Scarab guidelines

The success of any project depends on managing and solving problems. How you use the tools will be dependent upon how your project is organized and your planned workflow processes. You can use the tools as a knowledge sharing device and a means of tracking and managing the health of your project.

Project knowledge sharing

Information captured within Scarab can be highly effective for many areas within a project. Because Scarab is so highly configurable, knowledge resources can be customized to the needs of each discipline within an organization. Tracking a feature across discipline lines can be done by copying issues and creating dependencies between them. For instance, Project Go has issue types organized by milestone within the feature lifecycle. Project Go has the following issue types: Planning, Development, Testing, Release management and Support. New features are entered in the Planning issue type where they are processed till ready for development. At that point, the issue is copied to Development, Release management and Testing issue types and all copies are set to blocked by the Development issue. All actors have a full description of the feature, including all conversations involved in creating the specifications. Since all issues have interdependencies, monitoring efforts across the discipline lines is an easy process. Blocking all the issues by the Development issue means that none of them can be closed till the development cycle has completed, but each group can continue to work based on what is happening with the development project. For example, documentation may be a part of the release management cycle. Writers can track the features in development and track their documentation efforts in their own issue with links to the development issue. After the feature has been released to the users, support can track incoming issues and easily access information about the feature through any of the issue types and be able to link to other areas quickly through the issue history.

Tracking project health

Scarab can assist in tracking and assessing the health of a project. If your project is experiencing a particular type of concern you need to track, Scarab can help you do this through a series of processes. For example, Project Go has just added a new database and developers are concerned that the new database will cause significant performance problems. While running routine reports and queries, the project lead has determined that there is, indeed, a performance issue possibly associated with the new database. It is determined that fixing this problem is top priority and critical to the success of the project. To facilitate work on this problem, the project owner has created an issue entry template and series of queries and reports. Users are asked to use the template and enter specific information about what they have found in a description attribute. The template is used to regularize information about issues. Using a saved query, project members can quickly access issues involving this concern and concentrate efforts in critical areas. Tracking the progress of resolving the performance problems can be done using reports. How to configure it for your needs can be confusing. This document is a suggested set of practices.