eScrum 1.0


Many development teams inside Microsoft are now using the agile methodology for software development and had been looking for a way to track their daily progress.  Some of the product units in Developer Division are also using this methodology.


 


A team within Microsoft decided to build a web based tool on top of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for just this purpose.   Seeing the excitement and adoption for this among internal teams, our services folks (Microsoft Consulting) wanted us to make this available broadly to our customers.  As a result, eScrum 1.0 was released today on MSDN for external consumption.


 


This tool integrates with Excel and MSProject via TFS, allows interaction with TFS Team Explorer, and is a one-stop place for all Scrum artifacts such as product backlogs, sprint backlogs, task management, retrospectives, and reports. 


 


Namaste!

Comments (16)

  1. I have read many things about Scrum project management over here in Microsoft. Almost all projects here

  2. Simon says:

    I don’t understand.  For ages you have stated that you can simply customise MSF for Agile.  Is MSF for Agile dead?  Also why is this a Web based tool when you have Team Explorer?

  3. CWeiss says:

    This looks like it could be an interesting tool, but requires a lot of implementation work for those of us not really utilizing TFS and just using Excel to track sprint goals. I’d _love_ to see a full writeup of what’s involved in installing eScrum and what it provides…

  4. erich says:

    Seems like trying to automate scrum in this way kind of defeats the purpose.  

    It sounds like theres a lot of cumbersome overhead and purchasing involved (especially with the team system) when all you really need is some post-its, an Excel spreadsheet and a couple ms-word templates.  Plus its probably difficult if you have to manage technologies in addition to Microsoft like Java or PHP.

    Scrum is about simplicity, visibility, and getting away from faceless communication.  I’ll stick to my white-board and post-its, thank you.

  5. Alexey says:

    Does Microsoft community use any of the open source tools?

    Xplanner seems to be an interesting one for agile teams.

    Also if anyone is interested in giving us their feedback on our agile product management solution http://www.yoxel.com, that would be great. Demo accounts are available.

    Cheers

  6. VAtvars says:

    Timing of this release was good, given my organization has been evaluating TFS.  We had already dug into the Conchango Scrum solution a bit, and found it was a good starting point.

    But our eScrum experience so far has been an exercise in frustration.  First of all, installation is a time consuming, manual process.  The application had a number of prerequisites like AJAX toolkit and controls that needed to be installed and configured.

    Finally after all that work, the app didn’t even work.  Project was created OK, but the custom eScrum application itself kept failing with a cryptic error in Enterprise Application logging block, such that it was completely unusable.

    Doesn’t seem quite cooked yet. 🙁

    On topic of Web front-end for TFS -> Check out MS recently purchased TeamPlain; Nice implementation!

  7. clemmend says:

    Simon mentioned above: “I don’t understand.  For ages you have stated that you can simply customise MSF for Agile.  Is MSF for Agile dead?  Also why is this a Web based tool when you have Team Explorer?”

    This answer is quite simple – MSF for Agile Software Development is very ALIVE. As part of the VSTS and patterns & practices, the MSF team is investing in substantial improvements to MSF for Agile Software Development that we will deliver in future versions of Visual Studio Team System.

    That said, VSTS provides a great platform for teams to evolve their own process, as the team that created eSCRUM did. They felt that they needed something substantially different from MSF Agile so they rolled their own in order to match some internal requirements that they were facing within their development team.

    Each team needs to adopt the process that works for their organization and their project. This team invested enough in their process that they wanted to share it with the community at large through MSDN.

    On another post above, Vatvars also mentioned that he tried to install eScrum, but it did not work on his system. eScrum was offered to the community as-is, and it is not an officially supported product so I can’t point to an escalation path (not sure if one exists yet) to help you troubleshoot the issue. In the meantime I would recommend for you to also take a look at Mike Azocar’s Scrum process template at Codeplex (http://www.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?ProjectName=VSTSScrum) and see if it will work better for your environment. If you drop me a line at _clemmend_at_microsoft_com_ (no underscores) and give me more detail, I can follow up internally.

    Vatvars didn’t mention whether he had a chance of taking an in-depth look at Conchango’s Scrum template (http://scrumforteamsystem.com/cs/forums/default.aspx). It is also popular within Microsoft, and it has the advantage of having a large community around it, where you can get support and recommend feature requests.

    I am seeing a lot of process templates being created here and there, and I would recommend process template creators to consider initiating a community around your work at CodePlex.

    The MSF team specializes on helping you to adopt and customize the process template that best fits your team. You can find additional process templates from partners, covering a range of software engineering processes, at: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/teamsystem/aa718801.aspx

    Best regards,

    Clementino Mendonca – MSF Champion

  8. benchr says:

    For more information on eScrum please see this blog http://blogs.msdn.com/benchr/

  9. If you would like an agile project management tool that has been around for years, you should look at VersionOne.  You can download the free community edition as one way to get started.

    VersionOne is Microsoft based, and supports Scrum, XP, and custom/hybrid approaches.

    You can also contact me at Michael dot Leeds at VersionOne dot com

  10. Hi there,

    I’ve installed escrum and connected it to TS, SharePoint, and have started a mini test project on it. I like it quite a lot. It’s fast and straight to the point.

    Most the the reports fail however because of inexistent Analysis services cubes (perspectives really)… do you know if escrum requires TS to be installed on SQL server 2k5 Enterprise or is the standard version enough?

    Thanks,

    Steven.

  11. Raj says:

    I have installed eScrum and completed the necessary installation steps. I could browse the home page but if select other tabs,  got the following error.

    System.Net.WebException: The request failed with HTTP status 404: .

      at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.ReadResponse(SoapClientMessage message, WebResponse response, Stream responseStream, Boolean asyncCall)

    :

    :

    Pl. How do i reslove this error?

    Thanks

    Raj

  12. John Wilkins says:

    I found some interesting information on http://www.gatherspace.com for scrum and requirements.

    http://www.gatherspace.com/static/scrum_software_development.html

    Kind of a good way to manage the product backlog using scrum.

  13. Sekhar says:

    Any plans to enhance eScrum along with VSTS 2010?

  14. Somasegar says:

    Hi Sekhar,

    There are no plans for eScrum with VSTS 2010 – if you have specific feedback, please contact mohan.thomas@microsoft.com.

    -somasegar