Using Scrum in- and with an OFBiz component
After using scrum for one customer, we loved it so much so that we introduced this development framework in the whole company. The main advantages are to cut a project in parts, called sprints, and further the transparency, fixed periods and dates.
We based our working principles on a number of documents which can be found here:
- Scrum guide in various languages
- Scrum in 30 seconds
- Scrum in 5 minutes
Although it is heavily discussed all over the Internet that tools are not required we think the Scrum development framework is difficult to use without tools for a number of reasons:
- Transparency is often called the major advantage of the framework: without a web based publication, is hardly achievable.
- Management and customer want to be able to follow the process, without physically being there.
- Programmers are normally not very strong in verbal communication.
- English is not the native language of most members so text for meetings (we often do in a chat group session) can be prepared before hand.
- Customers (product Owners) never are on the same location as the programmers.
We looked around for existing tools but came to the conclusion that a tool in our own environment, the "Apache OFBiz ERP system” would be the best solution. If we could build the tool as a training exercise using the scrum framework itself, would be even better.
So that is what we did, we created a scrum support tool using the OFBiz framework with the following main features:
- Use Apache OFBiz framework so the system is webbrowser based and integrated in the company ERP system. (Eat our own dogfood)
- Be able to store product/backlog/project/sprint/task/member information.
- Implement security so participants can only do what is allowed according the Scrum framework.
- We also developed a number of extensions to the scrum framework:
- Have a separate test team be aware of completed backlog items and provide their approval or create error tasks.
- Have time registration and being able to create invoices from it.
- Have a task list for scrum members ordered by priority (error tasks first)
- Have an interface to SVN, so Scrum participants are aware of the program changes on a product/sprint/backlog level.
- Scrum team members can send emails to the product owners and answers are received within the system so keeping a history of email discussions.
- Be able to store documents on a product/backlog/task level.
- Interface to a continuous testing environment, so if errors are found, they are visible within the system.
- On the time sheet it will be possible to enter leave/sickness which will be inserted in the HR component entities.
We are now using the system on a number of projects and it is doing pretty well. Currently we are creating help screens and a demo to try the system for other companies which will be available in a week or so.
If you are interested, let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can see how this system can also support your OFBiz maintenance and/or development department.
Posted on: 2010-11-02 15:40:51.152 By hansbak