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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Agile software development with tags

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

There's practically a zillion different ways you can use Remember The Milk (admittedly we haven't counted, but we're pretty sure it's close to a zillion). This week's tip is shared by marco.vermeulen, who's come up with an interesting way to use tags for managing Agile software development with Remember The Milk.

As a software development team, we use the Scrum methodology. I recently switched to RTM, and have found it to be an indispensable tool while writing software. Using the tags have proven to be a great way of managing stories and tasks in Agile software development.

Here's how we've gone about doing it:

  1. We create our Stories first, each Story as a task with a priority.
  2. We create these Stories in a Shared List, so we all have visibility of them.
  3. We estimate our complexities with a Fibonacci sequence, and place this in brackets behind the Story name.
  4. We then create each Story in our bug tracking software (not a necessary step, but gives you a handy reference number to work with), and tag the Story with that reference number.
  5. We mark the Story with a story tag.

In other words, to create a new Story, we would typically enter:

As a User I want to view the Home page (5) !2 #Shared List #rc-123 #story

Each Story will have multiple Tasks associated with it. Once these Tasks are complete, the Story is done.

The Tasks are linked back to the Story by tagging them individually with the reference number assigned to the Story. They also live in the Shared List we created earlier. They have NO priority, to distinguish them from Stories, and are tagged as task.

Here is how we create a new Task:

Write a new jsp for the home page #Shared List #rc-123 #task

If you start working on a new Story, simply click on it's reference number tag, and voilà, you immediately see the Story on top (because of it's Priority) and all the tasks beneath. You now pick up new Tasks one at a time, marking them complete as you go along. Once you've completed all the Tasks, you can mark the Story as Complete! You can even track your progress in the Story itself.

The PM can go ahead and click on the story tag, and see what the progress of the Stories are at a glance if you're capturing time against the Story.

Well, in a nutshell, that's how we're doing it.

Thanks for sharing this tip, marco.vermeulen! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks