1. Service Level Expectations (SLE)
Kanbanize 8.4 comes with a brand new SLE (Service Level Expectations) feature. It allows you to set up custom expectations of how long a card should remain in a given step of the process, so you can track if your work items surpass a specific cycle time threshold.
You can set up SLEs per column (including subcolumns), lane or cell. Once you enable them, the system will visualize them directly on your boards.
For example, suppose that you have two SLEs - one on an “In Progress” column and another on an “Expedite” lane. This will activate two progress bars on the cards in that board area through which you can track your SLEs in real-time. When you complete a card and move it to “Done” (or another board area that doesn’t have SLEs), the progress bars will disappear.
In case you exceed your SLEs, a part of the progress bars will turn red indicating how much the cycle time has been surpassed.
The functionality is accessible from the workflow editor of your board where you will find a new clock-like icon as seen from the image below.
When adding a new SLE to your process, the system allows you to specify:
- max cycle time threshold which your cards shouldn’t violate
- time units for tracking cycle time (days, hours, minutes)
- working days
- working hours
It’s important to mention that you can create multiple SLEs based on different criteria through the “Filter” function. A common use case here is when you want to set up separate SLEs for cards with a different type and priority.
Note: This functionality is available for all board columns except “Backlog”, “Done”, and “Ready to Archive”. Furthermore, when adding SLEs to lanes, the “In Progress” section will always remain selected.
For more information on how to work with SLEs, check out our dedicated article.
2. New Blocker Clustering Chart
Version 8.4 also welcomes the new addition to our Analytics module: the Blocker Clustering Chart! With its help, you can analyze the impact of blockers in your process, present and discuss data during meetings.
The chart is accessible from a new “Blocker” tab in the Analytics module. The data you can derive from there includes a list of blockers refined by different criteria (y-axis) together with their respective block time and block count (x-axis).
This allows you to analyze how much time certain blockers took and how often they occurred in the process.
Furthermore, you can enable controls for the data that you examine. For example, you can choose to see only the average time and count of the blockers in the process. You can also calculate block time only for working days and control which blockers appear on the chart.
3. Blocker Clustering Widget
Continuing from the second point, Kanbanize 8.4 also allows you to display a new predefined blocker clustering widget on your dashboards.
All you have to do is access the dashboard widgets and configure data for the blocker clustering chart. This comes in handy when you want to visualize blockers data across multiple boards so you can discuss the most common flow impediments of different teams.
4. “Parent Card is Moved” Business Rule
Our latest release also comes with a new “Parent card is moved” business rule. It allows you to specify where the children of a parent card should go to when the latter is moved to a specific area on the board.
The functionality here is threefold. First, you are able to define which child cards to be moved to a given position based on certain criteria that they match. Second, you can choose to update the details of a given set of cards if they also match some criteria (ex. change priority to “High” for cards of type “X”).
Third, the system allows you to add a new “move” or “update” action for multiple child cards. As a result, when a parent card is moved, you can specify each child card to go to a different area (workflow, board) and update their details separately based on filters that you select.
5. “Parent Card is Updated” Rule
Continuing with automation, version 8.4 brings another business rule: “Parent Card is Updated”. The logic is similar to the previous one. Whenever you update a parent card (change its color, type, etc.), the rule will trigger an action to “update” or “move” its child cards based on predefined criteria.
Here, you can also add a new “update” or “move” action which allows you to define unique criteria for separate child cards. For example, imagine that the priority of an initiative increases and you have different policies on what should happen with its work items. You can use the rule to automatically set higher priority for some of its child cards and then move them (or others) to different areas on a board/s.
6. Easily Sort Fields in Advanced Search
When you access the “Configure Results” panel in Advanced Search, you will notice a change in the way you sort fields there. At the top of the panel, you will see a new “Selected fields” area where you can simply drag your chosen fields to reorder them. This saves you time and effort when having a lot of fields selected and you need to change the way they appear when performing a search.
7. Annotations in Card’s Description
This month, there is also an enhancement in the rich-text editor of your card’s description. You will notice that there is an “Annotation” icon there which becomes available when you highlight a text. With it, you can add comments in a card’s description which is helpful when you want to highlight a text area that needs further elaboration.
8. “OR” Option in Board Filter
So far, when using the board filter, you have only been able to get results based on “AND” conditions (ex. display cards with green color AND high priority). With this release, we give you the flexibility to also use “OR” conditions when filtering your cards (ex. display cards that are blocked OR have the sticker “X”).
9. Search in Contributor Fields
Another improvement is the “Search in contributor fields” option which is available when selecting “Assignee” in the board filter. When turned on, it will search for cards that also have a custom field of type “contributor” assigned to a given user.
Happy Kanbanizing with version 8.4!