VersionOne announced today their Summer '09 release introducing a new Storyboard, support for Lean / Kanban and significant performance improvements throughout the application. Organizations that have a mix of Scrum and Kanban teams can now manage agile projects in the same system. Teams practicing "Scrumban", or Lean methods within iterations, can also use the Storyboard to support their process.
As agile teams adopt Lean principles, Kanban is a common practice used to help drive even higher levels of visibility and efficiency. Included in the latest Summer '09 release are:
- The new Storyboard in V1: Agile Enterprise supports visual tracking of story cards with drag and drop prioritization and status updates.
- Teams can customize Work in Process (WIP) limits to warn them when optimal capacity levels are being exceeded, helping the team to identify inefficiencies and address them as soon as possible.
- Cycle time or throughput reporting shows teams how long it takes to deliver a story and helps teams focus on optimizing the delivery process.
Other new features in the current release include the ability to:
- Convert Between Stories / Defects: The new Convert action instantly changes a story or backlog item to a defect or vice versa. Any tasks and tests as well as additional items such as links, discussion notes and attachments are converted along with the item.
- Split Defect: For teams who work on large defects that contain multiple tasks and tests, a new Split option can be used at the end of a sprint/iteration if the defect work is partially complete. The Split Defect works just like it does on a story.
- Define Required Fields: System Administrators can now define fields as required, not allowing new data to be entered without entries for all fields marked as required. The requirements are enforced both through the application UI as well as through the API.
- Add & Import Epics: Epics can now be added directly into the system without the need to create a story first and then break it down to create an Epic. Epics can also be imported through the Excel import to support a team’s feature hierarchy that has already been created outside VersionOne.
- Copy Tasks/Tests from Template: ScrumMasters (or other team members) working through Iteration/Sprint Planning can copy and reuse an entire set of tasks and tests directly from a template into a story they are planning. These actions will save valuable time in team planning sessions and let the team more efficiently apply past decisions to a similar existing story they encounter during planning.
- Shared Custom Fields on Stories & Defects: Custom fields can be created that will span both Stories and Defects. This capability allows custom fields to be used as other common fields across these items for sorting and filtering (list types only) within grids.
New features in the Enterprise Summer ’09 release are currently available for all customers. Enterprise Edition is offered through monthly subscription pricing of $29/user/month or via perpetual licenses priced at $595/user. Existing customers who are running the Spring ’09 release or who upgrade to the Summer ’09 release of Enterprise are eligible for an unlimited free trial of Ideas that extends through August 31, 2009.