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And we hope that you do too!

Mariusz, our designer has worked his magic on some areas that looked as though they were, as he so delicately put it “designed by developers”… So you’ll see that the whole task work area is cleaner, more intuitive and less cluttered – and much, much more useable.

That’s no offence to our wonderful development team – they are doing a fantastic job of improving the tool thanks to real user feedback and Paul Klipp’s vision. But given that our goal is simply to be the very best tool for Kanban, to that end, we want the product to look great as well as perform flawlessly.

Here at Lunar Logic Polska, we’ve developed a model of agile development that includes our designer working one iteration ahead of the development team to make sure that they have the templates and design elements that they need by the time that they start development of an iteration’s stories. We’ve learned over time that a big design up front is often as useful as a big plan up front. And that means, not necessarily all that useful at all. What we do think is worth mentioning about our approach to our designer’s involvement is that whilst it does tend to decrease over time, we’re very firm in our belief that there needs to be a constant baseline level of design input, even into a mature product, where style guides exist, artifacts are defined, CSS clean and DRY, etc.

Otherwise, however how hard we try, things end up looking like they’ve been “designed by a developer”.

Enjoy the update and thanks to all the team for their great work!

We’re pleased to report that the latest release of Kanbanery was made on Friday, adding several useful features.

The first was in response to a request from one of the team at Lunar Logic Polska, who wanted to be able to flag a task as “Urgent”. We’re already planning to add tagging of tasks in the future, but decided to include a more generic way of flagging tasks for now, and so we’ve added the ability to use stars:

Indicate importance with the stars

We’ve also started to incorporate more reporting into the tool – in addition to the project activity feed, we now have a Cumulative Flow Diagram, to help track performance. At present, the diagram is generated from a daily snapshot of the project’s state generated daily at midnight CET.

Based on our experience so far of using Kanbanery to manage development of the tool itself (a meta-tool?), we thought it would be helpful to be able to archive completed tasks. So now the board owner will see an “Archive tasks” link in the “Done” column.

The archive link

Archive 'Done' tasks

This moves all tasks in that column from off the board into a separate view of archived tasks. From there, they can be moved back to the board individually or in bulk if required.

Several of our developers like the ability to be able to add sub-tasks to a task – either to break down a User Story into development tasks, or as a reminder of certain recurring tasks that the team have agreed to perform on a project level, for example code reviews.

And don’t worry if you don’t think you need or want to use these new features – another part of the release gives board owners the ability to turn off certain pieces of functionality, under “Project Settings”.

We’ve had a couple of questions regarding how to set user avatars.

We’re using gravatar.com. For your avatar to show up – all you need to do is associate an avatar with the email address you are using in Kanbanery on gravatar.com.

There’s sometimes a short delay in gravatar.com processing the image. If nothing is showing – double check that you have the same email address set for the Kanbanery tool as for gravatar.com, and refresh the page you are viewing.

Avatars show the owner of the task, the author of comments,  and who moved tasks in the project history. We thought it made most sense that the latest person to move a task should become its owner. If you need to change an owner subsequently, click on the owner avatar and select the new task owner from the list. Let us know if this approach works for you.

Welcome to the Kanbanery blog! We’re trying to build the most elegant project board tool for Scrum and Kanban teams or for personal task management, and we’ll be using this blog to tell you about our plans, releases, aims… And gather feedback from our users so we can build the features you want.

A bit of background. The alpha release of Kanbanery was developed by the team at Lunar Logic Polska in 3 two week sprints. We deliberately wanted to release with a limited feature set as fast as we could so that we could start to use the tool. By using the tool we aim to discover its strengths, its weaknesses, and avoid developing features that “might be nice to have” but that no-one would ever use. Once we released the alpha, we started using the Kanbanery tool to help us manage the project, and gather initial alpha user feedback, which has been really helpful. Thank you all for your contributions so far!

We thought that some of our users might like to know more about the technology behind the tool. Marcin Kulik, the Senior Developer on the project, ran me through the technology stack behind the Kanbanery tool:

  • The application is written in Ruby, using the Merb framework
  • Event logging (which generates the “Project history”) uses MongoDB. (Piotr Solnica, from Lunar Logic Polska, is one of the authors of an adapter for DataMapper to use MongoDB. We’ll be publishing a blog post about this soon.)
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