Using the board view

The board view provides a visual, interactive display of entities and their current status.

Overview

The board view provides a visual, interactive display of items. The board view is divided into swimlanes, where each lane represents a different phase for the selected entity. Under each swimlane header, the relevant items are displayed as cards.

The board view is available for epics, features, backlog items, tasks, and requirements (Children tab). It supports drag and drop in Workflow, allowing you to adjust the status of your items as required.

The example below shows a Story Board with user stories and defects in the New, In Progress, and In Testing phases.

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Board view types

The common board views that can help you in your planning and backlog management are the Planning Board, Story Board, and Task Board.

Type Access Description
Planning Board Backlog module> Features > Board View Use this view to help you plan your sprints and releases. For details, see The Planning Board.
Story Board Team Backlog module > Story Board

Use this view to see work items according to their context, such as a specific release, sprint, and team.

The Story board view shows the Team Backlog > Backlog Items tab in board view, showing the status of user stories, quality stories, and defects. For details, see The Story Board.

Task Board Team Backlog module > Task Board Use this view to see the current status of your tasks: user stories, quality stories, and defects. The Task Board shows the Team Backlog > Tasks page in board view. For details, see Work on your stories.

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Working in board view

To open the board view, for the entities that support it, from the view drop-down on the top pane, click the Board View button.

The following table describes actions you can perform in all board views. Perform the following operations on the cards:

Action Details
Slider Change the card size.
Print cards Open a preview of the cards and print them. The filter you applied to the view also applies to the printing. For example, in Backlog items, if you only want to print the defects, select Defects as the Item type.
Background color drop-down Select a color for the board's background. This color only applies to the online view, not to the printout.
Add colors according to rules

Users can add color preferences based on filter attributes. To learn more, see Assign colors.

Filters

Set a filter in the right pane.
Drag and drop for phase Change a card's phase, for example from In Progress to In Testing.
Drag and drop for rank Change a card's rank within its phase. The rank shows in the top right corner of the card, in a blue square.
Add items In the toolbar, click the drop-down arrow next to the + and select the type of item to add.

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The Planning Board

For features, the board view is referred to as the Planning Board since it helps you plan the content of a release or several releases. It is typically used before a release, but you can also use it during the release to verify and adjust planning.

The Planning Board displays features according to their release or sprint, depending on the selection you made in the context filter on the top toolbar: Release planning or Sprint planning.

Use Planning Board to:

  • Distribute features between releases, sprints, and teams to balance the work load
  • Remove features from a release/sprint
  • View dependencies between features and identify problematic dependencies
  • Change the color of Story Board items based on attribute filters

To access the Planning Board, click Backlogmodule > Features, and then click the Board View button.

Select either Release Planning, or Sprint Planning from the view options. Drag and drop the features to the desired phase's swimlane.

Move features between releases, sprints, or teams

You can distribute features between releases, sprints, and teams to load balance the work.

  1. Open the planning board in either the release or sprint view via the context filter on the top toolbar.
  2. To move features between teams, click the Group by button, and select Team.

  3. Drag and drop the features, as required.

    • Releases/sprints. The Target sprint of the feature changes accordingly. If you move a feature to the No sprint or No Release column, the Target sprint is cleared.
    • Teams. The Team field of the feature changes accordingly.

Add features to a release or sprint

Make sure to select Release Planning, or Sprint Planning from the view options.

  • To create a new feature, hover on a column of the desired sprint or release, and click the Add + button.

  • To add an existing feature to one of the releases or sprints, do one of the following:

    • In the main Backlog module window, drag an item to a release or sprint column, from the No Release or No Sprint column.
    • In the Details tab of a feature, assign the item to a release or sprint.
    • In the right pane's Planning tab, drag an item to a release or sprint bucket (if necessary). For details, see Use the backlog planning buckets.

Remove features from a release or sprint

To remove features from a release or a sprint, drag them to the No Release or No Sprint column, depending on your view.

The Target Sprint will be cleared automatically.

Note: To display the No Sprint column, select either the Show all or No Sprint options in the sprint context filter.

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Planning Board feature dependencies

Dependencies between features are reflected in the Planning board. Features in a dependency relationship have a Dependencies exist icon on their card along with the number of dependencies the feature has.

To see the dependencies on the board, click the Dependencies exist icon.

The following example shows the dependency relationships for feature 1015. Upstream and downstream dependencies are labeled accordingly.

Problematic dependencies are when the predecessor activity does not finish before its successor activity. For details on dependencies, see Create dependencies. In case of problematic dependencies, the Problematic dependencies exist icon displays.

Dependencies map

The dependencies map provides a comprehensive view of a feature's dependencies. While the Planning board is limited to the context of features and a specific sprint or release and displays only direct dependencies, the map displays all dependencies, regardless of the item type, sprint or release.

