The past couple of days were spent working on Mingle. I had used mingle a few months ago, and it seemed fairly simple. This is because most of the features like any good user-interface programs are intuitive.
The beauty of Mingle is that it is for all kinds of people in a project. It seems to be geared with projects that rely on Excel to manage business points and stories. In the “old way”, by giving the Excel file to the client, information is shared. However, that seems risky business as not everyone (yep, its true) has Excel (or Excel 2007 with .xlsx extension that can’t be read by old readers – painful when you have v2003 at home).Transferring to Mingle from excel via import is a simple process.
I particularly like the way reports are customisable without going to extreme lengths by keeping everything associated with cards (stories/business point) and their properties. Generating tables from queries, as well as having graphs, pie charts are fairly simple to do – given that there is a readily available example. There are examples included from the Thoughtworks studios website, but going through Thoughtworks sandbox and looking at what other people have done was the best way for me to learn [Learning by example]. No thorough studying or learning is necessary to work in MQL.
It is also vital to understand the limitations, and what a person can’t do at the present (like extracting comments, or cards that were modified recently) in reporting. Perhaps those sort of things are not intended for MQL, or maybe Mingle was not set up correctly by its users as they did not know what sort of report they wanted, thus Mingle was not being used the way it was intended.
But nevertheless, I’ve been able to do almost everything that was requested in generating reports, and that after a few minutes of looking at other projects MQL usage.
It comes back to saying how important a good user-interface design is, and that coupled with making different parts intuitive for Devs, QAs, Clients, and PMs which I think is the #1 reason for Mingle ‘s success.