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Personal/Individual Projects

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  • 1.  Personal/Individual Projects

    Posted 04-30-2020 04:33 PM
    I have fielded several requests throughout the tenure of Rally in our organization for personal projects. Individual users requesting their own project to manage their work, outside of an agile team. We have tried to maintain Rally as an Agile Life Cycle Management tool. However, as the requests become more frequent and from varied users, I am beginning to question our reasoning for refusing the requests for a Personal Project.

    They want a space to be able to put in their personal stories and to be able to create a personal Kanban board with lanes specific to them. They want the ability to display stories from their team projects but not necessarily share their personal stories with the team.

    While I see value in the request for the individual, I see no value to the teams and quite a bit of maintenance for the administrators. We could essentially end up with more personal projects than work projects and a custom field for each personal project to create the Kanban board.

    Have any of you dealt with such requests and have you accommodated the request or declined? Will you share your reasoning?

    Thank you in advance,

  • 2.  RE: Personal/Individual Projects

    Posted 05-05-2020 11:12 AM
    I agree with you, I would also decline the request. However, there may be some alternatives that the requester may find agreeable. For example, the requester could create their own stories in their team's backlog while adding some indicator, such as a tag or custom field, that marks it as their own personal story. These stories could live at the bottom of the backlog so they don't inadvertently become priorities. Additionally, the team could exclude these stories from their backlog views.

    The requester could then set up a custom board to view not only their personal stories but the team's stories as well.

    I hope that helps.

  • 3.  RE: Personal/Individual Projects

    Posted 05-05-2020 03:46 PM
    Do they want to tie these personal stories to other work at all?  Are these to be pointed and counted in the team velocity? Will they have dependencies to or from other stories? Does your organization pull data from Rally to track progress at a portfolio level or team level and would these pollute those reports without setting those to explicitly exclude these stories?
    Do these personal stories need to exist in the same workspace as your normal workspace? Could you create a sandbox of sort for the team members to create whatever they want (but this would not interact with your production space).

  • 4.  RE: Personal/Individual Projects

    Posted 05-05-2020 04:53 PM
    Great questions Mitch.  The individual will want to see the stories on their personal board, but the stories may not have anything to do with the work of the Team.  I doubt they plan to put a plan estimate or record estimate and actual hours to the stories.  So they would not impact the velocity or burndown charts.  We run both Kanban and Scrum teams, if this were a Kanban team, these stories would impact the Throughput and Cycle Lead Time reports if the user looking at the reports were scoped to include child projects.   Our organization does have some projects, I don't think this is one of them; however, that tracks work at the portfolio level, if it does modifications to the reports/views would be required.  We have discussed the possibility of creating the personal project in a separate workspace and the user was opposed to it as then they would not be able to see all of their work on one board.

    I want to be fully aware of the pitfalls before I allow this, as I will be setting a precedence and opening the door to many such requests.  Thank you for you input!

  • 5.  RE: Personal/Individual Projects
    Best Answer

    Posted 05-07-2020 10:01 AM
    I understand. I guess my question is why aren't stories created for this personal work? It has to be chewing into your team's bandwidth, so I would imagine you would want to track that and get a feel for it on a historical basis. These stories do not have to trace up to capital portfolio items. You could create one or more portfolio items at the team level to file these under that do not rise up to the level of the product team. But it would give you a way to capture what work is being done,what that impact is to the team, and will give the team members what they need for tracking that work along side of their other work.

    If that is not agreeable to your organization, I would just decline that suggestion to the team members and suggest they use something else like Excel or a to-do app to keep track of their work (not ideal, that's for sure)