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[openFATE 311141] Developer sprint support tool
Feature changed by: Cornelius Schumacher (cschum)
Feature #311141, revision 4
Title: Developer sprint support tool

Hackweek VI: Unconfirmed
Priority
Requester: Important

Requested by: Cornelius Schumacher (cschum)
Partner organization: openSUSE.org

Description:
Many free software communities do developer sprints to provide focused
time to get work done in a very productive way. openSUSE does that, and
KDE has a long tradition of these sprints as well. Organizing and
running these sprints can be anything from very easy to extremely
challenging.
Usually there is a combination of existing tools used to handle
sprints. Ad-hoc email, mailing lists, Wikis, static web pages,
Etherpads, Google documents, spreadsheets, etc. This works to some
degree, but it lacks efficiency in some areas, and some tasks are
usually hard to accomplish.
So this idea is about creating a tool, which helps to organize
developer sprints. It should cover three areas, administrative issues,
visibility of results, and supporting the productive process.
The administrative part consists of things like assembling the list of
participants, collecting data about their availability, travel,
accommodation and food preferences, etc. It should also cover handling
the budget, getting estimates about costs, handling approval and
execution of reimbursement of travel costs.
Visibility of results is about making progress and results of the work
being done at a sprint visible to the participants, the community, and
other interested people. Often great things happen at sprints, but it's
hard to find out about it, as information is scattered around or only
present in forms obscure to people who haven't attended the sprints. A
little bit of structure and support for aggregating information in a
digestible way can do wonders.
Supporting the productive process is the most interesting and most
challenging part of the picture. These sprints are mostly highly
effective and productive. Bringing passionate people together for some
focused face-to-face time without much distractions is usually the
recipe for the success of a sprint. This is a dynamic process and
depends a lot on the people, so a tool can only do so much. But it
would be fantastic, if we could find ways how to support the process,
make sure that good practices are shared and widely available, and
experience with how to run a sprint in the best way is captured,
spread, and put to good use as much as possible. How to do this
certainly needs a bit of creativity. Maybe it's just about aggregating
some documentation, maybe it's about providing simple tools for some
techniques like brainstorming, maybe it's something completely
different.
The idea of this sprint support tool would not be to replace existing
working tools or mechanisms like mailing lists or Wikis, but fill in
some of the gaps, which are still there, provide some integration
points and aggregation, and capture some of the experience, which can
be transported through a tool.
I would do the tool as a simple Ruby on Rails application, integrating
and connecting to other systems, services, and applications, which fit
into the context.

Use Case:
Use case 1: Community manager Joseph organizes a sprint for project
Krapfn. He has to collect a list of participants, find a date for the
sprint, find out, who needs financial support for travel, fit this into
a budget, capture the information about approved financial support, so
it can be processed later. Additionally he coordinates a preliminary
agenda, so participants can prepare and know what to expect. He does
all this while travelling to and from a conference, so he appreciates
easy and widely available access to all the information he needs.
Use case 2: Developer Karl wants to attend the Krapfn sprint. He
requests financial support for his train ticket, and needs some
accommodation. He never was at the location where the sprint happens,
so he needs some information about how to get there, and a way to
contact somebody, if he gets stuck in a train and arrives late. He has
prepared a nice presentation about his latest ideas, and would like to
share that with other participants in advance.
Use case 3: Administrative assistant Claus needs to collect original
receipts of travel costs for the participants, who get reimbursed for
that. He has to wire transfer the money to the accounts of the
participants, for which he needs some data like account numbers
provided by the participants.
Use case 4: Company LittleCorporation supports the sprint with some
money. They would like to see, what happened at the sprint, and what
results were created, so they can judge, if their support was helpful.
They are interested in code, which was written, reports about
discussions and decisions, or how the sprint and its results were
perceived in the community.

Discussion:
#1: Stephen Shaw (decriptor) (2011-01-24 02:03:38)
Not sure if this would be of any help, but this is a tool we used on
the mono uia team. http://berserk.mono-a11y.org

+ #2: Cornelius Schumacher (cschum) (2011-01-24 09:42:29) (reply to #1)
+ Thanks for the pointer. This is interesting. It could be a component
+ for tracking the actual coding tasks. Are you happy with this tool?



--
openSUSE Feature:
https://features.opensuse.org/311141

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