A forum for technical support discussion related to Fogbugz.
Our team loves FB as a ticketing system for support-cases. However - We've grown out of it in terms of project management (specifically team members resource planning).
In short: We need 2 things. An interactive GANTT-chart with main milestones and a calendar to see who's working on what and when. We're still using FB 6, but I don't think FB 7 will address these issues. The main thing we really need is an OVERVIEW of the work team-members are working on, and we can't get that from FB.
Can someone point me in the right direction, and suggest a PM tool that could do these 2 things and integrate with FB (6 or 7).
Monday, September 14, 2009
EBS 2.0, in FogBugz 7 has a lot more of what you might be looking for. If that doesn't suit your needs, I'm not sure what other suites interface with FogBugz.
Is there a sense as to how widely EBS is used in the FB community?
We don't use it, and others have posted similarly.
Am I just out of the loop?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The thing with EBS is that it's a good idea on paper, but working with it in practise is not as easy (at least from our experience). Maby we haven't fully grasped the whole concept yet. And we still feel that even though we rigourosly track cases according to EBS guidelines, we still don't get the reports we need. As I wrote in my first post, I want to be able to see what everyones doing right now just by looking at one calendar view or report, and I want to see the milestones in a GANTT-chart. I'm sure many others here have the same situation. All suggestions are still appreciated.
Please tell us how you set up your project management "environment".
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Unfortunately, Gannt charts don't reflect the probabilistic nature of programming work. We don't provide them because they don't reflect anything like reality, and therefore they give a flawed sense of security. They're fine for other project management tasks. For instance, say you're managing constructions, where you know that a crew of two can drywall n linear feet per shift. You take the linear feet you have, divide by n, and come up with a number of days. Software development is not like this and the main mission of FogBugz is to support software development.
Not everyone who uses FogBugz uses EBS. For some, it just doesn't make sense, but we have a large number of clients for whom it just works well. We expect the percentage to increase with 7, too, with the addition of burn-down charts.
EBS 2.0's "candy cane" graphs give you a clear idea of what every developer is working on right now, milestone by milestone. They show you when people might be blocked from working by waiting for another milestone to be completed, or by a hard start date.
We find Gantt charts utterly useless for managing our software projects. Despite this, we're continually asked to produce them.
I suggest a Plugin that puts random, but colour-coordinated milestone markers directly on a Powerpoint slide. Invaluable.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The catch-22 here is that Gantt charts are nearly useless for conveying the state of a software project, but they're understood by a broad swath of stakeholders, many of whom don't care about the nuances of Monte Carlo simulations and estimate velocities.
Gantt charts are good at getting across one thing: where we are today and if we're on schedule.
It might be possible to provide a chart that shows you your milestones as a horizontal bar, and the EBS probability that you will make your milestone ship date. I'm exploring this with the developers.
Can I suggest, as Nick mentioned, a plugin to just put out a pretty, read-only gantt chart, based on the 3 common probabilities (5%, 50%, 95%), as is done elsewhere in FB...
For any given probability, the gantt would show where you are NOW, and if you're on schedule (according to that probability) - just as you said.
I agree the gantts are useless for software development, but they are still WAY common, and many places still require them - even as a form of "communication". Gladly, I dont have to, but I have a feeling that in the near future I will be forced to deliver these...
I've actually been exporting data from FB6 to a burndown chart for my stakeholders and senior management. They have come to love it and it provides infinitely more value than a Gantt. (We'll be upgrading to FB7 soon so I'm hoping we can just use the BD chart directly in the interface.)
Luckily, we were able to explain the difference in thinking between the "MS Project way of doing things" and the "FogBugz way" and get folks to slowly come on board. What really got everyone to buy in was a combination of high-quality metrics from FB and a series of successful projects solely using FB for project management.
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