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I am getting to grips with MS Project 2013. But I wonder if it is usable for Agile software development? So far it seems to be quite useful for setting up an initial plan, for creating offers, calculating costs and for calculating delivery dates.

But what happens when the project is actually in progress?

The Waterfall model is long outdated. Software today is being developed in cycles. You are planning these cycles and achieving milestones but while these are developed you are collecting Bug and feature requests from the users and you need to adapt to sudden changes, unexpected events and software failures etc. So new tasks will constantly arise during the project, existing tasks will change and actual work time will be different.

Can MS-Project be usefully used for constantly adapting to modifications of a "live" project? Can it be used for project management, as well as tracking activity and collecting bug and feature requests?

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    You are making an incorrect assumption that the Waterfall method no longer plays any part in software development. Waterfall is still used successfully in very many software development projects. In any case the bit of a project that actually delivers the software build is often a fraction of the overall project- you can use Agile to deliver the software within a Waterfall project that delivers much more than "just" a piece of software. I have never managed an Agile s/w delivery so cannot comment on MS-P's suitability, but I use it daily to manage Waterfall projects from start to finish. – Marv Mills Apr 23 '15 at 11:30
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    Note that MS-Project is not a tool for time recording or collecting bug and feature requests. – Marv Mills Apr 23 '15 at 11:33
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    @MarvMills - I am interested in how you think Agile can work within a Waterfall environment? By it's very nature the requirements are gathered and deployed and then refined for the next stage of requirements gathering every 2 to 4 weeks. How can that be compatible with waterfall which requires that all requirements be gathered up front and then delivered in one stage... You end up with a hybrid which is the worst of both worlds. – Venture2099 Apr 23 '15 at 11:54
  • @MarvMills do you know any good tools for bug/feature tracking, which could integrate with MS Project ? – user16911 Apr 23 '15 at 12:09
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    @Venture2099 I think you may be making the common mistake of thinking that the software development is the project. Often it is only a part of the project. I believe you could easily do a fully Agile software development where the overall Project or Programme is Waterfall, though the interface between the Project and the Software development, via the requirements, clearly has to be a hybrid approach and, in fact, use the Agile approach. That doesn't have to affect the rest of the project though. A subject for a discussion thread I feel, rather than in comments. – Marv Mills Apr 23 '15 at 12:34
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I used it for Scrum projects, but it is not too comfortable. You can use it to forecast delivered functionality at a later point of time, but you need a lot of manual work for that:

  • you should translate complexity estimations to duration estimations based on current velocity, and update them when velocity changes or stories are reestimated
  • you must update the predecessor relations frequently, as the backlog changes
  • if you choose to use higher level tasks for iterations, tasks representing stories must be moved between them

In general, however, there's big value of using a mature planning / tracking software (for example, MS Project). You should consider using it on a higher level - you can track against delivery cycle, probably on an epic level; you can include additional workstreams that are not covered by Scrum (going live, migration support, training, etc.); you can track programs consisting multiple projects to see if they are still on track for a final delivery...

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For an overview of using Project 2013 in scrum and agile see:

http://blogs.office.com/2013/12/10/december-17-webcast-available-on-demand-scrum-and-agile-planning-with-microsoft-project-2013/

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Team Explorer allows Excel and MS Project to interact with a TFS server.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms181675.aspx

I've used it in the past to generate visual aids for reporting purposes. The plugin allows the user to input entries in a TFS task board, create links, and output a "gantt" from a project or sprint perspective.

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I'm Scrum master in a company and I started to use Microsoft Project for manage the project backlog. It's very difficult use this software because Project is not prepared to arrange a project with an agile methodology. Now, I use a simple blackboard with posits. I save all histories in a Excell. In the other hand you can use a specifically software like AgileFant it's free and have a community version

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Agile development occurs in a very collaborative environment. MS Project, generally, is not a collaborative tool. As a result, it would appear it could be helpful as a higher level tool for planning and monitoring according to progress on higher level tasks. However, it seems very cumbersome at best to accommodate the degree of collaboration and organic change that occurs on agile projects.

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It will be very valuable for deployment and other planned activities as training where you need to plan considering resources availability

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  • Your answer is a little sparse. Can you provide more details, please? – Sarov Jun 12 '17 at 13:04

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