Search by tag


4 years ago

Enjoy Mashups Management and Visual Flow in TargetProcess v.2.22.9

TargetProcess v.2.22.9 is available to all On-Demand customers and On-Site Free users. Public release for On-Site customers is due in several days.

This release is quite significant as it includes a number of major improvements.

Beta Views: inner lists with inline edit and prioritization

Order bugs and tasks inside a User Story. Inline edit on the fly. Read more about improvements in lists.

Ordering and Inline Edit in lists

Beta Views: Implementation History for Features, User Stories, Bugs, Tasks and Requests

This visualized timeline shows full progress including all the state changes, time spent, responsible persons, impediments, added and closed bugs, and tasks. More on how the Visual Flow can help you.

Visual Flow

Mashup Manager: basic release

On-Demand users can create their own mashups in minutes or re-use out-of-the-box mashups. Note: you need Admin rights to create and manage mashups.

Mashups manager

Multi-select custom fields (not available in Beta Views so far)

It’s finally there. If you need a custom field with multiple choices, you can now use it.

Multiple Selection

Burn Down calculation when Time Tracking is not used

Now you can have accurate burn downs even if you don’t use time tracking at all. Just update the remaining effort in Task Board and check the progress on Sprint Burndown chart.


Tasks added to Prioritize screen

Order Tasks, Stories and Bugs by their priority for your developers


REST API fixes and improvements

Other Fixes

5 years ago

Development practice: Retrospectives in Kanban

There are various ways to support agile team retrospectives. We’ve used all of them, so let me share our experience.

issues board

Cadence (usual retrospectives)

If you have iterative development like Scrum or XP, it is very convenient to run usual retrospectives meetings. For example, with 2-week iterations you have such meetings every other week, discuss issues, what worked, what not, brainstorm solutions and new things. We’ve tried mood boards, various formats for issues gathering and for action items tracking. We’ve tried a whole lot of things in 2 years. In general, it worked. But then we switched to Kanban and somehow retrospective meetings faded out…

Is there a better way to improve development process?


We tried to apply stop-the-line practice. It states that as a mistake or malpractice is discovered all responsible people should immediately hold a meeting to resolve/prevent this specific problem. There were several stop-the-line events, but this practice did not survive. Why? There are two main reasons.

  1. It is very disruptive. People are working on various unrelated tasks and are in the flow. Suddenly they should switch to a problem resolution brainstorming. Many people don’t like to do that.
  2. It may take too long. Sometimes the problem is very hard and it takes much time to find a good solution. People impatiently drink coffee and want to get back to work.

So we dropped stop-the-line practice and replaced it with a pure pull system.

Pull / Issues Board

Issue Board is a very simple concept with 3 basic rules:

  1. Every person in a development team can write a problem or a new idea he wants to discuss on a whiteboard (Issues Board).
  2. There is a limit of 3 problems on the board.
  3. When there are 3 problems on the board, we have a retrospective meeting right after a daily meeting.

We have been using this approach over the last several months and I like it most. It leaves off some problems both of the stop-the-line approach and the cadence approach. First, if there are no issues or ideas, there’s no need to have a meeting :) Second, no interruptions, since daily meeting is interruptive by itself, so it is just natural to have a retrospective meeting right away.

If you have other approaches to retrospectives, go ahead and share them!

5 years ago

Fridays Digest #18 Scrum vs. Kanban

Many interesting posts and discussions about Scrum and Kanban published last weeks. Someone even called this a war :) I don’t think it is a war, but some posts indeed may drive such feeling.

I think Ken is wrong. His arguments against Lean and Kanban quite ridiculous. Sure there is no intention to treat software development as a factory and apply lean manufacturing principles blindly. Of course there are people who will try (or already tried) that and fail. But vast majority of lean community in software development do understand the difference and working on concrete practices. Lean philosophy is great, but tools and practices can’t be taken from manufacturing directly.

Pull system is more complex than Push? C’mon!

David has wise arguments and perfect position. I think Kanban will be more popular than Scrum in long-term perspective, but it will take time. Visualization is a key thing to manage complexity, and software development is a complex system.

6 years ago

Product Backlog: Small Steps vs. Giant Leaps

When reading this Kill Your To-Do List blog post, I thought that managing personal to-do list can be similar to product backlog management. Not in the part that you should totally kill your product backlog, but in the “one thing at a time” part. This is by no means a new thought.  E.g.  Mary Poppendieck was heard saying that product backlog should be eliminated.

So, as in to-do lists, there’s no point in nurturing and moving product backlog items back and forth.  In this case, a lot depends on what is your definition and understanding of product backlog. I’d say backlog is an environment in which a product grows and exists but not a set of components that should be implemented for sure.  Looking further into, what kind of environment is it? Backlog might be a repository of all the slightest shades of ideas that have a very vague chance to be implemented. A chaotic heap. This heap can hardly be called a “backlog” but rather a by-product of brainstorming. OR a product backlog might represent a careful selection of user stories that will be implemented for sure.

Both of these options, as often is the case, have the optimal state somewhere in between. In our production workflow, we’re now using several buffers – the first layer is raw Requests and Ideas (coming from our HelpDesk, or from the PO, or from the team). The second layer is Product Backlog with User Stories (Requests and Ideas are now groomed and converted to User Stories by  Product Owner who decides that some time these will be implemented for sure – based on how many people requested this feature, based on current product development strategy etc.). The third layer is Planned state for User Stories in Kanban board.

Here’s a quick graphical representation of this product backlog upward funnel:
That’s how User Stories lifecycle looks on  Kanban board, from Planned state on:


Backlog is not seen on Kanban board.  When done with their current user stories, developers  pull new user stories from Planned state.

Previously, when we worked with iterations before switching to Kanban, there was no buffer between inception and implementation – so time-boxed releases and iterations have been planned directly from the backlog. With Kanban, the buffering  is done by moving stories to Planned state and prioritizing them.

I’d say that planning with iterations provides less flexibility than planning with Kanban. As you drop user stories to time-boxed iterations, you  commit to implementing all of them within a given period of time. Kanban is way more flexible since user stories can be pulled one-by-one from Planned state and implemented with no time restrictions. I can’t resist citing an analogy here: it’s the same as moving with the smallest possible steps to posture yourself before hitting the ball in tennis. With large steps, you do not have flexibility. With small steps – you’re very agile and flexible to position yourself for the perfect shot.

So, the buffered Planned state in Kanban is like this breaking down into small steps, instead of taking one giant leap and committing to the whole pack of user stories in iteration.

That’s the way it goes for us. You’re better off moving by small steps, taking it one-by-one (this brings us back to the inspiration blog post reference in the beginning :) than with giant leaps.

Request a demo
Our product specialists will show you the beauty and power of Targetprocess 3 and help you to customize it for your process and business requirements
Request a demo