ScrumDo Blog


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.






Saving Searches 18 Dec 2013

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

searchwidget.png

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.

Cards

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

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

Headers

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

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.






Looking at Kanban 19 Nov 2013

Today, Agile and Scrum are mainstream, and here at ScrumDo we’ve built a business out of providing one of the leading Scrum tools on the market since 2010.

In the last couple of years, Kanban has been rapidly growing in the agile software development community. If you’ve been hearing about Kanban, you might have a lot of questions – What is Kanban? How does it compare to Scrum? Is it one or the other? Can you have both? If so, how? Here at ScrumDo, we want to help you figure out answers to those questions and this blog post is the first step.

Let’s look at a brief description of Scrum, first.

Scrum, simplistically described, encourages a divide and conquer approach.

Scrum prescribes dividing: - Into smaller teams to help improve collaboration. - Work to be done into epics and stories that can be independently tested to add incremental value. - Time into iterations to manage scope creep and planning.

Scrum encourages feedback loops in retrospectives.

In teams that have buy in from leadership, business, and IT Scrum continues to prove to be successful in companies across the globe. Our commitment to providing a great Scrum tool will continue.

And a look at the Kanban method

Kanban is a lean change management method that can be applied to Scrum for any organization. “The Kanban method” includes “kanban” (lower case k) as a mechanism to manage the flow of value in projects. It encourages a systems-view of work, process, and teams. The Kanban method encourages a service oriented way of thinking and promotes sustainable change.

The core practices of Kanban are: - Visualize your workflow - Limit work-in-progress - Manage and optimize flow - Make process policies explicit - Implement feedback mechanisms - Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally (using models & the scientific method)

Kanban principles can be applied to the Scrum Process to pragmatically evolve it. It can evolve to a form where the the traditional iteration or time-box of a scrum is replaced by continuous flow. As we will explain in future blog articles this does not always have to be. Teams that practices Kanban and Scrum may have time-boxes or may not. Projects in scrumdo can be created as or converted to flow based projects.

Continuous Flow Projects in ScrumDo

For the past couple months, we’ve been working on adding the ability to create a Kanban application to Scrum projects within ScrumDo that can support mature teams that practice continuos flow. Some of the big changes include:

  • Options to choose time-boxed(iterations) projects or continous flow projects
  • Ability to completely customize your workflow, and have more than one in a project
  • Completely configurable visual board
  • Brand new ways to report on the work done
  • Support for several types of policies including WIP, points based WIP and story/card age
  • Personal Kanban
  • Advanced metrics

It’s not quite ready for general consumption yet, but if you’re interested in helping us define the app by using it on one of your projects, please fill out this form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Here are a couple screenshots to give you an idea of what we’re working on.

This one is of an example board. It shows off some of the new features like being able to place cells anywhere, some WIP limit displays, and the ability to track multiple workflows. Kanban Board

This screenshot shows two of the reports that we’ll be releasing with initially, a lead time histogram, and a cumulative flow diagram. The really exciting thing about both of these are all of the ways you can slice & dice your data via the report options to see exactly what you want to. We’ll have some blog posts dedicated to just that in the future. Kanban Reports

As part of all of this, we’re also working on some big improvements to some areas that will affect both Iteration based and Iterations-less projects on ScrumDo. Things like live-updates of the boards, and better high level planning tools. Watch for those in upcoming months.

Accredited Kanban training classes in partnership with Code Genesys/DJAA and Lean Kanban University

To help organizations decide if, and how, to adopt Kanban principles and techniques to an process context, we’ve partnered with codegenesys.com to offer classes(codegenesys.com/events) to organizations interested in accredited training. Stay tuned here, or send us an email sales@codegenesys.com and we’ll add you to our list for more info.