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We want to formalize our development process. Aim is to provide a clear view of software in each phase. For example, to translate requirements to task, to specify the pre and post-conditions of task etc. So that each role (analyst, developer, tester) can perform better and has a checklist to finish his job properly

Does your company follow any software process e.g. Agile, OpenUP, RUP etc. If yes what tools do you use to enforce it or to facilitate it?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

We are in the continuous process of adopting Agile. It's been (so far) a 18 month work in progress. We started w/ few tools other than pen and paper 1.0 (a co-worker's term). After a bit we (re)introduced a feature/defect tracking tool we already had.

The tool we use is Test Track. It's 'ok'. I haven't had a lot of experience w/ others, so I can compare. It allows for release/iteration planning for tasks/defects. I would encourage you to look at several before deciding.

Before we started utilizing, we used index cards and pencils and white-board. This really is a good way to get started as the upfront cost is minimal.

Things that really work:

  1. Daily stand-up at 8:45 sharp. 10 Devs are done in about 8-10 minutes. Took about 6-8 weeks to get it from 20-ish to that time.
  2. Release cycles of 6 weeks with 3 2-week iterations.
  3. Having a product back-log of tasks and bugs estimated out.
  4. Printing a daily burn down to make velocity visible. When used as motivator, it's great.
  5. Getting management to realize w/ our shop, each dev gets 6 hours of work in a day. The other 2 are meetings, fires, etc...

Things we are improving on:

  1. Continuous improvement.
  2. Retrospectives at the end of iteration and/or releases.
  3. Planning can be difficult for the array of products our company works on. It's hard to devote the 1/2 day or day per team to plan tasks for the coming iteration.

[Edit] I consider daily routine (stand-ups, etc...) to be 'tools' when considering agile as it provides a foundation for other, more traditional tools.

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Thanks DevSolo. Test Track is probably only for Issue Tracking. What about managing requirements? –  anergy Mar 2 '11 at 9:24
    
The only software we use is Test Track (again, not an advocate). We collect the requirements as 'stories' or 'epics' and add 'tasks' to those. Some may say it's too agile, and I won't disagree. In the past, we've been burned on software costs and have tried a minimalist approach for while. –  DevSolo Mar 2 '11 at 19:57

I used to work in a place that did loose Agile development (I say 'loose' because it definitely wasn't as disciplined as Agile should be). The tools we used to facilitate it were story cards, frequent customer contact and unit testing (the core blocks of extreme programming) along with some pair programming.

Now I work in a different place with a much faster pace. We facilitate our development process by just hiring really bright developers... lol. Our development process is anything but formal. It's more creative and collaborative. But I like that.

If you feel a need to herd your developers through the development process like cattle through a chute then maybe you've hired the wrong folks :-)

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Thanks Chris for your time. Our project size and nature forbids us to be complete agile. Therefore the checklist to mark each phase. Agile is great for less risk project, unfortunately, we don't have this luxury. –  anergy Mar 2 '11 at 9:21
    
Some would say that talent doesn't scale –  smp7d Feb 2 '12 at 19:23

We use Team Task Manager for our development. Our group uses it daily to track projects and tasks, very intuitive. A free trial is available on their website - http://www.deskshare.com/team-task-management.aspx

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Thanks Adam for link, probably will have a look –  anergy Mar 3 '11 at 10:34

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