To open it, click the Dependencies exist icon to display the dependencies on the Planning board, and then click the dependencies map icon.

Map legend

Dependencies exist

Click to switch the focus to different items to see their dependencies.
Collapse a dependency branch.

 

The item has problematic dependencies.
Faded edge The branch of this dependency is not in focus.
Red edge The upstream dependency is problematic.

You can also add dependencies through the map. Select the item to which you want to add an upstream dependency, and then click the Add Dependency toolbar button.

Note: When you add a dependency to an item in the map, it does not immediately display potential issues. Click the refresh button to see problematic dependencies. This may take a few seconds.

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The Story Board

The Story Board is a board view that displays your team's Backlog Items using either Kanban or Scrum methodologies. The board displays work items in the selected context: release, sprint, and team.

To access the Story Board, choose Story Board from the Team Backlog in the main menu, or click the Board View button in the Backlog Items tab.

You can toggle the Story Board display modes by using the Workflow/Metaphase drop-down:

Mode Description
Workflow Select Workflow to view your board lanes by phases.
Metaphase From the drop-down, select the Metaphase option to view your board lanes in an aggregated view.

Metaphases are provided by default, cannot be modified, and are the same for quality stories, user stories, and defects. The categories are New, In Progress, In Testing, and Done. All phases in quality stories, user stories, and defects will belong to one of the metaphases.

If you filter out certain item types from the story board, phases that belong only to the excluded types are removed from the board. For example, if you filter out defects, the Rejected phase is hidden.

When you select Workflow, the view divides into the additional phases you have set to reflect your team's workflow.

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Customize the Story Board

When working in the Story Board, you can apply color card preferences, customize the display to include more columns representing more phases, to merge phases for different item types, rename a column, and hide a column.

You can also set the Work in Progress (WIP) limit and the card time limit, as described in Story Board workflow rules.

Prerequisites for customizing the Story Board display

To customize the story board display, select a single team in the context filter. In order to do this, the following conditions need to be met:

  • You need to be a team member of the selected team.
  • You need to have the General System Actions > Customize Story Board By Member permission. For details, see Assign roles and permissions.

Customization actions

The following table describes the different actions and steps needed to customize your view.

Action Steps
Display phase lanes or metaphase lanes In the center pane click the Workflow button. To display metaphase lanes, click Metaphase from the drop-down choice.
Rename a column Click the column name to enter into edit mode. Rename the column and click outside the column name to save.
Merge phases into a single column
  1. Right-click the column of the phase you want to merge, and then click Edit.
  2. In the Select Phases dialog box, select the phases for the relevant item types, and then click OK.

  3. If required, click on the column name to rename it.
Split a column
  1. Right-click the column header of the metaphase in which you want to split a phase, and select Edit.
  2. In the Select Phases dialog box, for a specific item type, clear the phase field that you want to display as a separate lane, and then click OK.

    For example:

    A new lane is added for the phase that you cleared.

    Hover over the column header to see the workflow phases for that specific column.

  3. The column name is a duplication of the existing column. Click on the column name to rename it.
Hide a column

Right-click the column that you want to hide, and then click Hide.

To restore the column, in the toolbar, click the Choose Columns button, and select the column.

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Story Board workflow rules

When you work with the Story Board, you can specify rules to structure your workflow, including:

A work-in-progress (WIP) limit

A per-team limit for the number of items allowed (WIP) in each metaphase and phase. Each team can have different limits for each metaphase and phase.

Card time limit

A per phase limit on the cycle time for an item in each phase. The cycle time is the time spent working on an item. This is the time it takes from when work begins on an item to when it is completed.

ALM Octane measures the cycle time as the number of days in which the item is in the In Progress or In Testing phases.

To set the Story Board rules:

  1. At the top of the Team Backlog module, select a release and team from the drop-down lists.

  2. The headers of the story board columns display the WIP for each phase, which is the number of items currently in that phase. Hover over the number in the header:

    Note: The WIP represents the total number of items in the phase for the currently selected Release and Team. The WIP ignores other filters so you will always be able to tell if you are within or have exceeded the WIP limit.

  3. In the displayed tooltip, click the infinity symbol in the relevant field and enter a new limit.

  4. If the team violates one of the limits, ALM Octane displays an alert:

    For WIP limits

    ALM Octane displays an alert icon in the phase column header:

    For card time limits
    • The Board View header displays an alert

    • The individual Board View card displays an alert with a clock icon. Hover to see details on the limit violation:

    Hover over the alert to see the details.

  5. For card time limits, track completion using the Control Chart widget in the Dashboard:

    Note: This widget is per release and sprint, not per team.

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See also: