YouTrack 2017.1 bug fix is out (build 31650)

Please welcome a fresh bug fix for YouTrack 2017.1 (build 31650).

This minor release brings a number of usability and performance fixes and improvements, and some features, including current sprint feature and a new apply command dialog on Agile Board.

With a new current sprint feature, you can assign issues to the ongoing sprint instead of using the sprint name. You can reference the current sprint in search queries and commands.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 19.17.59

This feature is especially useful in reports. When you reference the current sprint in the search query, you can create reports that track your current efforts automatically. The name of the current sprint is shown in bold in the sprints drop-down list.

currentSprint

We also released a new version of the Apply Command dialog for the agile board. In this version, the Silent Apply button is replaced with the option to Notify subscribers. To apply a command silently in the new dialog, deselect this option, then apply the command. Please note that you can only see the option to apply commands silently if you have the Update Project permission in each project for all selected issues.

commandWindow_thumbnail.zoomed

For more details, please refer to the Release Notes.
If you use YouTrack 2017.1 InCloud, your server was upgraded today, on March 13, 2017 according to our Maintenance calendar.

Get a a fresh build and enjoy the improvements!

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YouTrack 2017.1 bug fix is out (build 31322)

A fresh bug fix for YouTrack 2017.1 is here (build 31322).

This minor update brings a fix for time tracking settings.
Please check the Release Notes for details.

Download YouTrack 2017.1 (build 31322) and enjoy the latest version today.

If you use YouTrack 2017.1 InCloud, your instance was upgraded according to our Maintenance Calendar.

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YouTrack 2017.1 bug fix is out (build 31260)

Please welcome a fresh bug fix for YouTrack 2017.1 (build 31260).

This update brings a number of fixes and improvements for the Agile Board, workflows and usability and performance fixes. For more details, please refer to the Release Notes.

Download YouTrack 2017.1.31260 and enjoy the latest version now.

If you use YouTrack 2017.1 InCloud, your instance was upgraded according to our Maintenance Calendar.

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Bug fix for YouTrack 2017.1 (build 30973) is out

A fresh bug fix is out (build 30973).

This minor update includes usability fixes. For details, please check the Release Notes.

Download a new version and enjoy the latest improvements now.

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Our Sprint Retrospective

You’ve made it to our last episode in the How We Scrum series. In this installment, I’ll walk you through our sprint retrospective. To catch up on older posts in this series, check out the Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, Our Approach to Estimation, Our Sprint Planning, The Sprint, and Our Sprint Demo Session.

We consider the Sprint Retrospective to be a very important part our Scrum process. The Sprint Retrospective happens at the end of each sprint, normally on Friday, after the Sprint Demo. This one-hour session helps us to get both positive and negative feedback from the team about the past sprint. By collecting, prioritizing, and discussing feedback from each member of team, we continue with activities that have a positive impact and eliminate negative behaviors.

One day before the Sprint Retrospective, our Scrum Master sends a form to collect the following feedback from each member of the team:

  1. Two things you liked about this sprint.
  2. Two things you didn’t like about this sprint.
  3. Two suggestions for improving our process going forward.

Everyone who wants to share feedback fills in the form at least 15 minutes before the Sprint Retrospective. The Scrum Master tries to combine feedback from different members of the team if it looks similar or related. When done, the Scrum Master prints the answers and pins them to a physical board, grouping them by pluses, minuses and suggestions.
Retrospective board
The whole team gets together and cast votes in support of each piece of feedback. Depending on the number of answers and people attending, each team member can cast two to four votes. Normally, everyone gets three votes.

Retrospective voting

We combine the total number of votes cast in both St.Petersburg and Munich. When the voting is over, the Scrum Master calculates the totals and ranks the feedback from the most voted to the least voted.
Retrospective dots
Starting with the piece of feedback that received the most votes, we discuss each item as a team. The Product Owner normally moderates the discussion, so it doesn’t take too long and stays focused. When all the opinions are shared, the Scrum Master summarizes the action items we need to take in the next sprint in order to keep what’s working well (for positive feedback) or resolve the issue (for negative feedback).
Retrospective discussion
The Sprint Retrospective is over when all of the items (or items that received at least two votes) are discussed. Afterwards, the Scrum Master adds the action items to the Retrospective page and shares it with the team. This helps the team stay focused on these action items during the next sprint and lets anyone who missed the Sprint Retrospective stay up to date.

