ALM Ranger solution types and a practical walkthrough of the Quick Response concept (Part 2)

PPP_PRD_488_3D_people-Smartin World-Wide Virtual Teams from the ALM Rangers perspective (Part 1) we introduced the concept of teams, virtual teams (vTeam) and the ALM Ranger worldwide virtual Teams (wwvTeam). Operating within an organization embracing an ambitious goal to drastically reduce its solution release cadence, these teams are forced to align ourselves to continue offering value-add services.

The Quick Response concept is one the ALM Rangers are experimenting with to reduce their solution lifecycles. We have received a number of questions on what it is all about and how it fits into the ALM Ranger solutions, which we will address and hopefully answer in in this blog post.

Please add your candid feedback, comments, thoughts and questions as comments.

ALM Ranger Solution Types

As outlined in Understanding the Visual Studio ALM Rangers the mission of the ALM Rangers is to “… accelerate the adoption of Visual Studio with out-of-band solutions for feature gaps and value-add guidance for the ALM community”.  As shown in the diagram below we have a out-of-band solutions (left), a value-add guidance (right) and a hybrid mix of the two (middle).

The typical solution delivery channels have tools on CodePlex and MSDN, guides on CodePlex, blogging and technical articles in MSDN Magazine. To share information the ALM Rangers have also started sharing supporting guidance and sample code in Supporting Guidance and Whitepapers with the intent to share knowledge transparently and quickly in a less formal channel.

The other new innovation are the Quick Response hybrid tooling and guidance solutions. Again the primary intent is to share information quickly, allowing the community to re-use and extend rapidly. The quick response solutions typically consist of sample code and documentation, which can be re-used “as is”.  It is not our intent to ever deliver complete binaries or complete solutions with the quick response model.

For example in June the ALM Rangers released sample code and documentation with the Quick Response Sample – Command line utility to manage Team Foundation Server Teams and Users. Mattias Sköld extended the concepts and released the Community TFS Team Tools on CodePlex tooling as a community solution.


Find more information on all ALM Ranger solutions in Get the latest Visual Studio ALM Rangers Solutions and publications in Ranger Publications.

Quick Response “Real-World” Example

The Quick Response Sample – Command line utility to manage Team Foundation Server Teams and Users was not only a quick response sample solution, but also a proof of concept to validate and refine the quick response concept. Our intent is to capture and triage the feedback from the community (typically from, track the associated actions and create a powerful response cycle which is robust enough to meet the demands of a shortened product cycle as discussed in Highlighting the decline of ALM Rangers Cadence.

Let’s use Quick Response Sample – Command line utility to manage Team Foundation Server Teams and Users example to explore the quick response model.


While Talking (1)   to the communities and ALM Ranger teams we Listened and took note of a potential feature gap. A triage (2) determined that the gap was a blocking feature gap, currently constrained to the ALM Rangers ecosystem. With the adoption of Team Foundation Server 2012 the broader community would, however, encounter the feature gap as well. Focused and brief collaboration (3 between the product group and the ALM Rangers, allowed ? the ALM Rangers to Act (4) quickly, delivering out-of-band tooling sample code within 24 hours and ? publishing (5) the solution on the Visual Studio ALM + Team Foundation Server Blog within less than four days.

While the solution was managed and tracked by the ALM Rangers, it has not vanished off its radar as members of the community started developing a community solution using the out-of-band sample solution.

So what?

This quick response real-world example may not be addressing the top feedback item from the backlog or community feedback, but it demonstrated the ability of the ALM Rangers to collaborate with the product group, the community and re-act quickly.


Supporting information: