New Agile Board Concept in YouTrack 7.0

We are proud to introduce a brand new Agile board in YouTrack 7.0. We’ve completely revamped it to improve usability, design and concept, and most importantly, the way it’s used to visualize your team’s progress and track personal tasks.

Welcome the brand new Agile board

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-12-39-04

If you’ve already tried the new version, the usability and design changes are pretty obvious. However, I would like to explain the new concept in more detail.

Previous Agile board concept

Agile board is not new to YouTrack; it’s been with us since YouTrack 4.0. This functionality has always been popular among our customers. And for a while now, we’ve been carefully analyzing how it is used and what is missing.

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-12-36-04

 

 

Let’s look at the main principles of the old board and highlight its advantages and ‘pain points’:

  • A board is defined by a search query. Everything that fits the search query automatically appears on the board.screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-12-41-25

 

Advantage: The board is just another view of the Issue list. The concept is very clear.

Disadvantage: There is no way to explicitly add an issue to the board, if it doesn’t match the search query. Not flexible enough for cross-project boards and personal task boards.

  • Sprints are tied to Fix version values. When you define the Fix version value, the issue is added to the corresponding sprint automatically.

sprint-1

Advantage: All issues added to a certain Fix version appear on the board automatically.

Disadvantages:

  1. The same set of Fix version values must be shared across multiple projects if you want to add several projects to the board.
  2. You cannot configure your own personal sprints, as the Fix version values are used across the whole project, or even several projects.
  • Unscheduled sprint (used in Kanban) is treated as ‘no fix version’ value.

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-16-30-14

 

Advantage: Every unresolved issue without Fix version value is added to the board automatically.

Disadvantage: Default backlog is defined as: unresolved issues without fix version value, which matches the Kanban board query. In this case, the backlog is the same as the board and is not available from the board.

New concept

The tricky part in creating the new concept was to keep the advantages of the previous model while eliminating its disadvantages.

  • Issues are now explicitly added to the board, so you have much more control over its contents. Click “+” and enter the following command: Board name sprint name, and then click Apply.

add-to-the-board

However, an option to add new issues to the board automatically is also supported, as is synchronization with various issue fields.add-new-issues

 

  • Sprints are now independent (per board) attributes. You can include any projects in the board, without synchronizing their Fix versions; and you can create as many personal boards as you need. Sprints are only tied to the specific board and are not related to issue fields.

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-14-26-59

 

However, we’ve supported an option to link sprints with issue fields, so you can still use Fix version values to add the issues to the board automatically.synchronize

 

  • Backlog is now separated from sprints. It’s still created based on a saved search, which can be treated as a full-featured Issue list right from the board, i.e. you can apply filters, commands, add issues, reorder them, apply shortcuts, change hierarchy, etc, and drag issues to the board and back to the backlog. You can even change your backlog by choosing another saved search on the fly.screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-14-40-54

When you create a new board, YouTrack suggests a default backlog, with the following search query behind it: project: name has: -{Board name} #unresolved. It contains of all unresolved issues in the project(s) that are not added to the board.

Try the new Agile board!

With the new Agile board concept in YouTrack 7.0, we aim to take your agile experience to the next level. We hope it will help you stay on top of your team’s activities and your own tasks, and save your precious time for more development. Track smart, fast, and get updates in real time!

Try YouTrack 7.0 today – download a new version or sign up for InCloud trial. It’s free for up to 10 users. We wish you pleasant tracking and look forward to hearing your feedback about the new Agile board!

About Valerie Andrianova

Valerie Andrianova is YouTrack, Hub and Upsource Product Marketing Manager at JetBrains. Her professional interests include issue & bug tracking, project and task management, agile methodologies and team collaboration. Apart from work, she cannot imagine her life without live music, quirky books and lattes with those cute little foam hearts.
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8 Responses to New Agile Board Concept in YouTrack 7.0

  1. Ilya Makarov says:

    Guys,
    How the hack can view the total number of cards on the board?

    Also my recommendation as a client to you. Send the notifications in advance that you are going to do a major upgrade to your clients. Today is Monday and I have sprint planning time (its rather busy times if you know what I mean). So trying to understand how can I do the actions I used to do before is not what I planned to do this Monday morning.

    Thank you.

    • Natasha Katson says:

      Hi! Sorry for the inconvenience, we schedule servers upgrades in advance, please see our Maintenance calendar.
      The total number of cards is shown in each column, the total number of cards in each swimlane is shown on the right corner of the swimlane.

  2. Jon Nichols says:

    Thanks for the update and I appreciate the reasons behind the change. However, you’ve eliminated whole blocks of use cases that we have used.

    We use boards for visualization. In the base, with linked fields, I could create a board and just visualize tickets in different ways. I may want to look at the tickets organized in swimlanes based on who they are assigned to. Or I may want to see all the tickets in swimlanes based on the target version. None of this is possible.

    The sad part is that you’re still so close. You have the ‘Link sprints to custom field’, but when I create a new board, it doesn’t automatically add items that match. That alone would fix a number of my use cases. Alternatively, I would love to see sprints defined by searches where you could use wildcards.

    It seems to me that you have taken your previous concept of Agile Boards, which was a visualization of tickets, and in the process of adding the ability to manually organize sprints, you have completely removed all of the visualization aspects of the feature. This upgrade, unfortunately, has prevented me from being able to recommend YouTrack to other parts of the company, who were planning on using the automatic features to track releases/etc.

    You don’t have to do so much to fix this; but I fear you are completely eliminating the concepts that drew me to the agile boards in the first place.

    • Natasha Katson says:

      Hi Jon,
      thank you for your feedback, we appreciate it!

      Actually, you can still organize swimlanes based on the assignees or the version. For example, to organize swimlanes based on the assignees: go to the settings, columns and rows, identify swimlanes by values, choose “assignee” field and the assignees you want to add on the Board (“add value”). Please, see Agile Board tutorials for more information.

      >>You have the ‘Link sprints to custom field’, but when I create a new board, it doesn’t automatically add items that match.

      All new issues with the same custom field will be added to the new Board, but you have to add the old issues that match this custom field manually. This behaviour might be inconvenient, we’ve created an issue for it: https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/JT-38430

  3. Ollie Maitland says:

    Sadly a lack of user testing and features missing from the previous agile board. Looking back on this post at the “old” agile board reminds me how much better that previous version was even without a proper backlog feature.

    The new agile board is slow, laggy and cramped in comparison

  4. Nikita says:

    Hello,

    every time I create a ticket it’s being assigned to a default board, even if I reassign it later, it remains in the boards list. Is it possible to dynamically change the default somewhere in a project settings?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Nikita says:

      Typo:
      Is it possible to dynamically change the default somewhere in a project settings? => Is it possible to dynamically change the default BOARD of a project somewhere in settings?

      • Valerie Andrianova says:

        Hi Nikita,
        There is no default board in the project settings (only if you have attached a specific workflow that adds issues to the board + sprint. Please check the board settings, you may have ‘Add all new issues to the board’ setting enabled.

        Thanks,

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