Rabu helps you communicate and collaborate about what you’re working on and when it will be done.
Rabu runs from the command line using Java. Once you’ve downloaded and unzipped the release package, run Rabu from the command prompt like this:
java -jar rabu.jar < estimates.rabu > projection.html
If you’re unfamiliar with the command prompt, your developers should be able to help you.
Use Rabu to create your schedule projection, communicate it to your sponsors and other key stakeholders, and collaborate with them on schedule trade-offs.
Rabu needs your project velocity and estimated features to get going. (We’re assuming you’re using an Agile approach to project planning.)
First, decide what you want to include in your schedule projection. Most people make a projection for the next significant release of their project.
Next, describe the release in terms of three to seven major features that you plan to include. You can have more than seven if you want, but it’s best not to overload your audience with details.
Once you have the list of features, look at your existing project plan and add up all the story estimates for each feature. Assign a total to each feature and make sure all the stories in the release are included.
Finally, think of several features that your sponsors are interested in but you’ve decided not to include in the release. Determine the total estimate for each of these features, too. (If you don’t have estimates for a feature, leave it out.)
When you’re done, you should have two list of features and associated estimates. Open the
estimates.rabu file and update the JSON accordingly, then run Rabu as described above. You can find details of the file format in the
readme.html file or in the online example.
Rabu creates an HTML file when you run it. Open the file to see your schedule projection. The file is self-contained: you can open it from your desktop, send it by email, or host it on a web server.
The projection consists of three parts. The first part, “What are we working on?,” shows the features you put into the
estimates.rabu file. The second part, “When will it be done?,” shows a range of dates calculated from your estimates and velocity. The third part, “What’s the basis for this projection?,” shows a burn-up chart with your progress so far on the left and Rabu’s extrapolation into the future on the right.
After you’ve familiarized yourself with the projection, it’s time to share it with your sponsors and other key stakeholders. It’s usually best to share the projection in person at first. This gives you a chance to answer questions and address concerns.
It’s best to update your projection at the end of every iteration. Once everyone’s familiar with the projections, you can send them by email, but it’s still a good idea to meet face-to-face occasionally.
You can reorder the features listed in the “What are we working on?” section of the Rabu projection. To do so, click and drag the feature name with your mouse, or drag the “in/out” line.
As you move features across the “in/out” line, the date projections and burn-up chart will change accordingly. This allows you to experiment with alternate scenarios and answer your sponsors’ “what if” questions.
Thank you for trying Rabu!