+79
Under review

Facility to enter technical tasks for a user story

Anuradha Gajanayaka 6 years ago • updated by Matthew O'Riordan (Founder) 3 years ago 19
When we do the sprint planning we divide the user stories in to further tasks. Mostly at the technical level. In the current version I don't see a place to enter the details tasks of a particular user story.

Something like a Kanban board would be really nice
Hi Anuradha, thanks for the feedback.

This is increasingly becoming a common request, so we are considering adding this functionality to easyBacklog.  Can I ask you a few questions though so that I can clarify what you need?
* Do you expect developers / scrum team members to be using this tool directly then, or will only your scrum masters / product owners/ PMs be using easyBacklog?
* Do you need estimation for tasks?
* Do you need to maintain progress of both tasks and stories on your Kanban board?
* Who would be updating the status of the items on your task board?
* Do you need to indicate who is looking after each task, or story, or both?
* At what point do you create tasks, is it at the point you assign stories to sprints, or sometime after?
* Do you have remote workers?  Why do you not simply use a physical board for your stories and cards?

Thanks,
Matt
-3
Please don't do it. 
Out of interest, if this were an option, why do you not want this feature?
-1
I'm afraid it would clutter both the use case for easybacklog and, more importantly, the interface/implementation.
Ok, thanks for the feedback.  I do think the way something is implemented is what matters, so if we do introduce this in the future, we would certainly consider a way that would not clutter the interface.
+4
Hi Matt,
Thank you for considering my request as well. To answer your questions;

  1. Do you expect developers / scrum team members to be using this tool directly then, or will only your scrum masters / product owners/ PMs be using easyBacklog?- Definately we will get developers to use this tool. I am looking at one stop tool for everybody (POs, SMs, developers, etc.). In order to do that the only thing I see missing is the ability enter tech tasks by developers as I mentioned
  2. Do you need estimation for tasks? - Yes but for me this would be a nice to have feature
  3. Do you need to maintain progress of both tasks and stories on your Kanban board? - Yes but it would depend on how you would design this Kanban board. In my eyes, I would see this Kanban board as an extension to the Sprint board. Therefore I would be connecting each task against an User Story in the sprint. Then I would like to keep a track of whether a task is done or not
  4. Who would be updating the status of the items on your task board? - Developers
  5. Do you need to indicate who is looking after each task, or story, or both? - Definitely but most importantly anybody should be able to take any task (I want to move away from traditional concept of PM assigning tasks. Therefore the tasks should be freely assignable to anybody)
  6. At what point do you create tasks, is it at the point you assign stories to sprints, or sometime after? - In the first part of the sprint planning meeting (I am referring to Scrum Guide), the team would assign stories to the sprint based on their velocity and story points. In the second part of the sprint planning meeting, the team would divide the assigned stories in to technical tasks. Hope I am clear
  7. Do you have remote workers?  Why do you not simply use a physical board for your stories and cards? - 50% of the time we do have remote workers. But the reason to request this feature is not that. We are currently using physical boards and sticky notes. But the main disadvantage with the physical board (at least this is what we felt) is that it felt little messy if you have more than 5 developers. Very difficult to find who is working on what, etc. There are many other disadvantages like, it is very difficult for the technical leadership to track who is working on what tech tasks, unless they inspect each and every physical board. Hope it is clear but if you want I can share many other comments on this :)

thanks

Anuradha


Thanks Anuradha

This feedback is extremely useful.  I'll update this ticket when we are able to address some of your points.

Matt
+1
I'd be fairly disappointed to see this feature to be honest. One of the key things I wanted from easyBacklog was that it just did one thing really, really well. Right now, it makes managing backlogs a breeze and I don't have to worry about the sprint backlog or the kanban board, they are physical information radiators that are managed in a different space to the backlog.

Adding this feature just makes easybacklog another in a long line of tools that attempt to be all things to all people. In fact, you even make this statement on the front page of your website: 


easyBacklog is NOT:

'Yet another all purpose project management, Agile or collaboration tool for teams.'

I know the answer will be 'You don't have to use these features.' and that would be right, I don't. But I will, as will my teams because it's the easiest thing in the world of agile to have someone else tell you how your process should be, instead of listening to the sage advice of the manifesto and putting 'Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools'. Regardless of how flexible it is (ever tried setting up Mingle? Sheesh)You're also watering down your offering; instead of being the only online tool that allows me to create and manage my backlogs really efficiently, you'll be added to a long list of 'all purpose project management ... tool[s] for teams.'

I'm sure you know all this already and I apologise if I'm teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, but if you *really* have to add this feature, please make it a setting per backlog that I can disable.

Thanks,

Mike
Hi Mike

I completely understand where you are coming from, and I can assure you that the decision to introduce this has caused countless arguments amongst us.  In fact, if we had to put it to vote, we'd probably not do it because the majority of us want to keep it true to its original ideals of being a great backlog management tool for Product Owners and Scrum Masters.  However, we do listen to our users, and we've had so many people ask for this feature that it's become something we simply cannot ignore.  

In terms of how we intend to implement it, this is where we are putting in a lot of effort.  We're not going to build another Mingle, we're going to build something that is somewhat opinionated, follows best practice, and above all is simple (no MQL or any of that crap). It will also just be an add-on feature for those who want it, and will be a simple setting that can be switched off/on as you have suggested.  Again, we know why you don't think we should offer digital scrum boards, and as a rule of thumb we agree with you, however lots of people have many valid reasons for needing digital scrum boards, and if we don't offer it they unfortunately have to use two products which is not ideal.

Thanks for your feedback.
Matt
+1

I would also like such a feature. But it should be separated from the backlog. 

Like have another section on the right side (like "Your Backlogs" but with "Your Taskboards" for example). In the backlog-userstories i would only add a link to see the technicial tasks for this user story. So its clearly separated from the backlog. 

Thanks for the suggestion, we will certainly consider it.

Another vote for this feature.


My main problem with current inability to split user stories to tasks is that our stories are usually span over multiple product components and have to be implemented by different developers, usually geographically distant one from another. Typical example for "As user I can view a list of that and that" user story will involve changes in GUI module, communication module, server and client modules.


We need a way to split a single story to a smaller tasks (probably per component), to assign the whole story and the specific tasks to different owners and to track the progress of each task, so the overall progress of user story will be deducted from progress of it's tasks.

Thanks for your feedback.  We do have plans to introduce tasks, we'll keep you posted.

Hi Matthew

is it done?

thanks
I would think long and hard about adding a feature like this. Once you get into detailed tasks, you will start being asked for integration with version control. It will never end.

Instead you might want to consider integration with other trackers out there, such as JIRA. Then this would be entirely optional and would not affect the user experience unless it was turned on. And the complexity of task tracking/version control/etc. would be moved to the external product.
It looks like it's been three years. Any chance this feature will be released soon?
Thank you.
Hi Thornad 

We recently completed a survey to review what features we should focus on now that we are looking to make this into a commercial (freemium) product.  This is high on the priority list, and within the next few weeks we'll hopefully be sharing our plans with our members. 

Matt