Soft Launch of the new Major Product Release 6.0
Gradually over the next several weeks, we will start rolling out the new version. Users will be notified in the application when their accounts are about to get updated.
The 6.0 Version adds product changes that will significantly improve customer experience and will further enhance the capabilities of Kanbanize to cover even more scenarios and use-cases.
1. New Workflow Designer
With the new workflow designer, you can customize your board workflow horizontally and vertically by merging your columns and lanes to the specific needs of each team. The columns define how your cards move across the board and what phases they must pass through in order to be completed. The horizontal swimlanes show different classes of work.
You can merge cells across lanes/columns to fuse work process stages and facilitate processing of different tasks types on a single board.
The flexibility to merge cells unlocks now the following scenarios to be handled on the same board. Here are just several use-cases:
- Expedited Swimlanes: When things have to be done fast, you need optimized process and shortcuts. If there are steps like "technical review", "waiting on quality" and so on, all these could be merged to the main "working on" step, as there should be no waiting on expedited items. It is expected all roles (quality, technical and so on) to have focus on the expedited work item and work together to complete it.
- Roadmaps Design: With the ability to create sub-columns in the backlog on the card and initiatives level, Product Managers and the Team could work now on one board. The left side (backlog area) is for the PMs with a different design using Upstream Kanban to prepare a roadmap and planning view, while the right side of the board (Requested, In Progress and Done) areas are used in the traditional Downstream Kanban for the tasks executions by the team.
- Batching Work: Very often steps like "Review", "Approval", "Ready for Delivery/Production" or "Done" are independent from the type of work (swimlane). In this case, merging swimlanes under one such step/column gives better visualization and indication for the Reviewer/Approver that there have been items collected (batched) for processing. Although the cards are in one merged cell, the system keeps the swimlane state. Upon approval/review, the work items continue to move forward into their swimlane.
2. The New "Еdit Workflow" Capabilities
Some of the major improvements in Product Update 6.0 impact the "Edit Workflow" layout of the board. Upon activation of the "Edit Workflow" board mode:
- users with relevant permissions will be able to control various board settings:
- rename boards (1)
- change card sizes (T-shirt sizes; Fibonacci sequence; No pattern) (2)
- control the "Work in Progress limit" system behavior: allow or deny exceeding the limits (3)
- users with relevant permissions will be able to Disable either the Initiatives Workflow lane or the Cards Workflow lane (4)
- users with relevant permissions will be able to make the Initiatives Workflow lane collapsible/non-collapsible (5).
- Design mode with Save or Discard edits via the respective buttons (6). Changes are now shown only during the design view and will be applied at once after Save.
- Having a design mode, provides the ability to use Undo or Redo for any of the latest actions you have performed using the respective dropdown lists (7). The keyboard shortcuts are: CTRL + Z (undo) and CTRL +Y (redo).
3. New Preset Layout upon Board Creation
Kanbanize 6.0 introduces a new visualization of the board interface upon new board creation. The initial board view includes two levels of hierarchy:
- Initiatives Workflow - this represents the Portfolio lane where you can visualize your Initiatives and track their progress.
- Cards Workflow - this lane represents the team process workflow and it holds all child cards, which are the small deliverables linked to the Initiative (Project/Feature/Epic story) that should be executed by the Team.
4. Portfolio Lane Enhancements
Kanbanize 6.0 introduces further enhancements to the Portfolio lane, allowing users to add extra swimlanes. This is a very useful feature for PMs who want to create a Master board for Initiatives only and distribute the different types of Initiatives in the respective swimlanes.
To get a better association and design, labels could be easily changed from "Initiatives Workflow" to "Department Goals" for example.
WIP Limits: Moreover, you can configure a Work in Progress (WIP) limit for each of the cells within the Portfolio lane. This way PMs could very easy spot the team that drags too much work in progress on a company (initiatives) level.
Automation: The sections: To Do; In Progress; Done remain non-editable to display the Initiatives progress in the main stages of the overall process and keep the automation movement rules in place. Initiatives located in the Requested and in the Backlog area could be freely moved by the end users, reordered and prioritized. Once a child card is moved in progress, the automation takes over and initiatives cannot be moved back manually. If all child cards are moved back to the requested area, the Initiative will automactically moved back to the Requested column.
Analytics: With the new product version, the Portfolio lane is added to the standard and advanced analytics modules in Kanbanize. This way with the automation in place for exact timing when starting and completing an initiative, you have the accuracy to do bottleneck analysis, predictability, trends, all at one level up in your organization and optimize top down.
The Portfolio lane is also added as an available option of the email integration, so you can hook your email address to the lane and create Initiatives via your email.
5. Customize your Backlog via Columns and Lanes
Product Update 6.0 improves the Backlog experience, allowing users to edit it and create a better view of their Roadmap/Planning boards. The customizable backlog is available on both the Initiatives and Cards workflows.
Users can fully customize it using the flexible workflow designer to add swimlanes, columns/sub-columns as well as to merge cells in two or even more adjacent columns.
To create a unified storage place for the tasks, just use the rectangle tool and draw out the cells to merge the columns and lanes.
6. Better Business Rules Control
Product update 6.0 brings an improvement that supports better management of the existing business rules in the system.
Board Indications: Each column in the flow that matches any of the filters in the configuration panel is marked with a special sign at the upper left corner. On hover, an extra box appears to display the name of the business rules where the column is used. The box also includes the names of the rules listed below and if a user with the respective permissions clicks on it, they will be redirected to the corresponding rule.
Board re-design: Very often, when adjusting processes, users may need to delete a column in the flow. In case the column holds any cards, the system will prompt the user to move them to another column.
The "delete column" panel also warns if such action affects applied business rules.
If the column-to-delete is an attribute of a business rule configuration, the panel will display the name of the respective rule, warning that it may be affected by the delete column action. For better visualization, the impacted rules are marked with an exclamation mark in the dedicated Business Rules panel.
- to get better tracking and updates when monitoring too many business rules, each rule now has a unique ID, which is logged into the card history upon policy execution
- in case that the column/lane referenced in the rule has been deleted and the rule was not revised, it will be colored in red in the dedicated Business Rule panel (Administration).
The author of the rule is also present.
7. Initiative Improvements
Kanbanize 6.0 introduces a set of improvements related to the Initiatives monitoring and handling.
- the in-app/email system notifications will be available for both cards and Initiatives.
- the Initiatives will be displayed in My Queue and Worklog if the assignee criteria is matched
- the Initiatives will be available in the Board filter allowing you to locate both cards and Initiatives
- The initiatives will be available in the calendar view to monitor datе-related information: deadline; created at; last modified, etc.
- the Initiative could be created via email integration to the portfolio lane
- a user WIP limit is set for both cards and Initiatives
- when you copy a board you can also copy Portfolio lane and Initiatives
8. Personalized Board Backgrounds
Kanbanize 6.0 makes your experience with the software more inspiring and versatile.
The new Board Background feature allows you to personalize your board and use an image as a background. A great selection of quality photos is available in the Unsplash gallery we are now integrated with.
Тhe boards' ordering on the dashboard is optimized for better visibility and overall structure. The boards are placed two in a row below the project and the background you’ve chosen is also reflected there.