation suites keep pace with application development and are held as long-living assets. cruise R Cruise provides both continuous integration and release management and can drive development and IT operations to collectively plan continuous product releases. Cruise o ers deployment pipelines and a zero-con guration build grid, Release Management which simplify the release management process. Unlike open- source tools, Cruise scales to meet the needs of a complex development project with numerous dependencies. Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. www.thoughtworks-studios.com