Mobile and Agile: The FloatingWriters Survival KitAlyssa FoxInformation Development ManagerMeredith KramerLead Information...
Making the TransitionTerminology Scrum – An agile development approach that emphasizes  close communication through daily...
Making the TransitionDesign Documents Moving from specs to user story documents    − Shorter, more fluid documents    − A...
Making the TransitionAdapting Your Review Cycle Use three drafts: first draft, approval draft, quality  edit draft. Writ...
Making the TransitionAdapting Your Review Cycle - Advantages QE and Development no longer have to review an entire book  ...
Gaining Clout on the Product Team6   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSpeak Up! Take the initiative to get involved in ALL parts of the  product development....
Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSample Scrum Topics – Development Bad: “I’m working on the installer.” Good: “I’m worki...
Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSample Scrum Topics – QE Bad: “I’m running test cases.” Good: “I’m running test cases f...
Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSample Scrum Topics – Information Development Bad: “I’m working on the User Guide.” Goo...
Gaining Clout on the Product TeamBe Involved Show an interest in the requirements, design, and  thought behind the design...
Gaining Clout on the Product TeamTake Ownership of Technical Accuracy Don’t assume the product works like the developer  ...
Planning the Release13   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Planning the Release Do resource planning on an iteration-by-iteration basis.   − Have a manager or coordinating lead loo...
Planning the Release15   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Creating User Stories16   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Creating User Stories What is a user story?     − A software system requirement     − Defines what is to be built     − P...
Creating User StoriesGood User Stories – Benefits to Floating Writers Independent – Can be worked on without pulling in o...
Creating User StoriesUser Story Tasks – Benefits to Floating Writers Specific – Helps in understanding and prevents overl...
Creating User StoriesExamples Bad example:Discovery and registrationDiscover and register the supported operating system,...
Planning the Iteration21   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Planning the IterationCoping with Multiple Projects and Scrums Work with your lead or manager to spread your     workload...
Planning the IterationDetermining Capacity Consider previous iteration estimates. Include vacation and non-iteration res...
Planning the IterationCapacity Example Meredith is a team member for Project A and     Project B. Iteration 1 for Projec...
Planning the IterationCapacity Example25   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Planning the IterationSizing Documentation Work Create more accurate estimates by applying a     standard number of hours...
Planning the IterationSizing Documentation Work - Example27   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Contact Information28   © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
Contact InformationAlyssa Fox     Information Development Manager     NetIQ Corporation     alyssa.fox@netiq.com     713-4...
NetIQ Confidential Information
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Mobile and agile the floating writer's survival kit

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Agile development is a popular methodology used by software companies. This presentation describes how technical writers can transition to agile development smoothly when they float among several cross-functional project teams.

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Mobile and agile the floating writer's survival kit

