Blog

7 years ago

Friday Digest #17 [UX, Chaos, Complexity]

UX

Touch interfaces are a logical replacement of point-and-click devices like mouse. Here is a great concept: Reinvent desktop human-computer interaction. I really like it, since it is quite easy to build and learn. It looks like an advanced touch-pad and some gestures are already implemented in MacBook. Also it utilizes Zooming user interface ideas, which is cool. Hope we will have something similar in laptops really soon!

Chaos

Outstanding and very interesting BBC movie The Secret Life of Chaos. It shows unexpected relations in nature and chaos theory and explains some fundamental principles of the complexity science like Butterfly Effect, Feedback, Simple Rules. I promise you will enjoy it :)

Changes

Decent article about changes Understanding How To Respond To Change. "Isn't it odd that so many companies fight change instead of embracing it?". I especially like this phrase "The good thing is, that the people who change, are the people who wins. The problem with change is trying to make it stop, or trying to catch up to it."

Complexity

Thought provoking posts by Rafe Furst. Here are some nice quotes:
1. Certain actions generate more future possibilities than others. In my experience, those actions tend to be the cooperative ones, ones that produce network effects: financial, social and otherwise.
2. By surrounding yourself with people who have the same vision as you do and want similar things as you do means that you will all have help in getting there.
3. When you are successful at something, others notice and their reactions to that noticing will make it easier for you to succeed in the future

7 years ago

TargetProcess v.2.19.3: Much Better Performance!

Starting today, all updates about new version releases will be published in this blog. Changelog feed will be redirected here soon.

TargetProcess v.2.19.3 is available for Community Edition so far. It will be open to all customers on Monday.

Features

Performance was significantly improved in v.2.19.3. Performance optimizations include

  • SQL indexes updates
  • Less SQL queries on all pages
  • Application server CPU usage optimizations

You should see noticeable difference between v.2.19.1 and v.2.19.3 for sure (in fact it is 3x faster for 10 concurrent users).

Fixed Bugs

You may click on links to see related requests posted by people.

#25514 Burn Down Chart: Tasks with Zero effort should not affect chart
#25716 HDP: hide emails in request view
#25659 User Stories can not be edited in Chrome

7 years ago

Kanban: Why 3 States in Cumulative Flow Diagram

We have implemented cumulative flow diagram in TargetProcess v 2.15 as a tracking/reporting chart to get a quick overview of user stories in To Do, In Progress and Completed state:

cfd_default2

Why we have only 3 fixed states for cumulative flow diagram while all the states for User Stories and other entities are customizable? We could have enabled showing the count of User Stories in all the customized states, be it 6 or 7 or 8 states. But the visual diagram would have been too clogged this way. We would have had to either follow the reporting stats meticulously,  replicate all the states and counts in the digram and lose the visual UX of this chart, or to get it down to 3 basic  states such as ToDo, InProgress and Completed (all the customized states are just a variation for those 3 states, one way or another) and retain a good info-design.

Some people asked us to enable more detailed views in cumulative flow digram and we will consider implementing this in the future.

You're welcome to submit your requests on cumulative flow diagram and other features to TargetProcess HelpDesk or to TargetProcess UX Group.

7 years ago

Support Teamwork: Optimizing Flows

We're always working to improve teamwork of our Support and QA folks to better process  support requests (quick reminder:  you can submit your question/idea/request/ issue to TargetProcess HelpDesk or by email)

That's  how we decided to optimize some flows and eliminate Muda:

1. Some  issues are related to performance. Support work starts with asking basically one and the same set of questions about their server configuration, CPU load, IIS version (see TargetProcess system requirements).  Sending questions and answers back and forth takes time (sometimes days).

The solution we'd use so far is  a documented form that our customers will be supposed to fill in as they encounter performance problems. Why document and not online form: it might take time to put together all the info about server configuration, and an online form can expire. In the future, we could write a utility to measure all the parameters for performance and generate an .xml file.

2. We've got a "Waiting for Response" state for the requests waiting on answers from customers. The rule is: if a customer says nothing after 2 days, we send a reminder. Then, if no response in another 2 days, we send a note that we're closing this request. It takes time to sift through the requests with "Waiting for response" state, so we'd set up an automatic alert utility for that.  Sometimes people don't see our emails with questions. Maybe their spam filters are blocking TP notifications.  But no emails - no support.  Dear customers, please, keep track of all the notifications and comments from our HelpDesk.

3. Sometimes there're issues that are impossible to reproduce. Our QA  might spend hours with no success. All the info is in place, all the artifacts - but bugs wouldn't show up.  For such cases, we'd ask our customers to capture videos and  attach video files to their requests.  If video does not help, then the next step would be to set up an online meeting with customers to find the causes of problems.

You're welcome to share your opinion: which flows/small things can be improved in TargetProcess support?

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