Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reformatted Product Backlog Composition Report for Conchango TFS Template

There are some great reports that come out of the box with the Conchango Scrum process template for TFS, but I have always had an issue with the formatting of the Product Backlog Composition report.

This report is a great breakdown of each Sprint showing the Product Backlog Items and all the associated Sprint Backlog items. It shows the story points assigned to each Product Backlog Item as well as the original estimated hours versus the hours remaining for each of the subsequent Sprint Backlog items. This is a good report for management that want to see what items are being worked on in the Sprint and now muck work remains to be done. Project managers used to more traditional reporting seem to like it also.

I had a few of issues with the report that comes with the template:

  • The Story Points for each Product Backlog Item line up on top of the column for the Sprint Backlog Item's original estimated hours. This makes it look like the total of those hours, which of course it isn't.

  • There is a total for the hours remaining for the Sprint Backlog Items, but it is at the top of the column next to the Story Points for the Product Backlog Item. This also leads to the misconception that the Story Points are the total for the original estimates. I also would expect the totals to be at the bottom of the columns, not at the top.

  • The rows are separated using alternating row colors, but I rarely print the report with colors so the rows run together.

Paul Gauthier, who works at one my clients, created a new version that addresses the issues above. Click here to download the version Paul has reformatted.

Paul is working on a few other reports that I have had in mind for a while but could not find the time to create (plus I do not know very much about SQL Reporting Services). I'll post those soon.

No comments: