How to use Redmine for Project Management

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Using Redmine For Project Management at PromptCloud

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Managing projects… • We use ScrumBut as a project management tool to support Redmine • Redmine is open-source and written in Ruby • Redmine works on any machine that supports Ruby as long as it is connected to some database • Getting started can be troublesome. Redmine is stubborn when it comes to compatibility with Ruby and its gems

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Redmine Basics • Scrum-based tools will invariably force Scrum on you • Not following its word-by-word process makes it quite useless • Redmine is useful because it eliminates bureaucracies • It works for your needs and is independent of team size process or project types • Redmine is self-sufficient in itself despite being open-source. • With it you can create as many issues with task types of bug/feature/task and assign it to any member input start and end dates estimated time give it a description etc.

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Redmine Basics contd. • Track status via simple relevant updates • Single page issue-history tracking • All issues and sub-issues can belong to a project which itself can be a sub- project to another higher level project in the hierarchy • Support multiple users with definite access levels • User functioning can be modified by addition to any task in a project either as “assignee” or as “watcher” • Add files to a task + track percentage completion • Intuitive text formatting within Redmine any other wiki

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Using Redmine PromptCloud Activities we use Redmine for

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I. Planning • Leverageing the “Target Version” component for our weekly planning is important practice • We named a version as “pool” which holds all the anticipated tasks in the pipeline • During the weekly planning meeting tasks from “pool” get pulled into the in-progress version which runs for a week • Two weeks might look more viable given standard sprint lengths • Tasks are self-assigned for the week based on combined notion of roadmap

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Fig A: Assigning each task to a version existing already in pool or in creation

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II. Tracking • Redmine is a great tracking tool for bugs feature updates or anything that can be easily missed or is critical to track • Once a task / bug is created it is a perfect reflection of what has been happening w.r.t. that task. • Additional options to log time against each task available • We use the checklist feature to create a list of items within a task • No need to create sub-tasks • Watchers receive e-mail notifications as and when updates are made

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Fig B: Our transitional flow for any task New Assigned Resolved Closed

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Fig C: Snapshot e-mail integration for updates

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• All completed tasks are marked closed • Pending tasks are pushed into another version called “backlog” • Advantage: • General analysis of tasks performed • Identify roadblocks faced • Weekly discussions throw up improvement tactics as by-products • It aids in evaluating our Redmine usage and changing internal processes Redmine displays the closed tasks with a strikethrough due date remains unchanged II. Tracking contd.

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Redmine Essentials Features that we use best to our advantage

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Wiki • Must-use in Redmine is the wiki • We use it for all things A to Z – from meeting notes to highlights of strategy discussion and even as a structured training handbook for new members • Our complete documentation of our technology stack sits there Integration with Gerrit • Git is our code repository • Gerrit is used for reviews • We have customized Redmine to work with Gerrit • Here all code reviews related to a task get updated on Redmine via a simple task ID specification while committing our code

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Support portal • Same instance of Redmine is used as support portal • Clients open tickets to assign jobs • Tickets are copied for internal tracking. Updates are automatic • Every client operates via a uniquely accessible sub-project • Team has access to all sub- projects Task co-relation • Simple yet powerful feature • Easily relate a task to another to keep track • Makes it easy to close loops and improve cycle • Best used when developing a component and dependent tasks to accomplish exist

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Fig D: Snapshot of task co-relation in Redmine

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Redmine Deficiencies • Redmine lacks the ability to create all tasks in one go • Creating one task per page is the limit • Assigning parent task is a separate process • Lack of complete task or milestones at same time is an inconvenience Tip: Avoid using sub-task feature because it creates a bit of complexity while tracking • Example: Close a sub-task without closing the parent task is not possible

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Redmine Deficiencies contd. • Not a planning tool • Redmine has never claimed its utility as a planning tool • Relevant features hence absent Tip: Convince yourself with the workarounds • Garbled tasks • Failing regular updates tasks end up as a big blob of irrelevance lists

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Say yes to Redmine It only takes practice to keep Redmine updated and tweaking it to suit your needs OPEN-SOURCE + ZERO PRICE + EFFORT + TWEAK CUSTOMIZE GREAT PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL

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Have you brought Redmine in action in various other ways We are eager to hear.

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