1. Improved behavior of the Initiative progress indicator
Tracking project progress or your strategic company goals status is one of the most challenging activities for the management. Managers who succeed with this, help team members meet their goals and provides all stakeholders with the big picture. When teams stay on track they are more likely to respond quickly to change and spot early warning signs.
In Kanbanize, we track larger pieces of work using Initiatives that allows a work breakdown structure.
Each Initiative has a Progress Indicator bar that shows in percentage the completed work progress of the smaller tasks that outline the Initiative. When all child cards are moved to “Done” the Initiative will be 100% completed.
In this release, we are focusing on providing more accurate progress measurement. The calculation of the Initiative progress result (%) will include the number of all child cards as well as their size at the lowest level of the existing breakdown structure. This applies to even more complex hierarchical structures at all levels in the organization.
Let’s see how it works:
*Open the image in a new tab to get a closer view.
The Timeline initiative visualizes the company's Strategic Projects for Q2.
There are two major projects linked to it: Project A and Project B.
If we consider that when one of the projects ends, it will result in 50% completion of the strategic Timeline initiative, this would not be accurate.
The current progress status of the Timeline initiative upon completion of Project A is 17%.
Why is that? The scope and requirements for each project are different. Every project contains a certain number of tasks. However, each task may be sized differently.
Note: If cards are sized, the algorithm will use the value in the size field of the card for the progress measurement. If a card size is not set, the default value per card is counted as “1”.
2. New Initiative warnings
When you link child cards to your initiative, you might get inconsistencies in terms of a deadline or total size of cards compared to that of the initiative. We introduced improvements in the Initiatives visualization to immediately signal for such occurrences. Users will notice the exclamation mark on the Initiatives in two cases:
- If you have an initiative scheduled with a particular deadline; but one or more of its child cards deadline is set to end later.
- If the total size of your child cards at the lowest level in the hierarchy exceeds the size of the Initiative.
3. New Timeline Initiatives behavior
To help managers be more flexible, we made several product changes that result in improved Timeline initiatives behavior.
Map Timeline Initiatives in the past or present
With Release 6.23, the system allows users to create new Timeline Initiatives in the past or present. You are no longer limited to create Initiatives in the future only.
Tip: The vertically green line marker always defines the current day. Don't forget to consider it as an indicator when you map your projects.
Manually change dates from the Timeline Initiative details
The Timeline Initiatives are bound to the calendar by a set of time-related properties:
- Planned start date
- Planned end date
- Actual Start date
- Actual End date
Previously, when users planned initiatives over time, the time properties just reflected planned vs actual dates and the cells were frozen. With this release, users can manage the time span of Initiative from the Timeline fields.
Open a Timeline Initiative and use the calendar picker to set the dates. The Initiative will adjust its length to match the new dates on the Timeline Workflow.
With this update, you are no longer limited to change the Actual Start Date of your Initiative. Note, that it should be a date in the past.
Important: What is the difference in the behavior when your Timeline Initiative has child cards?
In Kanbanize, when a card linked to the Timeline Initiative goes to "In progress" before the planned start date, the actual start of the Initiative will automatically adjust to the calendar. Only then the initiative is considered “STARTED”. This behavior is preserved.
However, very often the actual start dates of projects do not correspond to their child cards' start dates.
NEW: When a timeline Initiative is "started", only then you can change its Actual start date to match a project timeline beyond the Kanban board processes. You can manually change the Actual start date from the Timeline fields or slide the Initiative’s left edge to the desired actual date.
If none of its child cards are moved to "In progress", the system will not allow users to change that property.
4. Improved "Drag & Drop" consistency to create links
When users create relationships between the cards, they essentially create a work breakdown. That makes it easier to keep track of the hierarchy between the various tasks that need to be completed to make a project successful.
With Release 6.23, we improved the "drag & drop" method consistency. When you drag a card to create a new linked card* or drag it over an existing item**(card or Initiative) to establish a relationship, you will get the same linking options.
* Hold Ctrl on your keyboard and drag a card and drop it to on the board to create a new linked card.
** Hold Ctrl on your keyboard and drag a card and drop it over an existing item to establish a relationship.
You will notice that some of the options are disabled.
Based on the type of Workflow and the cards' position within it, some of the card relations may violate basic rules in the system. Therefore, we have specifically disabled them.
- A card from the Cards Workflow cannot become a parent of an Initiative.
- You cannot establish a parent-child relationship between two cards in the same workflow.
In addition to this improvement, we have added the ability to create links between Timeline Initiatives.
Last but not least, you can make card linking when you select multiple cards and follow the same navigation as explained above.
5. Blockers and Stickers management Improvements
This release brings improvements in Card Tokens management with an emphasis on better control of their availability in the account.
First, there are two new Security Controls related to Blockers and Stickers management. If enabled, then only Account Owners can create, update and delete tokens. Otherwise, Workspace Managers will be able to do these actions tоo.
Second, all existing Blockers and Stickers are now accessible and can be created at a global account level in the Administration panel. For easy management, they are separated into two dedicated tabs: Card Blockers and Card Stickers.
When Account Owners create new tokens or manage existing ones, they have to select among three levels of availability.
- Оn demand - When the token becomes available, every Workspace Manager could choose to add it to the boards they manage.
- Auto - When a Token is created, it will be automatically added to all new boards. Workspace Managers could remove it only from the boards they manage.
- Global - When a Token is created, it will be automatically added to all boards and cannot be removed.
6. UX Improvements
We constantly dedicate efforts to improve our product design and its usability. Please, check the latest enhancements:
- Auto archiving on a daily basis
In case that your board is getting warnings for too many cards in the Ready to Archive column, you can now set it up to automatically archive cards on a daily basis. This setting works per board.
- Visible Column description
A brief description of each step in your process provides valuable insight into the intended usage of the column. If the description is available, users can read the instructions from two places within the product:
- When the title of the column on the Kanban board is underlined, you can read the respective column description. This makes it easier to work on boards, where you are not familiar with the process.
- If you move cards using the Position Control View in Card Details, just hover on any of the stages to read the description.
- Move cards to other boards using the Context menu improvement
We added a filter for those who move cards to other boards using the Context menu.
This helps users to easily find the Board where they want to move the card to, especially when working with many boards.
- Access business rules from the History tab
A new history event is logged every time when a business rule is executed for the respective card.
New: Click the rule ID and the system redirects you to the Administration Panel, where rules for automation get stored. If you need to re-configure or share the rule with other users, you can quickly access its configuration panel.
- Get a notification when a subtask is assigned to you
You can now set up automated in-app or email notifications and never miss a subtask that is assigned to you.
- Email addresses in User Activity Log
The "User last Activity log" reflects the latest activity of all registered Kanbаnize users and can be accessed from Audit Logs. It captures and displays the following information: Username, Real Name, Last activity (timestamp) New: With this Release, the users' email addresses have been added to the activity log.
- Card URL links available in the Export
With Release 6.23, cards' URL links are now available in the results, when you export data in Excel. Practically, this is very useful if you want to access cards directly from the export file.
- Card's Title added to the browsing history
When you open a card, its Title is added to the browsing history. You can use browser history to quickly access cards that you have opened before.
7. Mobile Improvements
Both iOS & Android:
- Create new initiatives on the Initiatives Workflow from the mobile app.
- Add custom fields to the cards from the mobile app.
We made some improvements to the whole board view and as a result, it will now be the default one.