ScrumDo Blog


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.






Story List Enhancements 07 Oct 2013

Two of my favorite updates from our October 5th update are focused on making the story list easier to use. The first, is the ability to view the list in three different sizes. Shown above is the smallest size, reducing stories down to a line or two of text. Using this view, it’s really easy to quickly rank your stories by dragging them up or down.

Also shown above, is the new multi-select option. Using this, you can select several stories, and then apply an action against them all such as:

  • Assign the stories to a person
  • Move them to another iteration
  • Move them to another project
  • Set the statuses
  • Bulk delete





Big Scrumdo Release 05 Oct 2013

Today, we released a big update to ScrumDo. Over the next week or so, we’ll be posting blog entries explaining some of the bigger changes, but here’s the full list for now:

  • Nearly every page has had some comsmetic improvements.
  • You can now select from multiple sizes of stories on the iteration story list to see more or less at once.
  • You can now select multiple stories at once on the iteration story list page and manipulate them.
  • Ability to move stories between projects within an organization from the iteration story list page.
  • Removed the hover on usernames to see detail, replaced with a click, significantly improved page rendering time.
  • Clicking an Epic abbreviation in a story now shows the full epic summary as well as parent epics.
  • Ability to convert a story into an epic via the edit-story window.
  • Singificantly prettier and more complete invoices
  • Users will no longer receive email alerts for actions that they themselves take.
  • If you mention a person with an @username note in a story or comment, that person will receive an email.
  • You can now sort releases via drag & drop.
  • Releases past their end date are archived in a “past releases” list.
  • Basecamp users can now enable/disable status updates to/from todo lists
  • Basecamp users now have a link directly to their Basecamp project
  • When exporting a project or iteration, you no longer leave the page.
  • Fixed bug when sorting stories on the epics page.
  • Fixed bug when sorting stories on the iteration planning page.
  • You are now allowed to use a dash in your username.
  • Many IE8 specific bugs have been fixed.
  • You can now leave a comment in the edit-story window describing the change you made.
  • The scrum master can now filter the list story during planning poker
  • When playing planning poker, you can now view the history of votes in that session by scrolling up.
  • The default chart type is now stacked.
  • When selecting a chart type, your preference is now saved.
  • For new projects, the default tasks statuses are now todo, doing, done.
  • When printing out epics, the stories are no longer out of order.
  • You can now see the epic name on the project export.
  • On the scrum board, you can now download and upload attachments.
  • The story edit window now sizes (both bigger and smaller) depending on your window size.
  • Task updates are now correctly in the news feed.
  • The quicklinks are now available on the scrum board screen.
  • Quicklinks have been redesigned to be more user friendly and not cover up on-screen elements.
  • There is now feature-parity on story listings from the iteration page and scrum board.
  • Several updates to the developer API to be more complete. - https://github.com/ScrumDoLLC/ScrumDoAPIV2