Friday, August 28, 2009

Agile Project Management with Google Docs

This session was an experience report by a company who decided to use Google Docs as a lightweight approach to Agile project management for a distributed Scrum. For their daily stand up meetings, they would use a shared Google Spreadsheet while having a Skype conference call. They also used this approach for the planning poker. In both instances, a single person would edit the spreadsheet, but being a shared Google Spreadsheet, everyone would see the updates in real time.

One thing they do that I found interesting is that they have a couple of LCDs near their Scrum meeting area that constantly display information about the project, such as snag count, the status of the build, etc. The goal is to create or encourage participation through shared and visible information. The term usually employed for this is "mieruka" which means "making visible" in Japanese, and seems to have been pioneered by Toyota.


  1. Ah yeah :) Would be nice to have our CoreTech global scoreboard. This would make the information very transparent but I'm sure this would make some people uneasy...

    About Google docs, this sounds like a great ideas to sharing information using a "cloud-computing" type infrastructure. For those concerned about privacy of using such services, Google protects the content of what is stored. I had some friend working at a military defense company who used this with success and no security problems were caused.

  2. I think that if making information transparent makes some people uneasy, it must be because they have their reasons... which in turn gives one more reason why we should make it transparent, so we can fix issues, not to hide them.

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