My take on meetings – Part 2

by Xavier Comments: 0

A couple of years ago I wrote what I thought about meetings. Today I will add another thought

If you have a 30 meeting where there are 10 people sitting down with you, this is not actually a 30 minute meeting. It is instead a 30 min * 10 people = 5 hours loss of potentially very productive time.

Moral of the story: keep meetings short and only invite those who really need to be there.

JIRA and prioritization / ordering – Agile and Scrum Master tips

by Xavier Comments: 0

JIRA, Greenhopper, Agile, project planning, tasking, reporting, sprint planning and similar words are my daily bread. I spend most of my time checking progress on multiple fronts. The number of tasks that I have to review and keep track of has grown to a level that is a little bit over the capabilites of a regular human being. Organization is key, the devil is in the details and if you fail to prepare you better prepare to fail.

That’s why I identified so much with James O. Coplien with his It’s Ordered — Not Prioritized! article.

My favorite way of structuring the work assigned to developers in JIRA is to sort out by fixversion using either the GreenHopper plugin or bulk change via the Issues pane and then simply sit down with the dev, estimate the duration of each task and then set the due date so that we both agree in which order they are going to be working on their tasks.

Greenhopper in JIRA planning board

The due date is a guide, and although it is not written in stone, we need to try to reach our objectives. That’s why estimating is so important!

Here is a sample of the tasks for a specific developer in the order in which he needs to work on them:

How to order items in JIRA

And also the most important part, focus on the task at hand and try to finish it first. Seven tasks in progress that are “almost complete” don’t count as one!

So, how do you prioritize your work?

Jira 404 error – The requested resource () is not available.- Apache Tomcat/6.0.32

by Xavier Comments: 6

So I’ve ran into this error on my Jira 4.4 installation a few times. At first I didn’t know what it was, but now I know and here is the solution

HTTP Status 404 –

type Status report


description The requested resource () is not available.

Apache Tomcat/6.0.32

The problem is that I am co-hosting my SQL Server 2008 database with my Apache server – which holds JIRA. Therefore Apache starts quicker than SQL Server, so when Jira tries to connect to the database it is not available, times out and Jira does not start.

Simply wait a few minutes for the db to start and then execute startup.bat inside the bin folder in JIRA, usually located in “C:\Program Files\Atlassian\JIRA 4.4\bin\startup.bat”

The error looks something like this