FAQ – How many ALM Ranger initiatives can/should I commit to?

If you read through Understanding the Visual Studio ALM Rangers you will quickly realize that the Visual Studio ALM Rangers community is an assimilation of amazing individuals who are passionate about the community, Visual Studio ALM, mentorship and creating out-of-band tooling and value-add guidance for missing features.

We are currently entering an exciting phase during which we are discussing and planning new projects. It is a time that many of us feel like a Chameleon in a Smartie (Skittles) box. Unfortunately it is also the beginning of the end for ALM Rangers who will be burning out, as they commit to more than they can balance between their real-job and more importantly their family time.

Important things to remember to avoid a burnout!

To ensure your passion for technology, the community and the ALM Rangers never nears the Empty indicator you should:image


Commit to maximum one ALM Ranger project as contributor and subject matter expert (SME).

To contribute constructively you need to have a level of experience in the subject matter area and an average of 2.5/week minimum bandwidth to contribute. Avoid joining as a contributor if your objective is to learn a completely new technology.

Commit to maximum two ALM Ranger projects as a reviewer and SME.

To review constructively and be able to give candid feedback you need a level of experience in the subject matter area and an average of 1.25h/week minimum bandwidth per project.
3 Commit to maximum one ALM Ranger project as a reviewer, where you are not a SME and expecting to learn as you review. To review constructively, be able to give candid feedback and learn the new subject matter area you need a minimum of 2.5h/week bandwidth.
4 Commit to maximum one ALM Ranger project as project lead (PL). Experienced project leads, who work in close corporation with the ruck master, program manager and mentor, we estimate 28h + 1h/week of bandwidth for a typical project. For inexperienced project leads the bandwidth has a tendency if increasing sharply, especially during critical phases (alpha, beta, RC and RTM)
5 Commit to one task from the sprint backlog at a time.   You never know what happens at work or home tomorrow. By committing to one task at a time you minimise the risk for the team and the pressure on yourself. You can always grab more later 🙂
6 Avoid combining contributor, reviewer and project lead roles and associated commitments.   Combining project lead and reviewer roles are a good and natural fit. Combining any other roles works great in fine weather conditions, however, when fire-drills and storms appear, you will very quickly be overwhelmed and become a huge risk for your team.
7 Work with your mentor, Ruck Master and the ALM Rangers Support team to proactively raise  and address concerns, issues and impediments.   The mentors, Ruck Masters and support team are experienced and eager to help you and your team succeed. Never go dark, raise impediments early and avoid fire-drills … they are a risk, demoralising and very seldom a recipe to success.

Hope this helps both the seasoned and new ALM Rangers to keep their work, family and Visual Studio ALM Rangers (VSAR) ecosystems balanced and in harmony!


Most importantly ensure that …
( (Pain+Time+Effort) < (Fun+Collaboration+Learning) ) ? Smile : Sad smile  ;

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