Sprint communication

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Ongoing sprint.png This article covers an agile concept!

Agile concepts are currently evaluated by the development team to help us stay focused and make better progress on a more steady basis.

This article explains how communication in sprints is different to normal project communication.

Contents

Why have sprint communication guidelines?

Sprint communication guidelines help us to stay focused on the sprint goal. Furthermore they ensure that working on the sprint tasks is actually fun and doesn't turn into frustration.

Are these guidelines up to discussion?

  • Guidelines are open to discussion before a sprint takes place but not during the sprint
  • Sprint developers accept these guidelines when contributing to a sprint

Sprint communication guidelines

First things first: in sprints, our general communication guidelines apply. This said, sprint communication will especially focus on constructive feedback. Here are some pointers what constructive feedback actually means:

Address the problem, not the person
Sprints are focused on the specific sprint goal. We want to act as a team to reach the sprint goal. If problems show up, we should address them, not the person who might have accidentally caused them. Avoid ad hominem arguments.
Ask questions
Suggestions can be often worded as questions to express that you're looking for additional feedback or are unsure about a specific point. There is nothing wrong with wording suggestions as statements, but if so, you should have thought things through.
Help to fix
There is nothing wrong with pointing out problems. It's appreciated and actually essential for the inspect and adapt approach. This said: there is good feedback and bad feedback. The sprint team owns the sprint and also the problems. If you're just willing to complain, but not willing to help fixing the problems, you'll annoy the other sprint developers who actually focus on fixing problems pretty soon.

Sprint IRC channel

Purpose of the channel

  • Real time developer communication in sprints

Pointers

  • If nobody is around to discuss sprint related topics, consider to bring them up at the sprint forums instead
  • Invite other sprints developers who aren't aware of the channel to join it as well

Rules

  • Our common communication guidelines apply
  • Strict on topic sprint discussion; this is not a community channel
  • Constructive communication

Address

  • Network: freenode
  • Server: irc.freenode.net
  • Port: 6667
  • Channel: #parpg-sprint
  • Direct link (only works with some clients): irc://freenode/parpg-sprint

Browser-based IRC client

In case you don't have access to a standalone IRC client right now, you can join the #parpg-sprint channel inside the web browser by using this link: http://sprint.parpg.net

Channel logs

Sprint channel logging is kindly provided by OpenGameArt. The logs are currently not password protected and can be found here: http://sprintlogs.parpg.net

Sprint channel log timestamps are UTC-7.

Pastebins

It's often useful to share code snippets or log files on the channel. Pastebins provide an easy way to exchange these kind of snippets without flooding the IRC channel. Simply paste the URL of your pasted text into the channel instead of the text itself.

We prefer to use codepad as standard pastebin for PARPG: http://parpg.codepad.org/

Sprint Trac milestones

For every sprint, there is a separate sprint milestone in Trac that forms the sprint backlog. The sprint backlog consists of the user stories we plan to tackle during the sprint, the tasks that are derived from the user stories and sprint-related bug reports.

The twice-weekly Scrum

During sprints, we'll have timeboxed IRC meetings to report back progress and bring up impediments. In full time projects, these meetings happen daily and are timeboxed to 15 minutes. Due the distributed team that is spread around the world, meeting daily is not feasible. Therefore we will have timeboxed IRC meetings twice a week (limited to 30 minutes) and use the forums to communicate between the twice-weekly Scrum meetings.

Sprint boards at the forums

We've set up sprint specific boards at the forums where all sprint-related communication is meant to happen (besides discussion on IRC, that happens in the sprint IRC channel). These sprint boards are for strict on topic sprint discussion. Off topic posts by community members will be moved outside the sprint boards.

The sprint boards will be also used for reporting progress and bringing up impediments between the twice-weekly Scrum meetings. In case somebody can't make it to one of the twice-weekly Scrum meetings in IRC, he should use the forums for reporting back instead.

The sprint boards can be found here:

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