I can maybe offer something here. begin rambling
My team of 4 (2 coders, 2 biz people) has recently switched to using
Tracker, and we’ve been doing the following:
- Figure out what we can do that will add value
- Draw out the ui / changes on a whiteboard
- Write out features & copy them into pivotal (as stories)
This solves the following problems:
Coders have trouble communicating how long things will take to MBAs
(clients). Putting them in pivotal allows us to be clear about how long
things will take, and that adding things will add time.
Reduces miscommunications between clients and coders, because it forces
clients to be clear about what they want / gives coders ability to show
some things are not worth the time.
What is still lacking:
While we’ve been getting better at this, what’s lacking is a client
to understand how features can/should be written.
I’ve been just allowing them to write them however they want, with a few
pointers, as for a lot of steps it requires a bit too much understanding
about how Rails works. For example, explaining to a long-term client the
difference between “press” and “follow” is fine, but I can imagine
bit silly trying to explain it to a new client whom I am making a
So, the solution to this may be to work together (on this list) to come
with better ways of writing features. (E.g. I’ve stopped using “And I
be at xyz” and “And there should be a xyz form” and a few other similar
things except in cases where they’re necessary, as clients would not
themselves include these kind of steps for the most part)
So, in terms of an interface:
I like the idea of changes coming in via something like git, where I
be able to see the differences. However this is not particularly
from updaing a feature on Pivotal, Trac or Lighhouse.
I think a more interesting idea for an interface would be something that
helps clients write features, like, some sort of drag and drop thing
they could start as a certain type of user, then drag in whens, then
thens, or something. Probably not specific enough to be usefull, but
this will spark an idea for someone else.
In the distant future I can imagine some sort of speccing web app that
allow clients to build features by clicking and typing, and then
sort them plus visualize how they link together.
So, for example, there might be:
UserTypes - role:string
Actions - what:string
Results - what_happens:string
As a client I would be able to create a bunch of these, then arrange
and then print them out for my coders.