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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  • 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


  • 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

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    • Often outdated information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


  • 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


  • Wiki systems

    • Oddmuse

    • Mediawiki

    • Confluence

    • TWiki

  • Jabber/XMPP information

    • Everything about Jabber/XMPP

    • Wildfire server and Spark client

    • Original Jabber implementation