ScrumDo Blog

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.


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


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.


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.


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

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:


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 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.


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.


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.


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

Saving Searches 18 Dec 2013

We’ve released a new search widget that unifies the searching and filtering experience across the site.


Clicking the cog icon on the right will open a search window that helps you build more complex searches. It will also let you save that search criteria to be reused in the future.

Clicking the magnifying icon on the left will show a list of previously saved searches that you can pick from.

As always, you can type your search into the text field in the middle and press enter to perform the search.

For more information about search, visit the help page.

Kanban Board Features 05 Dec 2013

We’re currently running a beta program with a few select companies to help refine our new Continuous Flow project features. I’m writing this post today to tell you about some of the things you’ll be able to look forward to when these are released to everyone.


With the introduction of Continuous Flow projects, ScrumDo is using the term “Card” instead of “Story”. A card is a representation of a unit of work. In Flow projects, you can set up custom card types under your project admin options. Some common types include:

  • User Stories
  • Bugs
  • Features


Cells are where you place cards. They have a header with a label, and a body to place cards.

Your cell can have limits places on it, such as the number of cards, or the amount of points allowed. These limits are displayed in the header of the cell. These are often called WIP Limits, which stands for Work In Progress Limits.

One of the features we’re really proud of is that cells can be configured to have several card styles. When cards are dropped into a cell, the card automatically picks up the style. This lets you use really compact styles for things like your input queue that might have a lot of cards, or a more expanded style for cells representing work being done so you can see all the details.

Here is an example of the 5 different types of styles we’ll have at launch. They all have 2 cards in them which are identical across all the styles.

Cell Types


You can create 1-unit high cells that will have no body. These are useful to apply a header across multiple cells. When you create a header, you can associate it with one or more cells to apply WIP limits to.

Header Examples


Workflows are used to define the steps of work a unit of work must go through. ScrumDo uses Workflows to define the reports that can be run against your project.

A workflow is made up of a series of workflow steps.

Each step is associated with one or more cells on your board.

Since more than once cell can be associated with a step, and not all cells need to be accounted for, this gives you the ability to filter and summarize your reports. For instance, you might set up a workflow for each class of service on your board, and a separate workflow that cuts across them all for an overall summary view.