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I am part of a Scrum team and we are constrained to use Microsoft Project (MSP).

I understand that MSP is not primarily an Agile project management tool and I would very much to use something like VersionOne or Rally's tool. However, that is not possible right now and we are bound to MSP.

I know there is a Microsoft provided "Scrum Starter Solution" for MSP 2010 (http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/P2010Scrum) but it really isn't that comprehensive.

I would like to know the experience and techniques that others using Scrum (or for that matter other Agile processes) had in using MSP. How did they map or customize MSP to bring in all Scrum artefacts and practices (e.g. Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog with tasks associated to say a user store from the Product Backlog, defining Sprints).

Thanks in advance.

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It depends on what level of detail is required in your MS level project.

Here is my suggestion:

  • Don't try to track sprint tasks in MS project. That is low level and is for the team to help coordinate their sprint commitments, so they should be kept someplace the team can continuously seem them and update them, like a standard sprint board if you are all co-located or a shared google doc if not. This is the low tech way.
  • Then use MS project as the backlog management tool along with release management.
  • Divide work into sprints with start and end dates
  • create a new column for the story point size, do not be tempted to add story durations or estimates, you could make them all 2 week durations for examples to try and avoid this.
  • Drag and drop stories per priorities into sprint buckets or into release buckets
  • Manage via the total of the custom story point column and the avg velocity

So, it can be done, if you work hard to only use it to get the value you need for planning and tracking in the context of Scrum and be careful to not go beyond this.

Example MS Pro Setup

  • Hi, can you provide your template please ? thxs – Kikou Jun 16 '17 at 13:25
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In once case I used a spreadsheet for the development team to plan, estimate and track all backlog items. This spreadsheet also included the burn-down graphs and similar.

We used MS Project only for the communication with external stakeholders. It didn't contain all the nitty, gritty details but only things like a sprint as one line item, or a release as a milestone. We had to be somewhat creative to assign resource and level resources but it was doable.

As a result the team worked internally the way that worked best for them while at the same time working with outside stakeholders, including customers, they way those stakeholders wanted the team to work.

Of course we continuously pushed for improvements and eventually we were given more and more freedom with regards to the toolset. In the end we just published the burn-down graphs to our stakeholders to report progress and we dropped the use of MS Project. Naturally I can't say whether this would also be an option in your scenario.

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You should try a burn up chart for your stake holders form xcel. With xcel you can easily get something like the Alvazan Demo for free though you have to update it manually every two weeks yourself....you can even draw a projection line to see if you are on target or not. Stakeholders have loved the simplicity of that one chart. Just one option.

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