This guest blog post is brought to you by a company called Rostelecom-Integracija.
Rostelecom-Integracija a company that develops and implements software solutions for Rostelecom, the biggest national telecommunications company in Russia, with a presence in every segment of the telecommunications services market and coverage of millions households in Russia. Rostelecom-Integracija is developing solutions in different areas of telecom company automation, including CRM solutions, billing systems, reporting solutions and business process automation.
What do you do from a business perspective? What products are you offering?
The primary business focus of the company is the development of CRM solutions. We are implementing solution for sales process support and technical support automation based on the Amdocs CRM platform.
Please describe your development process.
We follow a fairly standard Scrum process. We use two-week sprints as development cycles. A group of Business Analysts creates user stories, based on the requirements from system analysts and stakeholders. While planning, our development team discusses these user stories and splits them into tasks. The team works on the tasks during a sprint. By the end of each sprint we give a demo of implemented user stories to the stakeholders, who make comments and add more ideas and requirements to the implemented functionality. This feedback is transformed into new user stories and added to the product backlog.
What obstacles or opportunities do you typically encounter?
Our CRM department consists of three separate agile teams. So we needed a tool that supports:
- The agile development process, i.e. it
- Allows several teams working on and maintaining the same backlog
- Lets each team (system analysis team, business analysis team and the development team) has their own task board
- Provides one backlog that is maintained by business analysis and system analysis team
- Supports bug and issue tracking
- Allows for custom attributes for different issue types
- Supports various workflows for different types of issues: user stories, analysis tasks, development tasks and QA tasks
- Combines convenience and ease of use, to minimize problems while working and managing backlog by several teams
- Has a powerful search engine and supports custom searches in order to ensure comfortable work for different types of users (more and less technical)
What is your issue tracker experience prior to using YouTrack?
Before implementing YouTrack our teams and developers worked with different trackers:
- Atlassian Jira with Jira Agile
- Microsoft Team Foundation Server
Functionality related to the task searches and Scrum boards exists in Atlassian Jira and it is considered by our team to be a good starting point.
How was your YouTrack evaluation performed?
We evaluated YouTrack in the following phases:
- Before using the product, we’ve done the following preparation:
- Prepared a list of ticket types that should be supported in our development process
- Described existing workflows
- Prepared the requirements for the task boards, based on our teams’ business processes
- Defined custom attributes for the ticket types
2. Installed YouTrack and made initial configuration based on the previous step.
3. Started using YouTrack in production to verify that it suits our needs.
Why did you choose YouTrack?
The most important factors to choose YouTrack as our issue tracking and agile project management solution were:
- Getting more benefits for a reasonable cost
- Having a tool that is easy to set up and configure
- Having a tool that is easy to use in everyday activities
We are happy that, in addition, YouTrack provides:
1. Powerful reporting capabilities that allow team leads to create reports for the team key performance indicators and lets us get brief information about team progress. It’s also nice that reports can be added to a personal Dashboard, that can be customized for everyday activities and special needs. Good documentation helped us to define which type of report better suits a particular case.
2. The ability to set up several Scrum boards for different teams, letting us switch between these boards quickly and conveniently. It gives us good visual feedback on different teams’ status at a glance.
3. The ability to work with tasks and the backlog using keyboard shortcuts. It is very convenient for developers, and makes daily activities less time consuming.
4. A Good Workflow Editor, which is a separate application used to create workflows that automate task state changes using a scripting language.
Describe your experience with YouTrack
During YouTrack evaluation, many team members noticed that the tool is convenient and easy-to-use, especially the search query assistance and keywords completion.
What are the results of using YouTrack, and what are your next steps?
Right now, it seems that we cannot do without YouTrack. With YouTrack, we were able to align development process of several development teams working in parallel. Our plan for the future is to integrate it with TeamCity.
Do you have any recommendations, tips, advice for other companies that are looking for an issue tracking and project management solution?
First, spend some time on defining which processes you are following right now and find possible ways to simplify your development process. Next, document your existing process before making an initial setup of YouTrack. Then, try to test the solution in parallel to any other tools that you are already using or trying to use. Finally, decide which tool better suits your needs, and choose the right one. For us the right one was YouTrack.
We thank Rostelecom-Integracija for agreeing to take part in this Q&A and wish them the best in the future.
If you’re using YouTrack, you’re happy with it, and would like to share your experience with the world, please let us know by posting a comment here or by contacting us.