Today, we added a new datatype to our arsenal: Scale. It will be used to capture integer values against numerical scales, similar to what Pivotal Tracker is doing with points for measuring the effort required to complete a story. Four types of scale will be supported:
- Linear (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Exponential (1, 2, 4, 8)
- Fibonacci (1, 2, 3, 5)
- Custom (increasing integers separated by commas)
We then added two Scale fields to the Task object: Benefit and Effort. The latter is similar to Pivotal Tracker’s Points field, while the former is an experiment attempting to capture the velocity of value creation. Here is what that means: when completing a task as part of a project, you’re expending some resources (effort) in order to create some business value (benefit). For the project to make sense, you need to create more value (get more benefits) than you’re expending resources (use less efforts). Having these two fields will allow us to measure velocities for both (as long as users provide accurate values for them):
- Value creation velocity (based on benefit)
- Resource utilization velocity (based on effort)
Then, we added a new Relationship field to the Object object. This field is called Quantification and is a bit tricky. It works a bit like the Iconography field, which references an iconographic field of the Object object (Contour, Icon, Image), for the purpose of providing some iconographic visualization for records of the object. Quantification plays a similar role, for the purpose of quantifying the records of an object. Within our project management context, we set Quantification to Effort for the Task object. This binding will be used as default binding to link the Effort field of Task to the numerical dimension of the Kanban perspective used for planification purposes (Benefit or Effort, which were also added this morning).
All this might sound a bit arcane (or totally incomprehensible), but it addresses a pretty simple need: how can we use the Kanban perspective for any object defined with a workflow field, and how can we do planification for it, against any numerical field. For example, in the context of project management, planification is usually done against some kind of measure of the effort spent to complete tasks. But in the context of sales automation, planification is done against the value of sales opportunity, using currency amounts. Therefore, we must be able to tell the Kanban perspective which numerical field should be used for planification.
All this goodness will be put to work during next week’s Project Management Dojo.