INTERSTELLAR RACING LEAGUE
TEAM SIZE: 56 PLATFORM: PC ENGINE: UNREAL DEV TIME: FOUR MONTHS
Interstellar Racing League is a local multiplayer, futuristic racing game.
During this project, I worked in two different roles. As the producer of the seventeen-person environment team, I was accountable for making sure each of our tracks was surrounded by a beautiful, populated world. To accomplish this, I facilitated scrums, cleared blockers, and bridged communication between sub-teams. I also worked to establish a culture of accountability and transparency.
In my secondary role, I tracked a sub-team's velocity and used the data to provide insights. In addition to collecting and analyzing data, I coached members of that sub-team on agile fundamentals.
- Cleared blockers to improve productivity
- Communicated between sub-teams
- Communicated to lead team
- Organized and enforced environment art and level design pipelines
- Managed JIRA tasks for track team
- Compared viability of JIRA and Hansoft
- Identified and managed risks
Risk Assessment and Management
ASSESSMENT: LACK OF AGILE EXPERIENCE
MANAGEMENT: IDENTIFY KEY ERRORS, COACH ON METHODOLOGY
METHOD: JIRA DOCUMENTATION, COACH INDIVIDUALS
As students, many developers struggled with agile fundamentals. Because many other teams relied on them, I worked with the track team to help them understand agile. To determine key misunderstandings, I documented the track team’s Alpha sprint in JIRA. The following sprint, I shared my findings and proposed solutions with the team’s leadership. The rest of the project went more smoothly for that team, and the track team hit all its sprint goals in Beta.
ASSESSMENT: STICKY NOTE SCRUM BOARDS INEFFECTIVE FOR DATA TRACKING
MANAGEMENT: IDENTIFY DIGITAL SCRUM MANAGEMENT TASKS
METHOD: RESEARCH AND TEST JIRA AND HANSOFT, IMPLEMENT IN CAPSTONE
While sticky notes were easy for our team to use, it was very difficult to make a burndown without digitized tasks. Additionally, sticky notes occasionally fell off the boards, further complicating sprint management. To find a solution for future projects, I researched JIRA and Hansoft. Ultimately, I chose Hansoft for its ease of use and simple product backlog organization. Capstone teams will now use Hansoft.
ASSESSMENT: MISCOMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TRACK AND ENVIRONMENT TEAMS
MANAGEMENT: RECOGNIZE DEPENDENCIES EARLIER
METHOD: OBSERVE TRACK TEAM SCRUMS, MONITOR TRACK TEAM TASKS IN JIRA
To improve track and environment communication, I observed track team scrums and entered their tasks into a JIRA database. These actions enabled me to recognize dependencies early. Ultimately, this helped facilitate a stronger dialogue between the two teams.
ASSESSMENT: MICROMANAGEMENT LOWERING TEAM MORALE
MANAGEMENT: ALLOW TEAM TO DETERMINE PROCESSES
METHOD: DELEGATE LEADERSHIP TASKS TO LEADS, EMPHASIZE BLOCKERS
Midway through the project, I realized I was monitoring my leads too closely. To empower them, I gave each the role of being a scrum master for our level design and art creation daily scrums. I also pivoted my mindset to focus on solving team blockers. These changes helped our team come together and deliver a higher-quality product.