Team Management like a Boss

Posted by Vadim Todorov on May 1, 2013 12:16:00 PM

If you want to save time on a distributed team, this post is for you.

The best way to manage external teams and resources is the Space Manager Tool. Space Manager Tool is available for all Assembla Portfolios. Space Manager provides your team the ability to:

  • Share Code with Limited Access
  • Share Partial Ticket Lists
  • Share a Prioritized Backlog
  • Share Tools You Want

How does it work?

Let's start setting up a Master Space and add Child Spaces to them.

The Master Space is the container for the Child Spaces. Child Spaces are filtered spaces of the Master Space.

Say, you have an IT-outsourcing company "MasterSoft inc".

You provide services to a lot of customers. Let's take two of them: "SimpleJava" and "Soft.com".

Of course, you would like to keep customers informed. Also, Child Project members should have access to their company's content.

To achieve these goals you will setup a Master Space. All "MasterSoft" team members (PMs, Developers, Ops, etc) will become members of this space.

To add Master Space features to your Child Space use Space Manager Tool.

It can be installed from Admin->Tools:

Space Manager Tool


Also, "MasterSoft" will need a Ticket Tool to post tasks for all customers.

Each customer company will have own repository in it's Child Space, so the Master Space will not require a repo tool.

Ticket Tool


At this point you will need Tags for each child project. Tags can be managed in the Ticket Tool Settings, under the "Tags" section.

Ticket Tags Settings

Tags are also used to mark and filter tickets in the Simple Planner and Cardwall for Non-Child Spaces and Child Spaces without Filter.

In the Filtered Child Space this option is disabled, since it has already been applied.

Filtered Simple Planner


To create a Child Space you will need to switch to the Space Manager tab:

Space Manager tab


New Child Space button

Finally, setup a new Child Space:

Child Space Settings

As shown in the form, Tickets will be shared with SimpleJava space, but will be filtered by the Tag "SimpleJava".

This means that only tickets with this Tag will be displayed for the Child Space. Also, all the tickets, created from "SimpleJava" Child Space will be tagged with a "SimpleJava" tag. Nice, isn't it?

Now the only thing required, is to invite SimpleJava Team Members in the Child Space, and set up their role (member, watcher or owner).

Note, that all the roles from the Master Space will be delegated to the Child Space. So, all the Master Space members will be able to access all the Child Spaces with the same role, they have in Master Space.

The Child Space can be accessed directly from the Space Manager page or from the top bar dropdown navigation once you are in the Master Space.

The Workflow

It's time to talk about how the whole stuff works and what is the basic workflow, for the MasterSoft use case.

Bob is a QA specialist from "MasterSoft", who found a typo in the application, just deployed to the Google Play Market.

So Bob opens a new ticket from the Master Space, and tag it with "SimpleJava" tag.

Quite simple.

Now all the developers who work with "SimpleJava" will be able to see the new ticket in the filtered Child Space, as well as SimpleJava team will be able to track the progress.

So what are the results?

  • Tech Leads and Developers are more focused on their work in Child Spaces
  • PM's can still see the list of tickets for all Feature Teams, filtered by some condition (say fix-today tasks) in Master Space, alongside with filtered Backlog in the child space.
  • Your customers can track the Prioritized Filtered Backlog in the child space
  • A customer is prevented from accessing other customer's content
  • You can add any usual tool (Wiki, Messages, Repositories, e.t.c.) to the Child Space
  • You can tag a ticket for more than one team, say "SimpleJava" and "Soft.com". This introduces even more flexibility into your process.

To find out more about Scaling Teams and Resources, you may want to read Beyond the Scrum Roadmap article.

If you haven't  try Space Manager for your projects yet, you definitely should https://www.assembla.com/subscribe-portfolio.

Topics: scalable agile, development process, distributed development, project management

Written by Vadim Todorov

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