ScrumDo Blog


Scrumban Board Layout Improvements 14 Oct 2014

The first big change you’ll notice is that by default, your board will now resize vertically on it’s own. No more scrolling cells that make it hard to see everything at once. If you liked the scroll bars, there’s now an option on the edit board screen to switch back.

We’ve also revamped how dragging stories works to make it much more natural.
This includes things like selecting several stories by holding down shift and then dragging the group around and better hit-detection of cells so you can drop a card far below the others and still have it correctly register.

A full list of improvements follows:

  • The lead time histogram can now be filtered by date.
  • The CFD can now be filtered by date.
  • Cells on the Kanban board now vertically resize by default instead of getting scroll bars.
  • Multiselect on the kanban board has been improved.
    • Use shift or ctrl & click on cards to intiate multi select.
    • Single click with no key on an unselected card to deselect all.
    • Use the toolbar options to apply actions to groups of cards.
    • You can now drag groups of cards around the board.
  • Drag & Drop on the Kanban board has been improved.
    • You can now drag cards to any spot within a cell to drop them in that cell.
    • It is now easier to drag cards to the backlog.
    • Dragging now works on iOS devices.
  • Standard markdown image tags now work within the detail of a card. Example:
    ![Mascot](https://d11uy15xvlvge3.cloudfront.net/static/v95/scrumdo/images/org-picker-images/artwork.jpg)
    Note: If you use these image tags, we will no longer be able to auto-link URL's in the fields where they exist because the syntax gets ambiguous. In that case, you can still use markdown links.
  • Several performance improvements related to live updates of your board have been implemented.





Crafting an Improved User Experience 10 Oct 2014


Over the past year, the ScrumDo team has worked to make ScrumDo more powerful, enhancing basic Scrum management by incorporating optional Kanban and Scrumban features. Our most recent efforts have been focused on enhancing user experience, making your interactions with the tool simpler and more intuitive. We anticipate rolling out the first of these changes before the end of the year, and are excited to begin sharing more details with you.

 

Cleaner Navigation & Design

Our new design is simplified, resulting in an improved organization of information and navigation paths. In short, we’re eliminating a lot of the annoyances many of our users identified in the course of using ScrumDo.

Frequent navigation links and a tabbed layout improve accessibility to key functions. Key information is summarized on each landing page. And core functions are immediately accessible.

As you can glean from the wireframes, although the views you’re used to seeing will change, it’s easier to find what you want and and overall interactions with the platform have been made even more intuitive.

 

More Capabilities

Recognizing most team interactions revolve around a Scrum Task Board or Kanban Board, our new interface philosophy is more board-centric. One of the most significant changes is removing the distinction between Scrum and Scrumban projects. Currently, the Task Boards on Scrum projects are limited to a number of pre-designed formats. Under our new interface, project administrators will be able to design their boards any way they want (or start with pre-defined templates they can freely modify).

Eliminating the distinction between Scrum and Scrumban projects means all projects will now have access to expanded reporting features (so Scrum projects can now access and generate flow and lead time reports, for example).

Board design is also cleaner, and we’ve improved upon the manner in which information is visualized on the cards and within the board.

 

Improved Planning & Administration

Users will also see improved integration between the epic planning tool and their Scrum / Kanban boards, as well as a significantly enhanced team administration interface. For example, administrators will now be able to view users already assigned to their organization and assign them to projects – a huge improvement over the current interface.

At the end of the day, we’re focused on improving your experience without creating wholesale changes to the way you’re used to working. In the coming weeks, we’ll share more details on specific changes and invite you to try out the new interface as we release changes in beta.






Gain Valuable Insight from your Lead Time Histogram 13 Aug 2014

Users that select Scrumban capabilities for their projects enable a range of new capabilities and features. Among these is the ability to define and calculate a variety of new metrics. Today we’ll chat a little bit about the significance of Lead Time.

