Upcoming Feature: Cross-project Releases | Targetprocess - Visual management software

Brief summary of this article:

Some companies work on big products that are divided into smaller projects. If a company plan releases on a level of the whole product they may include work from several projects at once.

Right now in Targetprocess you can create a release which belongs to one project only.

Solution

Targetprocess should allow to create a Release to be assigned to several projects. According to our solution you will be able to do that using the Quick Add or the Release detailed view popup.

Here you  see a board that shows Projects as rows and Releases as columns. Release #2 and Release #1 belong to both projects (they are cross-project releases in fact). These Releases contain User Stories from both projects.

Cross project releases

Here is how you can add a cross-project release via the Quick Add form:

Solution

Consider an example:

We have projects Project A, Project B, and Project C. We want to release a piece of new functionality which would include work from Project A and Project B. To do it, we create a new release Release AB and assign it to Project A and Project B. Now we can assign work from those two projects to this release. Work from Project C can not be assigned to Release AB.

Solution. Image 3

If you select Project C in the top project/team selector, you will not see Release AB. If you select either Project A or Project B then Release AB will be visible.

If you have access to Project A only, you will still see Release AB. When looking at user stories from this release, you will see user stories from Project A only.

Relation with Programs

It will not be possible to create a release for a program directly. However, when selecting projects for a release you'll be able to select all projects from a particular program in one click.

Burndown report

It will be possible to see the Burndown chart for a cross-project release. An additional project filter will be added to the Burndown report page, so it will be possible to filter the content of the report by one or several projects assigned to the release.

Solution. Image 4

Limitations

At the moment all main entities of Targetprocess belong to a Project or a Team (or both).

Cross-project releases are different as they belong to many projects at once. This introduces new possibilities and limitations.

Different Effort units

It will not be possible to create a release across projects with different effort units (story points and ideal hours). If you assign release to several projects and then change effort unit for the process of one of the projects, you will see a warning or such action even will be disallowed.

Release custom fields and terms

As a release may belong to several projects we can’t determine process of this release. So it is not clear how to retrieve terms and custom fields of it.

One possible solution is to add explicit relation between release and process. This way a user will need to select a process during the release creation.

Iteration

We decided to disable iterations for cross-project releases, as this requires significant change for Iteration entity. You will still be able to create iteration for a release which is assigned to one project only. So we need your feedback how you want to work with Iterations in Cross-Project Releases.

Team Iteration

Team Iteration will be the only way to perform iterative development with cross-project releases. There will be no explicit relation between Team Iteration and Release because release relates to projects and team iteration relates to a team. If you use team iterations for release work decomposition, you need to manually assign work to both release and team iteration.

We need your feedback!

What do you think about the solution above?

  • Do you need to create a release across projects with different effort units (points and hours)? What would you want to see on a Burndown chart for such release with common units?
  • The planning unit and custom fields of which process do you expect to have for a cross-project release which includes projects with different processes?
  • And the most important question: are you OK with using only team iterations for cross-project release? If not, please describe your use cases where team iterations are not applicable. How would you like to use iterations with cross-project releases?

Thank you in advance!