Track blockers, reopens, and sprint scope changes

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We’ve added some new functionalities to our dashboard that helps you to find out when and why your delivery gets stuck so that you can take action in a timely manner. We’ve added markers on the x-axis of your sprint burndown showing the changes in the scope during the sprint. Whenever a new work is added or removed during the sprint, you’ll see it in the burndown chart:

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The number reflects the amount of work (e.g. tasks or story points) has been added or removed from the sprint during that day. This helps you to improve your sprint planning process. If the team didn’t deliver the whole sprint scope perhaps that was due to the fact that more work was added during the sprint. Now you see it. If you tend to have a lot of scope changes during the sprint, perhaps you should try shorter sprints!

In addition, we’re now showing the tasks that are blocked by some other tasks so that you can quickly remove those impediments. When you go to the Task status report of the sprint view, there’s a new column added that shows the number of tasks that are currently blocked:

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When you click through the the number in the rightmost column, you’ll see a list of task that are currently blocked by another tasks:

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From this view, you can click the name of the task to open it in your task management tool in order to see more details about the blocking task. That helps you to quickly fix bottlenecks that might be causing delays.

Blocked tasks can also be surfaced in the Task Status screen. Just go to settings and enable Blocked from the checkbox options.

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Blockers are currently shown only for the tools that support this feature, namely Jira, Asana, and Pivotal Tracker.

See how many tasks have been reopened

Have you ever wondered whether your tasks are moving smoothly through your workflow, or whether tasks that have already been completed once, are taken back to work? If you have a lot of reopens, it may be a symptom of a problem rooted in your QA process, or at the requirements specification stage. In either case, the constant ping-pong of tasks moving back and forth is sure to cause delays and unnecessary rework.

To see how many of your tasks were reopened, just go to Task Status settings and select Reopened from the checkbox options.

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Once you click Save, you can see that a new column “Reopened” is added on the right:

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We hope that having a better visibility to the scope changes, blockers, and the reopens allows you uncover inefficiencies in your delivery process. Constant scope changes will make it hard to stick to deadlines, and are poison for the team morale. If your cycle times are slow, chances are that your tasks are blocked by some other tasks. Removing blockers quicker allows you to deliver faster. Finally, if your already completed tasks come to haunt you again, the reason may be that your specs were not clear enough. Or that bugs slip through your QA process. In either case, an action is needed.

These features are immediately available for all of our SaaS users (refresh your browser if you don't see the changes). If you're using the Docker version, you'll be informed once the upgrade is available.

Please do not hesitate to contact us any time at hello@screenful.com if you have questions or feedback.

To give it a try, you can sign up for a free trial. You can also follow us on twitter or Facebook.


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BY SAMI LINNANVUO

Sami is the founder & CEO of Screenful, the company that turns data into visual stories. You can find him on Twitter @sl1nna