Agile methodologies and Redmine

Added by Anton Nepomnyaschih about 6 years ago

Hello, Redmine development team!

What do you think about using Redmine for agile development process? I see, Redmine is very powerfull and nice view. It has many features, such as gantt chart and time scheduling, version control, wikis and forums. The features can be very usefull in development process.

But how, do you think, may be established iterative development process, such as XP, or SCRUM, if development team will use Redmine?

Our firm already some years has been used system that was specially implemented to be used in XP. It is XPlanner. It covers all our needs and our development process is tied with it.

It has some very good things that I don't see in Redmine. Let me, please, compare Redmine with XPlanner. Look at it, as simply on looking on Redmine from agile methodologies point of view.

The first feature of XP is iterative development process. In Redmine there are versions. So, we may use versions, as iterations. It is very good, because the most important requirement for iterations is that when iteration is over, customer must have completed version of product. He may test it or, even, use or sell. It is his choice. But version must be COMPLETED product.

In Xplanner there is problem with iterations. Because iterations are looked as simple "end of week", and our developers can't think of it as about completed product ;) But XP says that iteration gives COMPLETED product. I think, term "version" is most appropriate for it and Redmine's architecture gives more understanding, that we MUST give some completed version of product, when new version is released.

The next important thing is Backlog. In reality it is issues list in Redmine. I.e. it is all issues - bugs and features, that must be implemented, to get completed software version. I.e. all requirements from customer. And I very like it as it is implemented in Redmine.

Now, please, let me describe features that XPlanner has, but Redmine don't have.

Each issue in XPlanner has subtasks. It is very good point. Because developer may estimate issue only if he will split it on subtasks, and each subtask will need maximum 5 hours of work. If subtask need more time - it must be splitted and better estimated. Because in such case customer or teamlead may look at the subtasks list and understand why is the estimation so.

Sum of subtasks estimations - is estimation for the issue. It is very important, because, customer or teamlead may choose issues for next iteration basing on its priority and estimation in such case. For example, we have three issues: 5, 15, 20, 40 hours corrspondingly. Then we may choose for first iteration issues that costs 5, 15, 20 hours. And for second iteration we may leave 40 hours issue.

Also, our developers enter time intervals - when they are working on some subtask. I.e. you may enter to any subtask and enter time, when you have worked on it. So, salary is payed to developer hourly and is calculated by XPlanner data. XPlanner has special statistics, when you may see how much time developer worked in time interval (for example, month), or by specified project.

We realy like Redmine and want to move on it :) But it has no such important features, as time intervals and subtasks :(

Also, there is cool feature in XPlanner called Original Estimation. When next iteration is being planning, it is filled by estimated issues. After that iteration starts and all estimations are fixed. So, if during iteration some estimation changes, for example, if there was mistake in estimation, then there is always stays original estimation. And customer and manager may see the original estimation and get causes of some problems on the project. For example, why developers can't reach deadline as it was planned.

Also, here is some links with video I've made for you. Please, look at working process in xplanner :)
http://screencast.com/t/OxJsAek2 - Backlog 1
http://screencast.com/t/a6zUjMIX - new iteration in xplanner.

Replies (37)

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Anton Nepomnyaschih about 6 years ago

DO you see second link?.. It seems, it was broken :(

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Mike Ozornin almost 6 years ago

Yeah, second link seems working.

Anton, can you describe company's experience in migration from XPlanner to Redmine? We also use XPlanner as primary planning system. My department use Redmine in pilot status -> company will migrate, if it's better, that XPlanner.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Anton Nepomnyaschih almost 6 years ago

Mike, our company is outsourcing firm. And we need to control a big number of projects every day. Also, we have a free schedule for our developers, i.e. each developer may work in any time of week that he want. Only thing that is required from developer is 40 hours of work per week. And we don't use timesheets.

XPlanner is serving all our needs. I've tried to make a plan of migrating to Redmine for our firm, but I couldn't. Partially, because Redmine is task-tracking system, but we need project-tracking system. I.e. we need in good tools in a level of projects. But I don't know any task-tracking system that is similar to Redmine that allows to have such good control per-project, like xplanner.

I.e. such things as Redmine, JIRA, Trac, etc. are concentrated on tasks and their performing. And the tools are very good for tasks resolving. It is very good for open-source projects or for companies that develop theirself software (not for customers, but their own soft). In such conditions, company may get reports from users as different tasks and has good ways for controlling of the tasks, such as Redmine.

But in our case (outsourcing), we have to give our customers as exact as possible estimations. And we have to control time of tasks development very strongly. In case of task-tracking system it isn't so simple to control it. But xplanner gives some reports such as 'Accuracy' to see it.

The same situation is on projects level. XPlanner is much better here.

XPlanner is worse in case of huge projects, where team is greater than 10 developers or even more. In such case we are using Components in JIRA and some custom flags that make it possible to see only issues that developer or needs. But for manager it isn't so good, because there is no per-Component reports or statistics...

So, we can't migrate on Redmine or JIRA right now. But I'm waiting while REdmine will get good time-management tools :) and watch for its progress. I think the system is very perspective :)

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Mike Ozornin almost 6 years ago

Thanks, for detailed story.

Maybe you need something for project management?
For example, dotProject — it has win InfoWorld award (http://www.infoworld.com/slideshow/2008/08/168-best_of_open_so-4.html), as best opensource product for collaboration and project planning. Maybe, clockingit (http://clockingit.com/) also.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Anton Nepomnyaschih almost 6 years ago

Thank you, Mike! I'll definitely look at the systems.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Daniel Srb almost 6 years ago

Hi, we've developed redmine plugin to help us use redmine with our agile process.

It's intended only for our internal purposes so it is as simple as possible. I attached screenshot of it's only screen (with obfuscated content, you know NDAs).

Left column is a backlog (as known in Scrum) or simply the list of stories (bulb icon) and their tasks (sticky note icon and indented), that are not yet issued for design and development. Which means in Redmine's terminology no version is set for all those issues. Tasks are linked to stories by the "blocked by" dependency link.

On the right are 4 newest versions (aka iterations) with same logic, you can see "urgent" type of task (715) which is a work not planned ahead, but must be done within that iteration.

This report also provides basic calculations
  • sums story estimates for each table (backlog and all four iterations displayed)
  • sums estimates for finished stories
  • sums estimates of tasks linked to a story and shows them next to the story's name (this can be overriden by entering estimate in story, even with empty string, so those in screenshot may not seem right) - most of this is not displayed, because we don't estimate yet.
What we plan to add (sometimes):
  • same fancy ajax multiple edit as is in issues list
  • "one click" assigment to the newest iteration (for story and to move all blockers aka tasks with it)

report.png - screenshot of "report" (48 KB)

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Mike Ozornin almost 6 years ago

Are you use both versions and iterations? I think, the best way to our company is to use versions, each consisting of 4-6 iterations.

Daniel, plugin looks very good. I think a lot of Redmine users will be very glad to use your plugin.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Daniel Srb almost 6 years ago

We simply use redmine's version to define an iteration because it has everything we need to do it: due date, name, description.

There is no need for specifying version as we "release" our web based software continuously.

I don't know the needs of your company or team, so I may just guess: If you need to say, these four iterations is a version/release, its only up to twelve times a year you need to do it. It may be good enough to just write the name of a version (or release) to those four to six iterations' descriptions.

This seems to be more general problem and I like this attitude: "Mingle recognizes that each team has a unique style of functioning, and does not impose a process. Properties and Transitions enable you to follow the process that works for your team." from http://studios.thoughtworks.com/mingle-project-intelligence, even in our company (with about 40 in-house developers) processes differ more or less in every team and the tool (software, redmine in this case) must be able to support the process not vice versa.

That's why we have one more feature in that plugin. You can customize report with css per project by adding project_identifier_at_least_4_characters_long_you_know_which_i_mean.css to plugin's assets directory and although its not nice to hide things using display:none; it's really fast and easy way for anyone to hide or display anything based on status, tracker, whatever you choose. It's possible, because every row and cell of the table has enough classes to allow you this kind of control.

It's not perfect, but it's good enough for our needs.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Reinout van Schouwen almost 6 years ago

@Daniel, my team is interested in your plugin as well.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Jim Mulholland almost 6 years ago

Daniel,

Have you released this plugin?

If so, where does the code live?

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Mischa The Evil over 5 years ago

For anyone interested; I came around a scrum-plugin for Redmine while browsing the GitHub-repos. Redmine Scrum can be found here: http://github.com/fabiokr/redmine_scrum/tree.

While being unknown to Scrum-methodology, I've quickly tested the plugin on Redmine r2167 (== 0.8.0) and it seems to be working correctly. Though it seems a bit basic to me. In my case it would have been better if some docs were provided, but YMMV.

Mischa.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Eric Davis over 5 years ago

It looks like the scrumalliance has been developing a few Scrum plugins in their Redmine tree. I don't know if they are going to extract them to separate repositories but you can get the source from Github http://github.com/scrumalliance/redmine/tree/master/vendor/plugins

  • redmine_backlogs
  • redmine_burndown
  • redmine_issue_grouping
  • redmine_story_decomposition
  • redmine_task_board

Eric

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Dan Hodos over 5 years ago

Hullo hullo!

We definitely have plans to separate out the Redmine plugins we've written into separate repositories (and clean up the code in the process) over the next few weeks. So: hooray!

Rock and/or roll,
Dan.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Oskar H over 5 years ago

That's great news Dan. I'm looking forward to checkout your plugins. Please keep us posted in this thread!