First, there are different types of Lead Times a team or organization may wish to measure. ScrumDo users have the ability to define their systems and how they want to measure Lead Times based on their own needs.

Typically, system lead time is measured as the duration of time between when a customer request is made and the date it is actually delivered. In a Scrum context, you may choose to establish these as the date a user story is added to your Release or Iteration Backlog and the date a user story is deployed to production. There are a variety of factors that should be considered in defining and reporting on key metrics, and a good consultant / coach can walk you through these.

Visualizing your Lead Time distributions are extremely useful. They provide data on your median and average times (the values of which are typically quite different), they can expose patterns about the nature of work undertaken and help identify better ways of managing it.

Lead Time Histogram has many filtering options

Don’t confuse lead time with the amount of effort required to complete a user story! For example, a user story can have a lead time of 1 week but actual working time might only have been one day. Lead time distributions reflect system performance, and can be used to establish service level expectations, improve predictability, and when combined with insights gleaned from other system measurements, help us precisely target and prioritize improvement efforts.






New Edit Window 02 Aug 2014

We have released a change that significantly changes the edit and quick view windows.
This change combines all the information you need to see about a story into a single dialog in a simple and easy to read format.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the edit and quickview icons have been merged. If you have write access, you’ll only see the edit, and if you have read-only access you will only see the magnifying glass.

When you click that icon, you’ll get a nice read-only view of the story. Assuming you have edit access, you can click on any of the fields to enter an edit mode.

Edit Dialog

If your story has image attachments, you can click on the thumbnails to get a quick view of it without downloading the file.

If you hate hunting for that little edit icon, double clicking a story anywhere on the site should now bring up this new dialog.

Other Changes

There were a few other minor changes, here is a full list:

  • A new consolidated view/edit dialog has replaced the old edit and quickview options. You'll now only see one of those options depending on your project access level.
  • Clicking an image thumbnail for an attachment will now preview it in the browser.
  • Now showing user avatars on stories in more places, such as the scrum board.
  • Now, when clicking a permalink, you're brought to the correct page and the story is opened for you.
  • @mentions now work properly in comments.
  • When creating a report profile for a scrumban project, we now show the step on the cell while editing to make it easier to tell what you are doing.
  • You can now shift-click to start a multi select operation on the story list and scrumban board pages.
  • You can now double click a story to open the editor.
  • We've renamed Continuous flow projects to Scrumban projects, and time boxed projects are now called scrum projects.
  • New organization level project listing.
  • Scrumban headers were slightly too tall, occasionally made things look really sloppy.
  • Performance improvement on Scrumban boards with many cells.
  • You no longer get email notifications for comments you post
  • You can now see your username on the name page.
  • Fixed two bugs with scrumban lead time chart when viewed in the "powers of two" mode.
  • Fixed a few bugs where read-only users saw options they shouldn't have. (Those options were not functional and would result in access-denied messages.)
  • When playing planning poker, the "Stories with X size" list is now in reverse chronological order so it's easier to see recent stories.





Zapier Beta 01 Aug 2014

Over the past week, we’ve spent some time integrating with Zapier so that you can make ScrumDo work with over 300 other services. Zapier allows you to create conduits between applications called Zaps. We’re currently in a beta to make this as useful as possible - beta invite link.

What can you do with it?

Here are some of the zaps I’ve been testing with:

Sample Zaps

This list is just scratching the surface of what’s possible using this platform. We’re looking for some people to try this out and let us know how we could improve it.

Beta Invite

Since we’re not listed on the Zapier app directory yet, you’ll need to use this invite link.






Tasks on your Board 15 May 2014

Today, we’ve released a new way to view your Scrum/Kanban Board by seeing the tasks as well as the stories.