  1. 1. Mobile and Agile: The FloatingWriters Survival KitAlyssa FoxInformation Development ManagerMeredith KramerLead Information Developer© 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Making the TransitionTerminology Scrum – An agile development approach that emphasizes close communication through daily stand-up meetings. Scrum master – The team member who facilitates scrum meetings and works to remove blocks that prevent team members from proceeding with their work. Iteration – A short period of time in which a full software development cycle occurs. Backlog – The repository for all requirements and wish list items for the project. Capacity – The maximum amount of hours a team member can work during one iteration.2 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Making the TransitionDesign Documents Moving from specs to user story documents − Shorter, more fluid documents − Allows for easier refinement and rework upon customer feedback − Helps floating writers not get bogged down in lengthy specs when they are brought on to the project Paper prototyping with screenshots and detailed functionality information3 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Making the TransitionAdapting Your Review Cycle Use three drafts: first draft, approval draft, quality edit draft. Write doc for a feature in the iteration it is developed and tested. Keep the user story open until Dev/QE has reviewed the documentation for technical accuracy. Consider doing away with a formal first draft for more mature products and documentation libraries. Use the full approval draft as a means to show the new documentation in context of the entire book.4 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Making the TransitionAdapting Your Review Cycle - Advantages QE and Development no longer have to review an entire book (or multiple books) during one of the busiest times of the release cycle. Info Dev gets more thorough reviews since QE and Dev have more time each iteration to review pieces of the documentation. The documentation is more technically accurate and of a higher quality due to more thorough reviews. The floating writer’s needed capacity for an approval draft is reduced because most of the work has already been done in previous iterations. If you have multiple books on multiple products, there is not as big of a hit all at once on your time. Floating writers have a more complete document with which to work for an iteration or two.5 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Gaining Clout on the Product Team6 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSpeak Up! Take the initiative to get involved in ALL parts of the product development. Attend scrum meetings for the projects in which you’re involved. Be detailed and specific when asking questions or giving information to others. Pave the way for any other writers that may join the team later.7 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSample Scrum Topics – Development Bad: “I’m working on the installer.” Good: “I’m working on the new installer screens that contain user credentials for accessing the database. I need some help with text on these new screens, so I’ll be coming to talk to Info Dev later today or tomorrow about this.” Bad: “I’m working on the Customer X issue.” Good: “Customer X is having a problem where when they run security checks against their SQL Server 2005 endpoints, they’re getting data that doesn’t make sense. When I looked in the XML file for the security check, I realized the check was coded incorrectly to run only against SQL 2000 endpoints. I’m fixing the code in the check file so it can run against SQL 2000 or 2005 endpoints.”8 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSample Scrum Topics – QE Bad: “I’m running test cases.” Good: “I’m running test cases for Feature X. I’m about 75% done with those, but can’t seem to get the modify function to work, so I’m blocked on those test cases.” Bad: “I’m writing test cases.” Good: “I’m writing positive and negative test cases for Feature Y. We need to make sure it works when the correct parameters are put in, but we should also look for what happens when we put nonsense characters in for parameter values. Developer Joe, let’s get together later to talk about whether there are any restrictions on special characters in the parameter field.”9 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Gaining Clout on the Product TeamSample Scrum Topics – Information Development Bad: “I’m working on the User Guide.” Good: “I’m creating a new chapter in the User Guide for Feature X. I’ve talked with Development and received all the information I need to complete the draft, but will go back to them tomorrow for them to take a look at what I wrote to ensure it’s technically accurate.” Bad: “I’m creating the help for Feature X.” Good: “I am about done creating the help structure for the wizard Feature X uses. Developer Sally, I’ll need to get with you to show you what I did in the mapping file so we can hook up the help to the wizard page code. I’m also adding these topics to the .chm file’s table of contents.”10 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Gaining Clout on the Product TeamBe Involved Show an interest in the requirements, design, and thought behind the design of the product. Attend any and all release planning and iteration planning meetings. Offer to help improve text in the GUI. − English is second language for many developers. − It might only take a label change for window to be much more clear. Be a usability advocate. Have the writer working on the feature interact with the developer/QE person working on the feature. Don’t funnel all information through one person.11 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Gaining Clout on the Product TeamTake Ownership of Technical Accuracy Don’t assume the product works like the developer tells you it does. Install and maintain your own builds of the product. − Allows you to better determine if there is a technical or usability issue in the product. − Lets floating writers quickly and easily access the product to reduce amount of time it takes to be effective on the team. Gain your team’s trust by having a solid understanding of the product. Make more informed suggestions for change.12 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Planning the Release13 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Planning the Release Do resource planning on an iteration-by-iteration basis. − Have a manager or coordinating lead look at resources across projects. − Have iteration planning meetings. Create a review schedule appropriate to the project. − Ensure approval draft comes after Feature Complete. − Have pieces of documentation reviewed during active Development iterations. − Ensure quality edit draft occurs during a hardening iteration. − Work on doc-specific tasks and bugs in early iterations. Ally with product management. − Support Info Dev in numerous ways. − Can be a wealth of information about customers and their use of our products.14 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Planning the Release15 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Creating User Stories16 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Creating User Stories What is a user story? − A software system requirement − Defines what is to be built − Prioritized, make up the backlog − Stories may be related together as “features” or “themes”17 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Creating User StoriesGood User Stories – Benefits to Floating Writers Independent – Can be worked on without pulling in other stories, can be scheduled in any order Negotiable – Allows flexibility with engineering team, implies it is understandable (easy to pick up) Valuable – Frames stories from customer perspective Estimatable – Allows lead/manager to pull floating writers on to project based on their capacity and estimate of time needed for story Sized appropriately – Lets floating writers focus on smaller pieces and move on and off project more smoothly Testable – Lets floating writers see what the feature is supposed to do upfront and can write more thorough documentation upfront18 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Creating User StoriesUser Story Tasks – Benefits to Floating Writers Specific – Helps in understanding and prevents overlap, which is useful when pulling writers on and off projects from iteration to iteration. Measurable – Helps floating writers know when to mark the task as complete so they can move on to other projects if needed. Achievable – Helps determine if task is realistic. Relevant – Helps determine if task relates to fulfilling the user story, thus contributing to the release. Time-boxed – Helps floating writers know how much work remains and whether the task will be done within the iteration.19 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Creating User StoriesExamples Bad example:Discovery and registrationDiscover and register the supported operating system, applications, web servers, or database instances monitored by an agent on a Windows computer. Good example:Good User Story Example.fm20 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Planning the Iteration21 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Planning the IterationCoping with Multiple Projects and Scrums Work with your lead or manager to spread your workload so you can delegate scrum meeting attendance to others. Attend scrums that pertain to your highest priority project only. Ask the scrum master to send status emails for the meetings so you know what you missed. Ensure you have a presence on your team so your team doesn’t forget you when you’re not there.22 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Planning the IterationDetermining Capacity Consider previous iteration estimates. Include vacation and non-iteration responsibilities, such as meetings, customer support, time for planning, etc. (approximately 25% of each team member’s time). Do not include the first or last day of the iteration. Ensure Development finishes early so QE and Info Dev have time to complete their tasks before the iteration ends.23 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. Planning the IterationCapacity Example Meredith is a team member for Project A and Project B. Iteration 1 for Project A is Feb. 7-20. Iteration 3 for Project B is Feb. 5-18. Project B has a planning day Feb. 15, so Meredith’s capacity for Feb. 15 on Project A is 0.24 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  25. 25. Planning the IterationCapacity Example25 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  26. 26. Planning the IterationSizing Documentation Work Create more accurate estimates by applying a standard number of hours per page of doc based on the level of source material. Plug in your tasks based on the information in the user story to quickly estimate the amount of work needed to complete your tasks. Compare the number of hours required to complete tasks to total hours of team member capacity.26 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  27. 27. Planning the IterationSizing Documentation Work - Example27 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  28. 28. Contact Information28 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  29. 29. Contact InformationAlyssa Fox Information Development Manager NetIQ Corporation alyssa.fox@netiq.com 713-418-5334Meredith Kramer Lead Information Developer NetIQ Corporation meredith.kramer@netiq.com 713-418-540029 © 2008 NetIQ Corporation. All rights reserved.
  30. 30. NetIQ Confidential Information

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