Requests related to backlog items | Targetprocess - Visual management software

Requests related to backlog items

  • Can customers add Bugs to the backlog? Can Bugs be submitted within email directly? Is it possible to add and plan Requests in Sprints?
  • Customers can submit their Requests within Service Desk and emails. In Targetprocess it is possible to add Relations between Requests and backlog items such as User Stories and Bugs. Support Agents and Customer Care Managers review incoming Requests, qualify them (accept or reject), and create related Stories and Bugs when needed.

In Targetprocess there are entities of two kinds:

Requests - used for communication with customers, clients and stakeholders. Requests are the primary source of requirements and feedback. They are created using the Service Desk or from emails. They keep threads of conversations. You cannot assign a Request to an Iteration (Sprint) or Release directly.

Backlog Items (User Stories, Bugs, Features etc.) - used for planning work of your team. Titles and descriptions of User Stories contain refined and approved requirements. Backlog items can be assigned to Iterations (Sprints) and Releases. You cannot communicate with your customers within backlog items directly.

However, Requests and backlog items can be linked together within Relations.

Requests related to backlog items. Image 1

When a Request and a backlog item are linked, you can:

  • See how many Requests are related to each backlog item and vice versa
  • Add a Relation from a backlog item to an existing Request and vice versa

For traceability within the Service Desk we recommend adding backlog items as Outbound Relations for Requests and add Requests as Inbound Relations to backlog items.

Requests related to backlog items. Image 2

Requests related to backlog items. Image 3

An Outbound Relation to a Bug is added to Request

Requests related to backlog items. Image 4

An Inbound Relation from a Request is added to Bug

The Related Bug and its status are displayed in Service Desk on the page with details of the request in Related Items section:

Requests related to backlog items. Image 5

Creating backlog items

New backlog items can be created from incoming Requests as well. Two different methods are possible: create a related backlog item from a Request or convert a Request into backlog item.

Create related backlog item from Request

Title, description and other details are copied from the Request to a newly created backlog item, there is no need to copy & paste them. The original Request remains in the system and the new item becomes related to it.

This method is recommended when it is important to continue direct communication with requesters within Service Desk or emails. On Service Desk portal requesters will be able to see status of the backlog item listed in the outbound relations for the request. You'll be able to notify involved Requesters manually when the backlog item related to their initial Request is complete. It is possible to build reports based on Requests in this case.

Use Actions > Create... button in request's detailed view for this purpose.

Create related backlog item from Request

Convert a Request to a backlog item

Title, description and other details are preserved, there is no need to copy & paste them. Origin request is deleted from the system, direct communication with requesters via Service Desk and emails cannot be continued through it.

This method may be recommended if you do not communicate with your customers through Requests and do not want to build reports based on origin Requests. It simplifies work with your product: you do not need to maintain Relations between backlog items and Requests.

If you use this method, you can broadcast to your product users (clients) about completed backlog items and product updates using public announcements such as posts with release notes and mass email campaigns.

Use Actions > Convert to... button in a Request's detailed view for this purpose.

Convert a Request to a backlog item

How to manage Requests with related backlog items?

Board view: Requests and related backlog items

A board view that displays both your Requests and related backlog items may look something like this:

Board view: Requests and related backlog items

This Board view shows backlog items (User Stories, Bugs, and Features) as cards, their workflow states as columns and Requests (Inbound Relations) as rows. Check out our article that describes how to build and customize this view.

List view: Requests with number of relations

A list view that displays your Requests, their details and number of related backlog items may look something like this:

List view: Requests with number of relations

This List view shows Requests as cards, and their workflow states, types, associated projects and numbers of related backlog items and requesters as columns. It is possible to customize columns on this view.

Filters for Requests with related backlog items

The following Advanced filters are helpful if it is needed to display, hide or highlight specific Requests in this view:

EntityFilterResult
Requests?OutboundRelations.Count == 0requests without outbound relations
Requests?OutboundRelations.Count > 0requests with outbound relations
Requests ?OutboundAssignables.Where(EntityType is 'Bug')requests with outbound bugs
Requests?OutboundAssignables.Where(EntityState.IsFinal is True)requests having complete entities in outbound relations
Requests?OutboundAssignables.Where(EntityState.IsFinal is False)requests having incomplete entities in outbound relations
Requests?OutboundRelations.Count > 0 and (not OutboundAssignables.Where(EntityState.IsFinal is False))requests having only complete entities in outbound relations

More information: Filters by Relations

Reports for work items on related requests

Calculated Custom Fields and Metrics

The following formulas for Calculated custom field or Metrics help to show some data of related requests on Assignable work item level:

Total count of inbound requestsInboundAssignables.Where(EntityType.Name == "Request").Count()
ID of first inbound requestInboundAssignables.Where(EntityType.Name == "Request").Min(ID)

The values are displayed in Custom Fields section of work items and can be made visible in views using Customize Cards. Values from Metrics custom fields can be exported within multiple ways. Values from Calculated Custom Fields can be exported using Export Views only.

Tabular Reports with Inner Lists

It is also possible to run and export tabular report with inner list of inbound requests for each work item.

  1. Create new tabular report based on Inbound Assignable entity.
  2. Customize columns in the report. Mark ID, Name, Entity State > Name, Entity Type > Name columns as visible.
  3. Add a filter: Entity Type : Name / equals / Request
  4. In settings, name it "Inbound Request" and save the report.
  5. Create new tabular report based on User Story / Bug / Feature / Epic / Assignable entity.
  6. Customize columns in the report.
  7. On Inner lists tab, add new inner list. Select 'Inbound Assignables' as collection and "Inbound Request" as report name.
  8. In settings, name it "Work items with Inbound Requests" and save the report.

Run the report. Under each work item you will see green [+] button that expands list with inbound requests. The report can be exported if needed.

Reports for requests on related work items

Calculated Custom Fields and Metrics

The following formulas for Calculated Custom Fields or Metrics help to show some data of related work items on Request level:

Total count of outbound work itemsOutboundAssignables.Count()
Total effort of outbound work itemsOutboundAssignables.Sum(Effort)
Total time spent on outbound work itemsOutboundAssignables.Sum(TimeSpent)

The values are displayed in Custom Fields section of requests and can be made visible in views using Customize Cards. Values from Metrics custom fields can be exported within multiple ways. Values from Calculated Custom Fields can be exported using Export Views only.

Tabular Reports with Inner Lists

It is also possible to run and export tabular report with inner list of outbound work items for each Request.

  1. Create new tabular report based on Outbound Assignable entity.
  2. Customize columns in the report. Mark ID, Name, Entity State > Name, Entity Type > Name columns as visible.
  3. In settings, name it "Outbound Work Items" and save the report.
  4. Create new tabular report report based on Request entity.
  5. Customize columns in the report.
  6. On Inner lists tab, add new inner list. Select 'Outbound Assignables' as collection and "Outbound Work Items" as report name.
  7. In settings, name it "Requests with Outbound Work Items" and save the report.

Run the report. Under each work item you will see green [+] button that expands list with inbound requests. The report can be exported if needed.

Detailed Time Spent Reports

Further Reading

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