Riter Release v0.16

Hi, guys! This time we want to present you only a few updates, but they have made a significant impact on Riter. The major changes have affected sprint management and task planning. In this post we will tell about all important aspects of sprint usage in Riter, unscheduled and overdue tasks, creating your own sprints and scheduling the future work. We have also expanded your capabilities to control third-party analytics services in accordance with the requirements of GDPR and made a few minor changes described below.

Sprints in Riter

While working on a project and planning new tasks you may need to order and group them according to some principles. For example, you will need to split tasks among future releases or product development stages. Or you may want to visually separate tasks of different teams working on the same project. Here’s where sprints will come in handy.

As an Agile-oriented project management tool, Riter supports the concept of a sprint, though here this notion is broader than you used to have in Scrum. And broader, than it was before in Riter. Since now, by a sprint, we will mean a basic task planning unit without necessary binding to any time frames or duration. It is a way to group and plan your tasks within a project according to a certain criterion which you specify yourself. For example, separate sprints can be created for different versions of your product, project development stages, time intervals, types of tasks, and so on.

Sprint will help you to systematize, distribute work and indicate milestones of the project. In your project management workspace sprints will be displayed in already a familiar way — as separate horizontal sections with tasks, each with its own name, on the main project page. Each sprint has its own ’New story’ element to schedule a task at once for a certain sprint.

Sprint planning.png

As you can see, the main difference is the absence of binding to a specific week or another period which you or your project manager used to specify while creating a new project. Now you can decide on your own, what a sprint should be used for.

Sprint use cases

If you are an ardent follower of the Scrum framework and don’t want to deviate from the usual work processes, you can use sprints as before — new principles are completely compatible with previous use cases. In this case, you should use sprints to organize tasks in the order of execution, and implement them using short iterations. Create a sprint as a time interval to develop a specific part of the product. For example, name a sprint “June, 1-14”, “Sprint 1”, “Release v1.0”, etc. Set fixed deadlines for each sprint (in the description field or in your mind) and release frequent product versions.

You can create a sprint for any purpose, for example:

  • to separate tasks at different stages and versions of the product (“Beta”, “Alpha”, “Pre-alpha”, “Mobile”, “Desktop”);
  • to plan tasks on different weeks, months and other time intervals (“June”, “Q1, 2018”, “June 1-7”);
  • to distinguish different types of tasks (“Testing”, “Design”, “Marketing”).

You can come up with any others sprint use cases more suitable for your working environment or don’t use them at all. By default, when you start working on a new project, it doesn’t have any sprint sections — all tasks are considered current and unscheduled and displayed together without any sprint label. You can add, edit, sort, activate, and archive sprints on the project settings page (which can be accessed through the main menu). All team members, not only managers, can manage sprints in the project. In addition, there’re two types of sprints available by default: “Unscheduled” and “Overdue” sprints.

Default sprints

From the very beginning, you have the only unnamed sprint for all current tasks. If you add at least one new sprint, an “Unscheduled” sprint section also appears for all unscheduled tasks. So, if you are going to use sprints in your work, we recommend that you create sprints at once before adding many tasks so you don’t have to move them later from the “Unscheduled” section to new sprint sections.

“Unscheduled” section is always shown under all your sprint sections. All new stories created with a submenu element ’New story’ will be placed to the “Unscheduled” section by default. To plan a new task for a specific sprint use a card ’New story’ in the desired sprint section. Each section can contain any number of tasks. You are able to drag&drop them within a sprint and between different sprints.

You can archive any sprint except “Unscheduled” to hide them from the main page. If you archive a sprint with unapproved tasks, all these tasks will appear in another default sprint section — “Overdue”. This group of tasks is always displayed on top of the page. It disappears when all included tasks are approved (or rescheduled on other sprints). Archived sprints can be found on the settings page, and all related stories — in “Archived” stories (see “Stories” submenu), so you won’t lose any important information.

Default sprints.png

Sprint settings

On the setting page (the “Sprints” tab), you can find all active and archived sprints. To add a new sprint, you need to specify its name and description (optionally). All new sprints become active and appear at the bottom of the list of existing active sprints. “Overdue” and “Unscheduled” sprints are not shown there. You can reorder sprints by drag-and-dropping them up and down the list. The order of sprints corresponds to the order of their display on the main project page.

Edit sprint.png

You can edit and archive existing sprints. A list of archived sprints is displayed to the right of the active sprints. These sprints are not displayed on the main project page. However, if there are unapproved tasks in an archived sprint, they will be shown in the “Overdue” sprint section until you approve the tasks. We advise you to archive sprints when all the work planned for them has been completed.

Sprint settings.png

Sprint tracking by managers

Managers are able to track existing sprints on the “Sprints” page. It is just informative, so as you can create, update and archive sprints from the development mode on the project settings page. This means that each user who has access to the project can manage its sprints regardless of his rights. However, on the “Sprints” page managers can see a list of sprints throughout all projects, that can be useful in some cases. Note that different projects can have the same sprint sections. In the brackets, next to a project name, you can see a number of tasks in a specific sprint.

Sprint tracking.png

Control over tracking services

As you know, Riter is committed to compliance with the GDPR. We have already taken a number of steps necessary to meet the standard and we are not going to stop there. This time we have exercised your right to limit the collection of your data by analytics services. To be precise, we use Google Analytics to collect anonymized data of your usage of Riter. We need this data to improve your experience with our product and provide you with better services. However, if you wish, now you can opt out Google Analytics so that we won’t collect any statistical information about you.

Please note that we have to use an additional cookie file ga-opt-out in order to remember your choice next time you visit our site and don’t let Google Analytics collect your data. You can opt-in Google Analytics anytime later by removing this particular cookie file. We will be grateful if you let us use analytics services. We believe that it is in our common interest.

Other updates

We have also worked on the following updates:

  • Increased application security by updating software and removing vulnerabilities
  • Updated gathering user statistics in accordance with sprint changes
  • Refresh documentation according to the latest updates
  • Fix bugs and layouts

Also, we’re currently working on some huge updates which will simplify your workflow and greatly expand Riter capabilities. Follow us on social media which you prefer not to miss the updates.

Riter development team