Conclusion

That was a pretty long story about How we Scrum inside the YouTrack team. I hope you found something to borrow and practice in your team, or just saw something that sparked your imagination and helped you reinvent your process. However, the main idea of the whole series is to share our experience. We believe that the key to a successful development process is not in following any strict guidelines and methodologies, but rather in adopting good practices to our specific needs and goals. Be agile in your own way!

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Bug Fix for YouTrack 2017.1 (build 30867) is out

Please welcome a fresh bug fix for YouTrack 2017.1 (build 30867).

This minor update brings a number of bug fixes and usability problem improvements. For more details, please check the Release Notes.

Download a new version and enjoy the latest improvements now.

JetBrains YouTrack Team
The Drive to Develop

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Our Sprint Demo Session

In this, our seventh episode, I’ll give you a backstage pass to our sprint demo. Previous posts in our How We Scrum series include an Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, Our Approach to Estimation, Our Sprint Planning, and The Sprint.

At the end of every sprint, we have a sprint demo session. We normally schedule the demo on the last Friday of the sprint. We book one hour for the demo, however, it takes about 40 minutes on average. All team members are required to participate. As always, we connect the St. Petersburg and Munich offices by video conference and start our online show.

The sprint demo is one of the most exciting Scrum activities for us, as every presenter feels like a rockstar on stage, whose goal is to make an interesting and entertaining presentation.
Sprint demo
We announce the set of user stories we are going to demo in advance. The demo is performed by the author of a user story, which is normally a developer, or sometimes a Quality Assurance Engineer, who tested this functionality. The author demonstrates various usage scenarios on a large shared screen and explains how the new functionality works. If the audience wants to see some missed use cases, they ask for it during the demo. Otherwise, all the questions are held to the end of the demo.
Demo Presenter
The presenter answers the questions and Scrum Master records any missing use cases, bugs, and small improvements that come to mind during the demo. Most of the comments and feedback come from the Product Owner, who basically determines whether a new feature meets the acceptance criteria.
When the discussion is over, we list the tweaks we need to finish the feature, and try to fix them in the next sprint. If we realize that it requires too many changes to implement immediately, we can postpone the user story. At the end, the presenter receives a round of applause and joins the audience with all the honors.

Demo3

Then the next presenter introduces his or her user story. Normally, we do about four demos. Uncompleted user stories demos are moved to the next sprint. The public demo is a very motivating activity. We try to involve all the developers, so they each present a demo in turn. It takes time to prepare and test a user story for several use cases and prepare the test data, but each presenter enjoys the challenge. But that’s not all. Demos are very important for the whole team, as they keep everyone on the same page and give everyone a chance to share feedback immediately.

The last episode Our Sprint Retrospective is coming on Thursday. Watch for updates!

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YouTrack 2017.1 is released!

Please welcome YouTrack 2017.1!

800x500_blog_YouTrack_2017_1

YouTrack 2017.1 introduces search based on time tracking, attachments on Agile Board and many other improvements.

Key New Features

  • Search based on time tracking
  • Attachments on Agile Board
  • LDAP bind to a fixed account
  • Permanent access token
  • Credentials management

Enhancements

  • Revised access tab
  • Description for banned users
  • Enhanced Auth Modules

Sounds good? Get YouTrack 2017.1, register a new InCloud instance or download a standalone version today.

Search based on time tracking

You can now filter issues based on the work item type, author and date. For example, if you want find all the issues that you’ve been working on during the last week, use a query work author: me work date: {last week}.

Time_tracking

Attachments on Agile Board

In YouTrack 2017.1, you can add and edit attachments directly on the agile board. Simply drag one or more files to any card on the board. This option also works when you open a card in view mode. You can also download all of the attachments, edit the visibility, and attach files privately.

Attachments

LDAP bind to a fixed account

YouTrack 2017.1 lets you send LDAP bind requests to a fixed user account. This option lets you set up a standard two-step LDAP authentication. With this model, you use a dedicated account for the LDAP bind request and search for the user you want to authenticate on behalf of the bind user.
With this feature, you can set up an LDAP authentication module and still use logins that are not part of the Distinguished Name (DN), like an email address or token. This is also similar to the login configuration that is used by TeamCity, so administrators can use a single model for LDAP integration in all JetBrains team tools. Please check the documentation for more details.

