[Sponsor Article] Implementing Scrum like a Jedi Master… or a Sith Lord, from Axosoft

By John Sparrow

5 agile practices that would help Darth Vader build a Death Star and will help you manage projects that are equally as impactful on the galaxy!

Many of you are probably already familiar with Star Wars, yes? Here at Axosoft, we have a lot of Star Wars fans who have voiced the question: “What if Axosoftour Agile project management softwarewas used to help build the Death Star and ultimately take down the Rebellion?”

Although an omnipresent threatening “force” is a useful methodology, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine should have realized that a more pragmatic, controlled, and proactive approach to project management could have helped them pull off the monumental and complex task of building the Death Star in a timely manner.

Approaching Agile Like a Master
Can you imagine if they had adopted an agile approach? We all know Agile is not in and of itself the solution to complicated projects. But using an Agile framework such as Scrum provides a “focused yet flexible project management strategy that empowers self-organizing teams to work through an iterative software development process.”

So let’s talk about 5 agile practices that would help Darth Vader build a Death Star and will help you manage projects that are equally as impactful on the galaxy!

1. Release Planning
In order to be successful, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine would have to plan their releases within the overall scope of the Galactic Empire’s continuing dominance of the galaxy, and also within each project.

With a forward-thinking methodology, they could use Axosoft’s Release Planner to split up their Death Star project (shown below as DS-1) into sprints to ensure that milestones are clearly defined and completed on time.

star wars_backlog.gif

For example, Vader would be able to work out precisely at which stage in development the Death Star’s weapons and shields should be fully operational, even before overall completion.

Of course, many subsequent tasks would be dependent on completion of the defense systems. For example, the shield and defensive firepower planning and construction would be formed in the first sprint, with subsequent sprints being populated with items contingent on that security being in place (perhaps maybe offensive weaponry and phase 2 of actual construction).

Using workspace tabs, Vader and team could filter items by designation, by sprint, and all sorts of other ways. These views could easily be saved in convenient tabs at the top of the screen for future reference. Point for the Dark Side!

star wars_backlog.png

Using Axosoft’s Release Planner, Vader’s project manager could quickly drag and drop items to assign them to team members. With tasks assigned, they would be able to see how many hours each team member has available and could see whether members were overstretched or underutilized. Darth Vader could rest easy for a bit.

If Vader saw that the development of the laser was completed ahead of schedule, he could simply reassign several scientists and engineers to, let’s say, a more menial, yet important task of uniform design and stitching, which might be behind schedule.  Because really, showing off the destructive power of a planetary deathray hardly looks impressive when conducted in the standard issue Empire polo shirts and khakis.

2. Workflow Management
In order to track and visualize his team’s hard-earned progress, they could leverage Axosoft’s Kanban board to move items through workflow swim lanes, manually or automatically, and trigger certain actions.

When a team member drags and drops a card into the next step in the workflow, Vader could trigger automatic notifications for certain people or teams. For example, If the weapons were ready for testing, the QA people should know!

Axosoft Card View Kanban Board

3. Agile Metrics
As work progresses and his team enters in work logs, Vader would be able to compare estimated work hours with actual hours. Here’s the cool part: Vader and team could use the sleek burndown charts and velocity calculations to quickly see their projected completion date based on actual work being completed. From there, they could make adjustments as necessary to ensure their project is completed on time.


Vader would revel in the power of having so much important data at his fingertips! Axosoft’s agile reports would allow him to:

  • Accelerate product delivery (finishing the DS-1 faster)
  • Manage changing priorities (weapon systems vs uniform design)
  • Increase productivity (making sure the team is fully utilized)

Because at the end of the day, every team wants to meet their organizational goals by shipping high quality products faster!

4. Daily Standup
Daily standups would be a game changer for team Vader. Prior to these daily check-ins, emotions were no doubt running high, and we all know about Darth Vader’s proclivity for force chokeholds when he gets angry.

Luckily, with Axosoft’s Standup Mode projected, everyone can see if work is proceeding on schedule and there’s no doubt team members have the tools they need. This essential “anti-meeting” allows information to flow freely and promotes communication. There's even a built-in timer to keep things moving at a good pace.

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5. Wiki
Axosoft’s wiki feature could easily allow Vader and team to collaborate in a sensical manner on certain items–mainly documents. They could set up items and then link them to their corresponding wiki for collaborative review.

star wars_wiki.gif

Axosoft could help Vader’s crew to better share updates, understand and anticipate the progress of every team, and adjust quickly to accommodate any unexpected changes in scope. Perhaps that pesky exhaust port bug wouldn’t have slipped through the net.

In short, to answer our original question: yes, Axosoft could definitely help the dark side overtake the galaxy. But, who doesn’t cheer for the good guys?

The Force is strong with Axosoft’s Scrum software, but you don’t need to use it to see how Axosoft can improve your agile project management.

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