Time Boxed Projects

If you have a time boxed project, first select the gear icon on your scrum board to open the config window, and select the “Task Board” option.

scrumboardconfig.png

After doing this, you will notice that your “Doing” column is a lot wider than it used to be.

taskboard1.png

Any story you move into that Doing column will have a full sub-table of all the tasks within it that you can drag into columns and visually track the progress. The columns that appear will be the task statuses you set up in your Project Admin page.

taskboard2.png

Continuous Flow Projects

First, go into the board editor by clicking the gear icon above the board. Then select a cell. On the left, you’ll be able to set some options for that cell. Use the Story Style dropdown and select the Tasks view.

Note: Make sure your cell is big enough to fit all of your task columns, or the layout gets very funky very quickly.

cfconfig.png

Why not sooner?

Since we released our original Scrum Board way back in 2011 we’ve had a small but steady stream of people asking to view their tasks on the board in addition to their stories. Due to some unfortunate early design decisions, that was hard for us to do and other priorities always kept us from developing it. A flash of insight hit us last month on a simpler way to implement this feature. That combined with a rather scathing rant from a customer last week (you know who you are!) kicked us in-gear to implement this.

We have some future plans to improve this feature, like making this option available in the custom configuration of scrum boards. But for now, we wanted to get this version released to all of our users. Let us know what you think by sending us an email support@scrumdo.com






Organization Dashboard Changes 24 Feb 2014

The organization dashboard, the page that you get immiediately after logging in (and picking your organization if you have more than one) has gotten a significant facelift over the weekend.

Our goals were:

  1. Provide more at-a-glance information across your projects
  2. Show you all the work currently assigned to you
  3. Provide a quicker way to navigate to where you want to be
  4. Provide more information for people who didn’t have work assigned to them

You will now see a list of projects like the following:

newdash.png

You will see a project if you either watch that project or you have a story or task assigned to you in a current iteration.

If no projects would be shown to you, we pick a few from your organization based on recent activity in those projects.

The stories assigned to you are on the right. If you don’t have any stories, we’ll show you the most recently modified stories instead.

You can access the story list or scrum board by clicking the icons in the upper right hand corner of the iteration. Clicking the globe icon above those will bring you to the project summary page.

You may also have noticed that the newsfeed is no longer on this page. You can find it on a new, dedicated, newsfeed option in your quicklinks for you organization. We felt that this feed, especially for really big organizations, was more noise than actionable information.

We would really like to hear any feedback you have on this. Please feel free to send an email to support@scrumdo.com with any thoughts.






Blocked or Urgent stories 21 Feb 2014

Sometimes, you need to draw attention to a particular story. Now, in ScrumDo when you apply a blocked or urgent tag, the story will be tinted red or yellow respectively.

blockedurgent.png

In the future, we’re planning on making this configurable so you can set up your own tags/colors, but we wanted to get this simple solution out quickly.






Time Estimates 03 Feb 2014

In our most recent release, we have added the ability to track time estimates for stories or tasks.

Each task and story has an hours:minutes field that you can fill out while creating or editing. This represents a time estimate for that story or task.

The estimate for a story is in addition to the estimates for tasks under that story. So if you enter 1 hour for a story, and 1 hours for a task within the story, that’s telling ScrumDo you expect all that work to take two hours.

You can read about time estimates, and how they relate to our time tracking features on this help page.

When you use the time estimation feature, you’ll be able to view the progress of an iteration or release by hours in addition to points. See the help page for chart types to learn more.






Size of stories 19 Dec 2013

We’re making two changes to the way stories appear on your Scrum Board and in the story list. The first, is the detail field of a story will be hidden by default on the Scrum Board. You can toggle the field by clicking on the text of the summary or the detail itself once it’s visible. This makes it easy to quickly show or hide this field.

cardsize.png

The second change has to do with the zoomed out state of the Scrum board. Previously, it hid a few fields, but only resulted in a minor affect on most people’s projects. For now on, we’re going to be using the list-view that was previously introduced into the story list page. As you can see in the screenshot below, it rather dramatically changes the size of the stories and allows you to see a lot more at once.

zooms.png

We hope these changes make it easier to work with your project in ScrumDo. We appreciate any feedback that you have.