December 6th, 2022 by inflectra
We are excited to be releasing the public beta version of the long-awaited agile planning board revamp for SpiraTeam and SpiraPlan in early December. In preparation for that, we wanted to provide a preview of the new user interface and design. Since our original blog post highlighting the new features, the UI has undergone some major revisions and updates, so in this article we're including screenshots of the current release candidate.
Firstly, once the new version is released next month, you will need to enable the beta for your users in the Administration > System > General Settings:
Once it has been enabled at the system level, your users can then access the main Planning Board using the Spira navigation as normal:
Then click on the Try the Beta button the top-right to enable the new beta boards:
Once you click that, Spira will display the new planning boards, and use them for remainder of your session (unless you click on the Exit the Beta button to return back to the old boards).
The new agile planning board in Spira has been redesigned to have a more consistent user interface across its different views, support multiple boards in a product, provide more customization options, and also allow you have to have both horizontal and vertical swim lanes in a single view. Previously we only allowed rows or columns, but not both.
The overall planning board page has these parts to it:
We will now explain the different parts of the board in more detail.
As mentioned above, the new planning board has three distinct views that you can switch between:
This selector is only available for the release backlog and sprint backlog views. It is hidden if you choose product backlog.
It has three basic selection options:
For example, when you are displaying the release backlog, you will see the following:
and when you are displaying the sprint backlog, you will see the following:
The new boards have the option to have have multiple, separate boards displayed. This is used when you want to display a board for each release, sprint, team, component or priority:
For example, when you are displaying the Release Backlog, you may want to group by release:
Inside each group, you will have a board with individual rows and columns. There are icons that let you expand/ collapse the group itself, as well as the option to expand/collapse all groups:
Inside each of the boards you can choose to organize the cards by row. This is optional, and depending on the view (product backlog, release backlog, sprint backlog), the options will vary. For example, in the screenshot below we are displaying the product backlog organized by parent Epic.
Since we are also grouping by Component, the board is smart enough to know that it should only show you the Epics in each Component as rows. If you expand the other Components, only the Epics on those Components will be displayed.
Similar to the grouping functionality, you can collapse/expand a single row or use the special expand/collapse all icon:
Inside each of the boards you can choose to organize the cards by column. Unlike groups and rows, this is required, and is the minimum level of categorization needed. For example, here's the product backlog organized by priority:
The options available in the Columns drop-down menu will depend on the current view. For example, here's the list of column options in the Release Backlog view:
When you use the groups, columns and rows together, you get a much more sophisticated board. For example, here's the Release Backlog, grouped by Team, with the columns set to Priority and the Rows set to Person:
When you expand any of the rows, you will see the appropriate requirement user story cards:
For Scrum projects, the new boards support the most important agile ceremonies and planning activities. For example, you can show all the unplanned items in the product backlog for backlog grooming:
In this example we are displaying the User Stories by Epic, grouped by Component and categorized by Priority.
For a typical release planning section, you can use the following release backlog view:
In this example we are displaying all the releases, with the ability to take items from the product backlog (at the top) and assign to a specific release.
For a sprint planning session, the following view will let you assign work to each sprint from the release backlog:
The system will display the available effort vs. committed effort to make sure you have not over-committed the sprint. As with the previous version of the boards, you can use either story points or hours, depending on the setting chosen in the Spira planning options.
Finally, you can drill down to look at an individual sprint and see the team's progress. This is useful for daily standup meetings:
For Kanban projects, in addition to the functionality described above, you have the ability to see the different releases by status, with the Work In Progress Limits clearly visible in each of the swim-lanes:
In this example, we are showing the release backlog for a specific release, with the columns set to display by status and the planning options set to include WIP limits for the In-Progress and Developed columns.
In addition to the board changes themselves, the new agile boards also make use of another new beta feature - teams and tracks. For SpiraPlan customers, the boards allow you to choose a Team as one of the options in the Grouping selector:
These teams come from the administration menu, where you can create a global list of teams, and then assign users to those teams on a per-project basis:
Finally, you may have noticed, that the requirement user story cards on the boards look different. We have taken the opportunity to restyle them a little. The changes also mean that you can now customize what information is actually shown in each card to a much larger degree than before. Previously you could switch on/off:
With the new cards, you can configure each of these individually, as well as show new items such as the test coverage, status, and type that were previously not possible:
For example, the most minimal set of information (with everything set to No) would look like:
In the old boards, this would have looked something like:
If you enable all of the individual options, the maximum display will look like:
If you compare with the old version:
We have made some stylistic changes:
Since the test cases and tasks are now shown as colored circles, instead of mini-cards, you would use the tooltip to see the ID of the actual task or test case:
Once you have started using the new boards in beta mode, you will of course have feedback, suggestions and questions! That is great, please send them along to our product team by means of this customized support ticket mail link.
We hope you like the changes and improvements we have made with the new agile planning boards in Spira. Once we have collected the feedback, we plan on implementing the key changes and then releasing the boards as production boards to replace the current ones.
And if you have any questions, please email or call us at +1 (202) 558-6885
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