LDAP_youtrack

Permanent access token

You can now use permanent tokens to strengthen security for YouTrack integrations with external services. Simply create a new token with a specific access scope, and use it for authentication in API calls.

Perm_token

Credentials management

In YouTrack 2017.1 users can add additional credentials to their user profiles. You can merge existing credentials with your YouTrack account or create a new login. Also, if you accidentally delete your credentials, you can restore your profile with the additional ones.

Add_credentials

Enhancements
In addition to the features mentioned above, we have added some useful improvements regarding access management.

Revised access tab

Please welcome a fully redesigned access tab that gives you full control over access management. Grant or revoke roles, see the permissions set, and filter roles per users, projects or groups.

Access tab

Description for banned users

When you ban a user in YouTrack 2017.1, you can enter a reason for performing this action. This description is added next to the user name and is visible to other users who have the necessary permissions.

Banned

Enhanced Auth Modules

In YouTrack 2017.1, you can now create and configure a custom OAuth 2.0 module. We also improved the interface for new authentication modules and added pre-sets for the following services: Facebook, Yandex, Microsoft Live, PayPal, Azure AD and Amazon.

Auth_modules

To get more details about the release, please check the Release Notes.

Give YouTrack 2017.1 a try, download it today to enjoy all the features!

If you are using a cloud-based version, your instance will be upgraded to the latest version automatically according to our Maintenance Calendar.

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The Sprint

The sixth installment of How We Scrum shows you how we execute a sprint.
Previously in this series, we published an Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, Our Approach to Estimation, and Our Sprint Planning.

Our Scrum Board

When the planning session is over, the Scrum Master drags the planned user stories from the backlog to the sprint board and creates the appropriate tasks for each story.
The sprint starts when the board is ready. Everyone is free to take an open task from the uppermost swimlane if possible and start working on it. Scrum Board 1
We try keep only one task in progress for each team member. However, sometimes a developer may take a support ticket for investigation and still work on a development task.

Tips

  • We place uncategorized cards at the top of the board. In this swimlane, we add critical bugs and tasks we think are important to accomplish during the sprint. This swimlane helps us to keep an eye on important activities that are not related to any user stories.
  • We have two swimlanes dedicated to support activities for every sprint. We believe it’ important to investigate and fix customer’s tickets ASAP and want to allocate time during the sprint for these activities. This way, we monitor our progress on support tickets that require attention from developers and clearly prioritize these tickets: critical problems are added to the uppermost swimlane, while normal and major support issues go to the support swimlane at the bottom of the board. If we don’t resolve these issues during the current sprint, we move them to the top swimlane in the next sprint.

Scrum Board 2

Scrum Board Settings

We use the following settings for our Scrum board.

General

  • Projects: YouTrack, YouTrack Backlog – we only add issues from these projects to the board.
  • Can view and use board: Project-based – everyone who has access to YouTrack and/or YouTrack backlog projects can access our board.
  • Sprint options: Manually assign issues to sprints – we add all the cards to the board manually, mostly by dragging from the backlog, or creating the card on the board.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 00.22.34

Columns and Rows

  • Columns are identified by the values from the State field. We use the values Open, In Progress, and Fixed as columns.
  • Swimlanes are identified by issues that are assigned the User story and Technical debt types.

Burndown tasks

Card

  • We don’t use an estimation field.
  • The default issue type for new cards is Task.
  • We use the value from the Priority field to color-code the cards.

Card Scrum Board Settings

Daily Stand-Ups

Status Update

Standup

Every day we have a stand-up meeting, which everyone is required to attend. Our team is about 25 people, but we keep our stand-ups as short as possible. However, we book 1 hour for our stand-up to allow plenty of time for discussion when needed.

Munichstandup

First, we do a status report. Team members report what they have done since the previous stand-up and what they plan to work on next. If there is a development task or general question that requires discussion, the Scrum Master collects it as an item to discuss after the status update. Report time is limited to 1 minute, which keeps the status update limited to 15 minutes.

Scrum Board

Scrumboardstatus
When the last member of the team has reported, we open our Scrum board on a large monitor. The Scrum Master checks all In Progress tasks for potential blockers or delays. When a card has been in the In Progress column for three consecutive stand-ups, the Scrum Master asks the developer to split the task into smaller units of work.
Scrum board stand up

Burndown

When our Scrum board is up to date, we check the Burndown. Using the #NoEstimate approach, we track our progress based on the number of completed user stories. This is how our Burndown looks like on the first week of sprint:
Burndown Features
However, if were to calculate the Burndown based on all cards, you can see that we’re still on track to finish the issues that are assigned to the current sprint on time:
Burndown2
The whole status and board update procedure takes about 20 minutes.

Discussions

Participation in the discussion part is optional. The Product Owner recaps the list of the discussions and identifies which members of the team should participate. Everyone else is welcome to join, or to leave and get back to normal activities. Discussions are moderated by the Product Owner. Everyone is free to share her opinion, raising the hand prior. The Product Owner may stop a speaker if he feels that we moved away from the topic. In total, the discussions may take up to 40 minutes. If we have any topics left over, we can postpone the discussion for the next stand-up or discuss the matter in a Slack channel.
Discussion

Slack Channels

We use several Slack channels for real-time communication within the team and other JetBrains teams who use YouTrack. We’ve been using Slack for about two years, and it works perfect for us. It saves a lot of time on daily communication and keeps a record of each conversation. We have a #youtrack channel that is available to everyone in JetBrains. This channel is devoted to general discussions, raising the problems with our YouTrack instance. Everyone in the company is welcome to join the channel to report an issue, or ask a question directly to the team.
We’ve integrated Slack and our YouTrack instance, so we get the notifications about adding a new issue to the current sprint published to our channel:
Slack plus YouTrack
If there are two or more people working on the Epic simultaneously, we create a special Slack channel to discuss this feature. For example, we have a #youtrack-board channel to discuss everything related to the new agile board in YouTrack.

The next episode Our Sprint Demo Session is coming next week. Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog!

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Our Sprint Planning

This is the fifth episode in our How We Scrum series. This installment is devoted to our sprint planning. If you missed any of the previous posts, check out the Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, and Our Approach to Estimation.

The Sprint Planning event is an important part of our Scrum activities. We have planning sessions at the beginning of every two-week sprint. We get the whole team together, including QA Engineers, UX Designers, Support Engineers, Technical Writers, and Marketing Managers to discuss the user stories that we want to take for the upcoming sprint.

Planning1

 

The YouTrack team is pretty large (about 25 people) and distributed between our offices in St. Petersburg and Munich. We schedule rooms in each office with video conferencing equipment for the planning session.
Before the planning session begins, the Scrum Master prints the user stories and pins them to a physical board. Every member of the team checks the description of each user story to actively participate in the planning discussion.

Planning board
Our planning session is divided into two parts: general and technical. The general part is devoted to discussing the business scope. The Scrum Master describes each user story, so the team can discuss the scope in detail. Everyone is free to ask questions for clarification. Discussion is over when there are no further questions and everyone understands what needs to be done to implement the user story.
Planning Discussion

When the general part is over, developers start the technical part. Everyone else may leave and get back to their normal activities. The developers discuss technical details and split the user stories into tasks. Since we started using the #NoEstimations approach, we don’t estimate user stories and tasks during the planning session. We make sure to discuss the maximum amount of detail so as not to forget anything important. If we realize that the task takes more than two days to complete, we can further decompose the task during the sprint.

Planning3

Our planning session normally takes from 60 to 90 minutes. The general and technical parts take about 30-45 minutes each. We strongly believe that these regular sessions help the whole team stay on the same page and keep focused on what’s important to everyone:

  • The QA team knows how the feature is supposed to work when it comes to testing.
  • The Support team is aware of everything in development and decides which support tickets should be added to the board.
  • The Technical writers team get all important details about new features, so it’s easier to document them for the end users in future.
  • The Marketing team brings customers’ requirements and use cases to every user story, and get all the details they need to introduce new features to our audience.

The next episode The Sprint is coming this Thursday. Watch for updates!

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