Our latest Ship It Days are in full swing, and our five teams are hard at work, making their ideas a reality.
(What are Ship It Days? Why do we do this? We've explained that in a previous post.)
In no particular order, we take a look at the different projects, their goals and challenges.
We have a number of screens hanging on the walls, often showing important metrics for certain projects. Those were all custom jobs, however, hard to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and, inevitably, outdated from time to time. By creating a single web application that allows for the easy creation of both global and personal dashboards, using a set of predefined widgets, our Digital Signage project should make it a lot easier to show the metrics we want, when we want them.
Making sure the widgets are always properly aligned and visible is going to require some thought, though. And actually getting them on the screens, without wasting time on cables, chromecasts or apple tv’s, is crucial if we want anyone to actually use it.
At our (still somewhat new) offices in Mechelen, we only have a limited number of parking spaces reserved especially for us, and to get to them, you have to pass a (very) narrow entry way. Using a Raspberry Pi and a camera, we want to create a system that detects whether there’s a space available, and automatically sends this info to a pretty dashboard, or allows a screenshot of the current situation to be requested via a Slack bot.
The Parking Spotter should reduce the amount of calls and Slack messages asking whether there’s space, and the number of times people needlessly navigate the (very) narrow entry way. But this hinges not only on getting the camera to work, but also on implementing object recognition and on not violating any privacy laws in the process.
Based on an existing tool, that turned out to be slightly too limited for our use, the Scrum Poker Online Tool (SPOT) would allow developers to give individual estimations for tickets at their leisure, which can then be consolidated at the weekly grooming meeting. This will increase our grooming efficiency, as the estimations will have been done by then, and improve the care with which the estimations are made, as this no longer happens in a rush at the start of the meeting.
Still, SPOT will need many features immediately implemented for it to actually be used, not in the least an extensive users and roles system, to make sure everyone only sees the tickets for their own teams, PM’s can see all estimations, and so on.
Remote working is becoming an everyday fact of life, and knowing where your colleagues actually are is now less obvious, but still pretty handy. Are they at the other office? At home? With a client?
Our ‘Where Are You Now?’ tool aims to alleviate this problem. Can we make it so easy to use as to require almost no effort to signal where you are? And could it be super easy to have our colleagues find out where we are (when we so choose, of course)? These are the questions we want answered during these Ship It Days. Having a functioning application that does these things would also be a big plus, naturally.
The frantic search for a free meeting room will cease here and now! The Meeting Room Availability Dashboard will give everyone a clean-cut overview of all of our meeting rooms, showing occupation now and in the future, for how long and by whom.
Right now, all this data is available, but scattered around our Outlook calendar. Getting to the data could be a challenge; showing it in a format that is clearer than the current one, however, will be hard not to do.