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Project Server and Scrum

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  • #2156 Reply
    Community
    Keymaster

    How can an organization using Scrum benefit from Microsoft Project Server?

    #6564 Reply
    Community
    Keymaster

    I see these main areas where Project Server 2010 would be of benefit:

    • Timesheets can automatically update Project Plans with Actual Work and Work Remaining on assigned Tasks;
    • The ability to define common, standardized custom fields for Tasks;
    • The custom reporting capabilities of the Business Intelligence center.

    If you’re already using Timesheets, you can piggyback on the significant effort you put into getting there.  If you don’t, you can manually update Actual Work directly in your Project Plans.

    Based on my limited experience with Scrum, I’d expect to do some configuration work on the Project Server side, and learn some new habits on the Project Professional side.

    Project Server Configuration

    Define custom Task fields for:

    • Scrum Task flag (yes/no);
    • Deliverable (one line of text) ;
    • Sprint (a number).

    Develop Excel pivot tables in the BI center for

    • Backlog reports
    • Burn-down reports

    Modify the Timesheet view to include the Deliverable and Sprint fields (read-only).
    Project Professional

    • Define the Scrum summary task named Scrum” inside the Execution phase;
    • Define two summary tasks inside the Scrum summary task, one named “Sprints” and one named “Backlog”;
    • Set the Backlog’s predecessor to be the Sprints summary task.
    • For each Backlog deliverable, create a single Task and define its custom Tasks fields as follows
      • Set “Scrum Task” to Yes;
      • Set “Deliverable” to a unique value;
      • Set “Sprint” to zero (indicating it’s in the Backlog).

    To define a Sprint:

    • Create a summary task under Sprints, naming it “Sprint n” where “n” is a number;
    • Move Deliverable Tasks from the Sprint from “Backlog” into “Sprint n”, setting each one’s custom Task field named Sprint to “n”;
    • As you complete each Sprint, all its Deliverable Tasks must be completed.  If one of them has not been completed, you must:
      • Create a new Backlog Deliverable Task for the Remaining Work, using the same Deliverable value in that custom Task field;
      • On the earlier Deliverable Task in the completed Sprint, Set the Remaining Work to zero, which will mark it complete.

    Reporting

    You can develop reports specific to managing a Scrum by selecting only those project tasks that have the Scrum Task flag set to “Yes”.

    You will need to develop burn-down reporting that will show:

    • Percent of total Sprint Task Work scheduled and work completed, by Sprint.
    • Calculated burn rate, per Sprint and running average.

    After each Sprint, refer to the burn rate reports and modify the resource allocations in the remaining Backlog tasks, to refine the predicted completion date for the Scrum.

    ================================

    This is the approach I’d take, but I’m hoping there are folks out there who are currently using Project Professional (and maybe Project Sever) to manage a Scrum effort.

    Let’s see if we can correct / refine / expand the above.

    ================================

    A note about moving Tasks in a Project Plan.

    In Project Server 2010, when a Timesheet is created, it links each timesheet line to a Project Plan Task using the Task’s UID.  If you move that Task’s location in the Project Plan by dragging it, you’ll be OK.  If you “move” that Task using Cut and Paste, you’ll delete the old Task and create a new Task, with a new UID, breaking the link to the Timesheet!

    As long as no Actual Work has been done, that’s not an issue; once Actual Work has been logged, you can be in trouble.  To be safe, avoid using Cut and Paste with Tasks in Project Professional.

    =================================

    #6565 Reply
    Community
    Keymaster

    It largely depends on what tools you have available and what you have implemented to date. Tools would include the version of Project you have and whether you are using it in conjunction with Project Server.

    For instance, we have PS 2007 (moving to PS 2010) and we have TFS 2010. We are in the process of integrating TFS with PS.

    Most of the SCRUM product development work is done within the TFS environment. Time entry percolates to project server and is displayed within the various dashboards. Burn-down / up charts are generated from TFS data. Resource management, iteration planning and cost analysis is done on PS.

    We have a mixed environment. Traditional waterfall projects are managed almost exclusively through PS (70% PS, 30% TFS), while SCRUM projects are the opposite (70% TFS, 30% PS). SCRUM project plan templates are relatively simple, whereas the traditional SDLC project plan template is much more complex. In our environment (with rare exception) all resources for all projects have the ability to self assign or re-assign a task.

    The chief benefits of Project in a SCRUM environment are time tracking and projection, which links to resource management (resource availability), which links to portfolio management (allocation of scarce resources for greatest benefit).

    #10248 Reply
    Community
    Keymaster

    Chris,

    We’re just beginning to migrate to TFS.  I’d be interested to hear how it may integrate with Project Server.

    Do you have Scrum masters who are not Project Managers?

    – Tom

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