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Dan Hodos over 5 years ago

Hey folks:

I've released our first (of, hopefully, many) Redmine plugins over on github. This one is for generating Burndown charts, and is located at:

http://github.com/scrumalliance/redmine_burndown/tree/master

Feedback (or code contributions :D) are welcome!

Whoop whoop,
Dan.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Juan Perez over 5 years ago

Hi all,
I tried the code in
http://github.com/scrumalliance/redmine/tree/master/vendor/plugins

As there was no information about how to install it, I first installed Redmine according to the instructions (to get the database initialized)
and then used that DB with the git version of redmine.
I got it working with some errors from time to time. AW, it is great, I like all the scrum support it has. Thanks to the developers!
Mine  was a very dirty workaround but I couln't find the installation instructions. Is someone familiar with that? Is that project documented somewhere? 
at least the proper installation procedure.
thank you.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Reinout van Schouwen over 5 years ago

I unpacked the archive into my vendor/plugins directory and I followed the instructions in README.markdown.
Unfortunately I only get this error when trying to run Redmine:

/usr/lib64/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-2.1.0/lib/active_support/dependencies.rb:115:in `qualified_const_defined?': "Plugins::Scrumalliance-redmineBurndown::Lib" is not a valid constant name! (NameError)

Any ideas?

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Dan Hodos over 5 years ago

Hey Juan:

Glad you're liking things! Feel free to send any errors you find my way (danhodos on github, or danhodos[at]gmail[dot]com).

Cheers!
Dan.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Dan Hodos over 5 years ago

Hey Reinout:

Can you give me any details on which 'archive' in particular you're having trouble with? Also, which version of Redmine are you running? The more info I have, the more I'm likely to be able to find a fix!

Cheers,
Dan.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Reinout van Schouwen over 5 years ago

@Dan: the archive I'm talking about is the one you get when you click the Download button on the github URL given above. My Redmine version is 0.7 (the 'hooks' branch from svn), should I try 0.8?

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Arturo Zambrano over 5 years ago

Hi Dan,

thanks for the plugins! After some time I got them working but on top of an existing redmine (0.8). It is great to have such Scrum functionality into Redmine. As my installation was a bit dirty, I decided to try a clean installation I did the following (could you provide any advice or workaround for the problem listed below?):

  1. Downloaded the full redmine from github, including the SA plugins (and separately the burndown).
  2. Proceeded according to the installation instructions of redmine (run the scripts for creating the DB and populating with default data).
  3. After creating a project and a user, when clicking on the Product Backlog button, I got the error shown in the attached screenshot (rank-error.png). So, I added manually that field to the Issues table. After that, product backlog view is working.
  4. When I click on the Add Story link, if fails with as shown in the screenshot (story-error.png).

I guess it could be a setup problem, as I didn't follow any specific step for SA plugins setup, maybe there are some initialization steps I missed. Is there any specific installation insctructions for SA plugins?

Thanks!
art

rank-error.png - rank error screenshot (125 KB)

story-error.png - story error screenshot (82.6 KB)

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Mischa The Evil over 5 years ago

At first: this thread seems to go a bit more offtopic and is becoming a bit messy due to the recent growth of Redmine (scrum) plugin developments. I'd vote to split-up the topic for the seperate discussions...

Here are my two cents:

Dan Hodos wrote:

I've released our first (of, hopefully, many) Redmine plugins over on github. This one is for generating Burndown charts, and is located at:

http://github.com/scrumalliance/redmine_burndown/tree/master

Feedback (or code contributions :D) are welcome!

I've opened a new thread in the plugin-section regarding a minor fix when none versions are available.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Harry Yamamoto over 5 years ago

To Mischa The Evil
there is a bug in your redmine_collpase 0.1.0.
1,login on redmine as an administrator.
2,click administration,settings,you cannot move to the correct "project" tab by clicking the project tab.It looks like the project tab in the setting page shares a same javascript var name with the project tab in the redmine_collapse plugin div.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Mischa The Evil over 5 years ago

Harry Yamamoto wrote:

To Mischa The Evil

there is a bug in your redmine_collpase 0.1.0.

1,login on redmine as an administrator.

2,click administration,settings,you cannot move to the correct "project" tab by clicking the project tab.It looks like the project tab in the setting page shares a same javascript var name with the project tab in the redmine_collapse plugin div.

Confirmed! Thanks for reporting this defect. I'll release an updated package upcoming weekend. Just keep an eye on the plugin's wiki-page...

Though, please note that I think it's best to report these kind of messages to the dedicated forum instead of posting it in a random thread...

Mischa.

RE: Agile methodologies and Redmine - Added by Eric Davis over 5 years ago

Dan Hodos wrote:

I've released our first (of, hopefully, many) Redmine plugins over on github. This one is for generating Burndown charts, and is located at:

Feedback (or code contributions :D) are welcome!

Thank you Dan, I'll be taking a look at them soon and sending you some feedback. A few of my customers are using Scrum and Redmine and might be interested in these.

Eric

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