Some background PangoScrum story

March 30th, 2010 by vicente.mundim 1 comment »

Its been a while since PangoScrum beta was released. We have never hoped it would so well received by the community.
When we started making PangoScrum, our thought was to use it within our company, since we were tired of using a wiki to manage our Product Backlog, and our Sprints. The first version we made was not very good, the interface was a bit confusing, the modelling was not generic enough. Basically it didn’t supported our needs.
Daily Meeting
We focused this first version of PangoScrum on building a task board, mostly becaused it seemed cool to work with drag and drop in a browser. Eventually we’ve found that it would work. It was confusing, and it fail in giving an overview of how the sprint was going. We realized that we couldn’t replace the real task board. It simply wouldn’t fit a computer screen. You would have to scroll down, or sideways, or maybe use a TV. Then we reached a crucial moment, whether we would continue that path, or rewrite PangoScrum with a new concept.

It was easy to decide for the second option. It seemed plausible enough. The idea of the second version was to focus on the most important part of Scrum: visibility and under management. By under management we mean letting the team work freely, it simply doesn’t matter whether the team will use hours for tasks estimates, or if they will create a task which will take a full day. The important thing is that the feature gets done.

Our choice was not to have a task board at all. In fact, not to have tasks. The overhead of business logic involved in making a task board was simply not worth the value that it adds. By removing this feature we managed to focus on other parts and build a simple and efficient interface for managing Product Backlog and Sprints.

We hope to keep improving the interface and your feedback is most welcome. Please feel free to give suggestions. We are already working on some suggestions, and taking care to not bloat PangoScrum with needless features. We hope you like PangoScrum like we do!

Inside PangoScrum

January 25th, 2010 by vicente.mundim No comments »

I always like to know how something was made, what was used to build, etc. Maybe this is because I’m an engineer, but I just like to see what’s under the hood.

Many companies find that revealing what technologies were used for a site makes it more vulnerable to attacks. Well if that was the case then github, basecamp and many other web applications would be hot spots for hack attempts. For me, if people attempt to hack your application, whether they know what technologies were used or not, its your job to make sure you are well protected, and that those technologies are reliable.

Fortunately for us, PangoScrum uses widely used frameworks and plugins such as Rails and jQuery so this is not an issue for us.

Under the hood of PangoScrum

So like I said we’ve made PangoScrum in Rails because it is the best web framework we’ve know. It gives us a lot of functionality in a simple and elegant way. It comes with a bunch of supporting applications and frameworks like RSpec, Cucumber and Capistrano.

We used authlogic for authentication, since it was more simple and clean then restful_authentication. Also for validation of dates we used validate_timeliness.

Some of the plugins we use are act_as_commentable for comments, jrails for integrating jQuery with rails view helpers, rails-widgets for making tabs and navigation, http_accept_language to identify accept language of users and context_tooltip for displaying tooltips. Our controllers were very simplified by resource_controller. For minifying of javascript and css we’ve used asset_packager.

In the beginning we were not adept of TDD so didn’t write many tests, only for models. We’ve found later that not having tests was a bad idea. Then came RSpec and writing tests was not painful anymore. So we started writing more tests for what we already had, and then we found ourselves making BDD and having lots of fun. Every new feature would only be added after tests were written and this made us confident that we were delivering good and working software.

Now we starting to use cucumber as well with webrat and selenium. Since we have lots of javascript selenium tests are used more widely. But we use webrat to test for simple things like navigation and other non-javascript features.

The future of PangoScrum

We are very ansious about Rails 3. It will be awsome to migrate PangoScrum to Rails 3, even knowing it will be hard. Since we have lots of tests, we wouldn’t have to worry a lot.

Also we are very inclined to use some non SQL database such as MongoDB or CouchDB. Both seems very mature and more fast and simple than MySQL which is the current database server we are using. We hope that when the time comes to make this migration MongoMapper and CouchRest are using ActiveModel, so we have a common interface to ActiveRecord.

Expect more to come, we are willing to keep improving PangoScrum to better suit our users need!

Pangoscrum new feature: Branding [EN]

August 31st, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni 2 comments »

The PangoScrum team has released today a new feature for the community: Branding.

Now you can customize the appearance of your PangoScrum by selecting themes and uploading your logo.

