Cross-Project Reporting and Backlog Tracking in Targetprocess

Cross-Project Releases

A Release is a period of time during which a defined scope of work completed. The scope can include work from one or more projects. Cross-project Releases allow you to plan and track your backlog from several projects at once. They provide aggregated status while allowing you to drilldown into each project. Cross-project Releases help you organize and coordinate between all teams for a Portfolio initiative or an Agile Release Train (ART).

Create a Cross-Project Release

Click on +Add at the top left corner and select the Release option from the menu. Choose the projects that a Release is related to. The selected projects are available in the Projects & Teams Context menu.

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You can also create a Release from any Board, List or Roadmap via Quick Add.

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A detailed review of how to add Lanes and Cards with the in-view Quick Add is available here.

Release Detailed View

Change the set of assigned projects at any time from the Release's detailed view. On the Projects tab, assign more projects by choosing from an existing list or creating a new project. It is possible to un-assign a project only if a release does not contain work from that project.

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Plan Work

Work in Targetprocess is hierarchical. You can assign Features, User Stories, and Bugs to a Cross-Project Release.

Here is a board that shows Projects as rows and Releases as columns. This View is beneficial for a management view of work across Projects that share the same release schedule. To assign a single new work item or multiple items in a batch to a Release simply use drag-and-drop.

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Let's consider an example about work visibility in a Release:

We have the following projects: Project A, Project B, and Project C. We want to release new functionality that includes work from Project A and Project B. We create a new Release called 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 cannot be assigned to Release AB.

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If you select only Project C in the Projects & Teams Context menu, 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.

Effort Units

It is not possible to create a Release across Projects with different effort units (story points and ideal hours). If you assign a Release to several Projects and then change the effort units for the process of one of the projects, you will see a warning.

The recommended solution is to run two Releases in parallel, one using points and the other using hours. Aside from changing your effort units, creating a second cross-project Release is a good option.

Tracking Progress

The easiest way to track the progress of a Release is the Burndown Chart. It provides you with aggregated status across several Projects while still being able to drill into each Project. With the help of the Project filter, you can filter the report's content by one or several Projects assigned to a Release. Find more information about how to track progress with the Burndown Chart here.

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Custom Fields

Only if all Projects in a cross-project Release have the same process-specific custom fields will these custom fields be available. A mix of different custom fields from different processes is not currently supported. If projects have different processes, then a cross-project Release takes the process of the first chosen project upon creation. If you need custom fields from different processes, let us know.

Use Cases

Iterative Development

For iterative development, we suggest that you use Team Iterations. A Team Iteration is similar to a Project Iteration, but it is not related to a single Project. It is related to a team and can contain work from multiple Projects.

Project Iterations are supported for single-project releases only. In the case of cross-project Releases, use Team Iterations only. If the combination of Team Iterations and cross-project Releases doesn’t meet the needs of the way you work, tell us about your case.

In the view below, Team Iterations are rows and Releases are columns. The Release “CRM Release v3.5.4” includes work from several Projects. There are three teams working parallel to another to contribute work in this Release. Each of the teams works according to its own schedule by planning Team Iterations. Each Team Iteration may include work from one or several Projects assigned to the Release.

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From this View, each Team Lead sees the performance of his team in the global Release and a Release Manager can understand the entire Release’s status by aggregating data from multiple teams and plotting it, using Targetprocess’ cross-project reporting feature.

We’ve added a relationship between Team Iterations and Releases in 3.13.0. A Team Iteration may be linked to any Release which is linked to the same Projects as work assigned to the Team Iteration. It’s also possible to use Team Iterations without linking them to Releases as before. Please do not use this new feature of Team Iterations along with standard Iterations as they are also linked to Releases.

Program Release

The Program level in Targetprocess gives you the ability to share certain aspects between multiple Projects and Teams. First, select all projects from a particular Program by one click from the top Projects & Team menu. Then, create a Release for the Projects of the chosen Program using the +Add button or a Quick Add functionality.

When using the software at the Program level, it is important to have a high-level vision of the overall progress and have the ability to drill into details. List View mode works great in this instance.

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Filters for Releases

You can select, hide or highlight data in Views and Visual Reports by Releases and related properties using Advanced Filters for Releases.

Move Releases across Projects

A detailed view of a Release list’s related Projects shows in two places. The list of related projects in the Info section on the right panel is read-only. The Projects tab has an editable list of Projects. To move a Release across two projects -- first, assign a Release to a new Project and then unassign it from the original.

It is not possible to assign a Release to a Project with different planning units.

Project visibility and team transparency are among the most important aspects of agile methodologies. Your management team requires a solution to create projects, and configure them to fit your specific business requirements. With Targetprocess’  cross-project reporting features, your team can now also report on multiple projects on a single chart. This feature empowers you to gain immediate access to data from multiple ongoing projects and have complete visual representation in a single chart.

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