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Case Study: Overcoming Challenges

in Game Capstone Course


IS4600 Software Project
Management
Nelson Man
Getting Started
Formed team early
Discussed goals
Something to put in portfolio
Polished multiplayer party game
Brainstormed ideas
Had a clearer view on Goals and Requirements
after first meeting
Workflow and Procedures
A mix between Kanban and Scrum
Similarities
Visualized workflow
Had one week sprints
Backlog
Implicit WIP limit
Sprint Planning and Sprint Reviews



Workflow and Procedures (cont.)
Differences
No prescribed roles
Did not score requirements/user stories
Did not commit to Sprint backlog

Workflow and Procedures (cont.)
Established meeting times
Sunday and Wednesday
Sunday Sprint Review and Sprint Planning
Wednesday status meeting, and readjustments
Later also became meeting with Audio Team
Cancel or Reschedule Meeting
Notify team a day in advance
Two or more team members cannot make
meeting

Sprint Planning
We had clear goals, but no clear requirements
Requirements were created during the Sprint
Planning meetings and placed into Backlog
Backlog was always incomplete
Tasks and schedule were kept track of using a
Google Spreadsheet
Stretch Goals

Challenges
Lead programmer left team
Skill gaps
Unfamiliar with version control software
Lack of necessary resources
Game controllers
Unity Pro
Challenges (cont.)
Addition of Audio Team
Audio Team also lacked necessary resources
Game controllers
Windows machine
Inexperience with working with one another
Scheduling conflicts
Decided to meet virtually (BIG MISTAKE!)
How We Overcame These Challenges
Lead programmer left team
Scheduled meeting ASAP
Unfamiliar with version control software
Used built-in version control in game engine
Lack of necessary resources
Game controllers
Had two controllers, one for each developer
Unity Pro
Northeastern eventually installed newest version

What Worked
Meeting right after lead programmer
departed
Our workflow, generally
Sprints helped motivate work
Flexible release schedule
Having a dedicated Producer (Project
Manager)
Slack time
What Did Not Work
Our workflow
Sprint Review and Sprint Planning on the same
day
Effort creep & burnout
Some tasks were too large
Addition of Audio Team was not handled well
Decided to meet virtually
Lack of resources
Incorporation into our workflow

How We Should Adapt On the Next
Project
Space out Sprint Review and Space Planning
Allow team time to recharge
Score tasks
Higher scores would indicate task is too large
Break down further
Also help with estimations
How We Should Adapt On the Next
Project (cont.)
Meet in person if at all possible
Would help incorporate new team members into
the workflow
Gives new team members a feel for the project
Get a sense of how they work, their process,
duration to task completion, etc.
Build camaraderie
Valuable experience if team members are from
different discipline