Only the Account Holder, that is the account creator, might customize PangoScrum’s appearance.

To change the appearance of your PangoScrum account, go to the “My account” section:

myaccount2

And then you will be able to choose a theme or upload your logo.

myaccounti

Besides that feature, we also released some minor changes and fixes:

  • Added the concept of Account Holder. Normally this will be the collaborator which has created the account. It may not be changed yet.
  • Collaborators created by admins are active by default now. This means that there is no need for those collaborators to access the activate link. Account Holders still need to activate themselves, which means that accounts need to be activated. Collaborators still need to set their passwords before they are able to login. The e-mail sent to collaborators when they are created has been updated to reflect these changes.
  • Add/Remove buttons in the Sprint Planning page are now displayed only when some item is selected in the proper column. This makes the interface more user-friendly. Many users were having trouble when trying to add/remove items in the sprint through this interface. Hope this change will help those users :)
  • Password Reset link in edit collaborator form wasn’t working.
  • Logged in collaborators could delete themselves if they were admins. This was fixed, now an error message will be flashed when the logged in collaborator attempts to delete himself.
  • Admin checkbox was not working in both create and update collaborator forms.

Pangoscrum new feature: Branding

August 31st, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni 1 comment »

Read this post in english

A equipe PangoScrum liberou hoje uma nova feature para a comunidade: Branding.

Agora você poderá personalizar a aparência de seu PangoScrum, selecionando temas e colocando a sua logo na sua conta.

Somente o Responsável pela conta, ou seja, o colaborador criador da conta, poderá personalizar a aparência do PangoScrum.

Para alterar a aparência de sua conta PangoScrum, utilize a seção minha “Minha conta”:

minhaconta3

Nela você poderá escolher um tema e enviar sua logo:

minhacontai

Além desta nova feature, também liberamos algumas modificações e correções:

  • Adicionado o conceito de “Responsável pela conta”. Normalmente ele será o colaborador que criou a conta. Este papel não pode ser alterado ainda.
  • Colaboradores criados por administradores estão agora ativados por padrão. Isso significa que não há a necessidade destes colaboradores acessarem a url de ativação. O responsável pela conta ainda precisa se ativar. Colaboradores ainda precisar configurar uma senha antes de logarrem-se.
  • Os botões de adicionar e remover na página se Sprint Planning são agora exibidos somento quando algum item é selecionado. Isso torna a interface mais amigável. Muitos usuários estavam tendo problemas com isso. Esperamos que essa mudança ajude estes usuários :)
  • O link de reset de password não estava funcionando.
  • Colaboradores logados podiam excluir-se se eles fossem administradores.
  • A checkbox de admin não estava funcionando tanto na criação quando na edição de colaboradores.

PangoScrum: No more wiki based Scrum management [EN]

July 28th, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni No comments »

Read this post in portuguese

Is has been long since Intelitiva adopted the Scrum framework, enjoying all the benefits of the agile Methodology.

Scrum

To manage the Scrum process, we used to use our corporate wiki, putting in there our products, product backlogs, sprints, dates, items states, sprints results and etc.

We need this information especially in order to have vision and feedback about the process. Without this feedback, we consider that we would not improve as much as we could our software deliver eficiency.

Besides that, it was also interesting to have the historical data about our Scrum, e.g., to know what we delivered to the client in the past five interactions.

The problem is that using the wiki started to become something undesirable:

  • The inclusion of the information was boring.
  • The access to the information was not easy neither agile
  • The information was not structured.
  • We did not have any kind of report.
  • It was difficult to organize and search the history.

Finally, the teams did not like to use it and the information that could improve our efficiency was not properly available anywhere.

So we thought:

Maybe it would be interesting to use a specific tool for the management of Scrum in Intelitiva.

We began to search and realized that there was some tools for this on the market, but most of these tools have the following characteristics:

  • They try to replace the task board. We didn’t want this.
  • They don’t have a friendly interface.
  • They are too complex: They have many features that we don’t need.
  • They would interfere in our Scrum.

So we thought:

Maybe other teams also experienced such difficulties.

For those reasons we have developed PangoScrum.


PangoScrum Beta is now available, completely free and without limitations of use:

PangoScrum

PangoScrum: No more wiki based Scrum management

July 28th, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni No comments »

Read this post in english

A Intelitiva utiliza o framework Scrum já há algum tempo, experimentando todos os benefícios da utilização da metodologia ágil.

Scrum

Para gerenciar o processo, utilizávamos nossa wiki interna corporativa, cadastrando nela os produtos, product backlogs, sprints, datas, estados dos items, resultado dos sprints e etc.

Precisávamos dessas informações, principalmente, para termos visão e feedback do processo. Sem esse feedback, consideramos que não melhoramos o quanto podemos a nossa eficiência nas entregas de software.

Além disso também era interessante ter o histórico de nosso Scrum como, por exemplo, o que nós entregamos para o cliente nas últimas 5 iterações.

O problema é que utilizar a wiki começou a se tornar algo desagradável:

  • A inclusão da informação era chata e desestimulante.
  • O acesso à informação não era fácil e muito menos ágil.
  • As informações não eram estruturadas.
  • Não tínhamos nenhum tipo de relatório.
  • Era difícil organizar e pesquisar o histórico.

Enfim, as equipes não gostavam de utilizar e as informações que poderiam melhorar a eficiência não eram disponibilizadas adequadamente em nenhum lugar.

Pensamos então:

Talvez seja interessante se utilizássemos uma ferramenta específica para o gerenciamento do Scrum na Intelitiva.

Começamos a pesquisar o mercado e percebemos que existiam algumas ferramentas para tal, porém estas ferramentas alternavam as características:

  • Tentavam substituir o quadro de tarefas, algo que não concordávamos.
  • Não tinham interfaces que considerávamos amigáveis.
  • Eram complexas e poluídas: Tinham tantas funcionalidades que nos perdíamos.
  • Interferiam no nosso Scrum.

Pensamos então:

Talvez outras equipes também experimentassem tais dificuldades.

Por este motivos desenvolvemos o PangoScrum.



PangoScrum Beta já está disponível, totalmente gratuito e sem limitações de uso:

PangoScrum

PangoScrum Beta released!

July 22nd, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni No comments »

Intelitiva has released today PangoScrum Beta, totally free and its use is unlimited.

Straightforwardly and without any interference in your Scrum, improve continually your efficiency in deliveries.
Get feedback to take the right decisions, accessing easily the relevant and more up to date real-time information.

How do you manage your product backlog?
With PangoScrum you will write, estimate and rank priorities in your product backlog through a simple and friendly interface.

PangoScrum will make you work faster.
Your Sprints will be planned objectively, with no bureaucracy and greater agility.

Are your teams aligned with a schedule?
In PangoScrum the dates of your planning, review and retrospective meetings will be scheduled in a calendar for easy display and access.

Give more value to the clients and reduce product time to market: Scrum does that for you.
Manage keeping the process simple and supple: PangoScrum does that for you.

Join now on http://pangoscrum.com ! It’s free!

PangoScrum

PangoScrum Beta lançado!

July 22nd, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni No comments »

A Intelitiva lançou hoje o PangoScrum Beta, totalmente gratuito e sem limitações de uso.

De uma maneira simples e sem interferir no seu Scrum, melhore continuamente sua eficiência nas entregas.
Obtenha feedback para tomar as decisões corretas, acessando facilmente as informações relevantes e atualizadas em tempo real.

Como você gerencia o backlog de seus produtos?
Com PangoScrum você escreverá, estimará e priorizará seu product backlog através de um interface simples e amigável.

PangoScrum fará você trabalhar mais rápido.

Objetivamente e sem burocracia, seus Sprints serão planejados com maior agilidade.

Suas equipes estão alinhadas com um calendário?
No PangoScrum as datas de suas reuniões de planning, review e retrospectiva estarão agendadas em um calendário com fácil visualização e acesso.

Entregar mais valor para o cliente e reduzir o time-to-market dos produtos: Scrum faz por você.
Gerenciar mantendo a simplicidade e agilidade do processo: PangoScrum fará por você.


Acesse http://pangoscrum.com e cadastre-se gratuitamente!

PangoScrum;

PangoScrum Blog launched!

April 13th, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni No comments »

Welcome to PangoScrum Blog.

Inaugurado o PangoScrum Blog!

April 13th, 2009 by Pedro Mazzoni No comments »

Seja bem vindo ao blog da PangoScrum!