Work on your stories

Once you have assigned items, manage your own individual backlog. Do this from the Team Backlog module or the Backlog module.

Break items into tasks

Tasks enable you to work on an item in more manageable chunks.

To create tasks:

  1. In the Tasks tab of a user story, quality story or defect or the Team Backlog module, add tasks.

    Tip: In the Tasks to generate field, add one more lines to add tasks when creating an item. ALM Octane adds each line in the field as a separate task.

  2. If necessary, assign a task to yourself or another user.

    In the Team Backlog module, drag a task card to a bucket to assign it.

  3. Estimate the effort needed for each task, in hours.

    You define the estimated hours as whole numbers or decimal fractions.

    To use decimal fractions, the TASK_SUPPORTS_FLOAT_VALUES parameter must be turned on. For details, seeTASK_SUPPORTS_FLOAT_VALUES.

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Use the task board to manage work

Use the Board View to manage task progress.

To use the Task Board:

ALM Octane displays the Board View by default:

  • In the Backlog: in the Tasks tab when you open an individual user story, quality story, or defect

  • In the Team Backlog: in the Tasks tab

ALM Octane groups tasks per user story, quality story or defect. The board displays each task phase in its own column. Drag the tasks from column to column to update the phase.

To add tasks, click the + Task button in a Task board column. Provide a name for the task. Then, click on the task number link to define other necessary attributes.

Note: You can view up to 100 lanes of tasks in a given period. If ALM Octane does not display the necessary lanes, add a filter. If you have a filter set, the Board View displays only stories that contain tasks.

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Work on assigned items

In the item, advance the phases as you complete work. For details, see Advance the phase of an item.

Tip: If you are working in the Team Backlog module, use the Board View for a visual, customized display of work items. For details, see Use the Board View.

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Block an item

Sometimes, when working on a story, you cannot proceed in your work. In these cases, update the item to show you cannot work on this item.

To block an item:

  1. Open the item and navigate to the Details tab.

  2. In the Details tab, set the following fields:

    • Blocked: Select Yes from the drop-down list

    • Block reason: The reason why you cannot keep working.

  3. Save your changes.

In both the Grid view and Board View, ALM Octane displays an icon:

Tip: If the icon is not displayed, ensure that you have added the Blocked column to the list of visible items in the grid.

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Track work completion progress

Track your work completion progress to ensure you finish items at the right time.

To track work completion progress:

Chart/graph Where? Description
Task board Backlog module and Team Backlog module

The story details show the completion status of the tasks in the selected story:


Team buckets Team backlog module

Each team member bucket shows the progress for assigned items (stories and tasks):

Tip: Hover over the graph to see a numerical breakdown of progress by hours.

This graph does not show the individual per-story breakdown.

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Update your work hours

Your work hours are made up of estimated hours, invested hours, and remaining hours, where:

Estimated hours = invested hours + remaining hours

You can see your work hours in the task grid and in the task Details tab.

The task board displays the remaining hours required for the task, which you can click to display the invested hours as well.

While you work on your task, you can continuously update your invested hours. When you update your invested hours, your remaining hours automatically update.

In some cases, your initial estimation might not reflect your actual progress, and you may want the sum of your remaining hours and invested hours to be different than your estimated hours. In such cases, you can disconnect the relationship between them and edit them separately.

In the task grid, Details tab or board, click the invested hours or remaining hours for editing, click the lock icon, and make the necessary changes.

After you make the change, the invested and remaining hours will resume their dependency, but will no longer be connected to the estimated hours.

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Split unfinished user stories

Usually, at the end of a sprint, you should close all user stories. If you are unable to complete all the tasks, split the user story.

To split user stories:

  1. In the Backlog or Team Backlog module, select the user story to split.

  2. In the toolbar, click the Split Backlog Item button .

  3. In the Split Story dialog, specify the details for the current user story and new user story.

  4. If necessary, use the Move open tasks option to instruct ALM Octane how to resolve all open tasks.

When you split the user story, ALM Octane creates another user story in the New phase.

ALM Octane moves all items not marked as Done to the new story. ALM Octane also adds these attributes and items to the new feature:

  • The value of any field other than the Name, Sprint, or Phase

  • Tests associated with the user story

  • Attachments included in the original user story

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Next steps: