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Managing a project with Quick Planner

You can use Quick Planner to manage any type of project, large or small.

About this task

Quick Planner can simplify your project planning and speed your workflow. For example, you can drag items from one project phase to another, like from your project backlog to a sprint. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts or easy access icons to quickly assign work item attributes. With support for many project roles, you can use Quick Planner for large or small teams, and you can manage complex or simple projects, too.

To open Quick Planner, from the menu, click Plans > Quick Planner. You can also open Quick Planner from the Welcome page.

Create your first work board

Create a work board to manage your own work items.

About this task

Create a work board. Use a Work board for tracking work items of an individual or a team.

Procedure

  1. In the Board name field, type Work board. