using community tools to improve team work
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Using Community Tools To Improve Team Work. Magnus Einarsson. Background. New team Distributed development Many team members lacked experience in the problem domain Implementation of system for a platform new to all team members Lots of competence build up

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background
Background
  • New team
  • Distributed development
  • Many team members lacked experience in the problem domain
  • Implementation of system for a platform new to all team members
  • Lots of competence build up
  • Large amount of information collected
  • Resources change during project
  • Few experts in team
needs
Needs
  • Effectively build up the competence in the team
  • Collect information about platform/application etc
  • Effective communication between team members
    • Preferably including
      • Real-time communication
      • Multi party communication
      • Presence information
the tools that helped us reach our goals
The tools that helped us reach our goals
  • Internal instant messaging server based on Jabber/XMPP
  • Wiki system for information collection
what is a wiki

Picture from http://www.oddmuse.org

What is a Wiki
  • A wiki is a collaborative web application which allows users to edit content
  • Uses simplified Wikimarkup instead of HTML
  • Anybody can edit thepages
  • Revision control
enterprise wiki vs traditional project web sites
Enterprise Wiki vs. traditional project web sites
  • Traditional intranet website
    • Webmaster maintained
      • Where is the source document
      • Who can update it
    • Threshold to get content updated
    • Static
    • Often outdated information
  • Wiki
    • If you can access the information you have the tool needed to add more information
    • Easy to publish information
    • Change tracking/audit trail
    • Integrated searching
wiki uses in a project
Wiki uses in a project
  • Knowledgebase
  • Sharing a project notebook
  • Tracking
    • Sprint backlog
    • Features
    • Milestones/Sprints
  • Meeting minutes
  • Sharing collected documentation
  • Listing customer contact
  • Keeping track of test results
wiki experiences
Wiki Experiences
  • Start easy
    • Use simple tools
    • Prioritize information contribution before appearance and fancy features
  • Encourage contribution
    • When you help someone, make them document the problem and the solution in the wiki
      • After a while you can answer most questions with – “It´s in the Wiki!”
features needed to make a wiki suitable for enterprise usage
Features needed to make a Wiki suitable for enterprise usage
  • Access control
  • Partitioning of information
  • Good search
  • Change tracking/traceability
  • Attachments
  • Nice to have
    • Support for archiving mail
    • Integration with IM system
    • Headline news
      • Recent changes
      • Announcements
instant messaging how it started
Instant Messaging – How it started
  • Individual team members used private IM accounts (ICQ, AIM, MSN)
    • Not acceptable - we need to keep the information inside company network
  • Deployed IRC server
    • Successfully used to create channels for small groups working on specific problem
    • But people still relied on public systems for one-one communications and presence
  • We needed our own IM system
im solution
IM Solution
  • We deployed an internal IM system based on Jabber/XMPP
    • Open standard for IM systems
    • Several server and client implementations available
    • Supports all important IM services
      • Presence
      • One-one communication
      • Multi user communication
      • File transfers
      • Encryption
      • Servers can be connected using encrypted channels
leverage the im infrastructure
Leverage the IM infrastructure
  • Leverage the presence information
    • Assign trouble reports to present team members
    • No need to run/call around to find out who is available
  • The IM system can also extended by using agents/bots
    • Notify team about events
      • Test results
      • System outages
    • Issue handling system knows who is present
    • Monitoring
experiences
Experiences
  • The IM system is a very good complement to using e-mail and phone.
    • Pace of a phone conversation
    • Capable of transporting error logs and screen captures that is often associated with discussions in a test or development project.
  • IM system very good for
    • Cooperation to solve problems
    • Finding someone available to help you
  • Drawbacks
    • Lots of good information might be lost => Turn on logging in clients
resources
Resources
  • Wiki systems
    • Oddmuse http://www.oddmuse.org
    • Mediawiki http://www.mediawiki.org
    • Confluence http://www.atlassian.com/confluence
    • TWiki http://www.twiki.org
  • Jabber/XMPP information
    • Everything about Jabber/XMPP http://www.jabber.org
    • Wildfire server and Spark client http://www.jivesoftware.org
    • Original Jabber implementation http://jabberd.org/
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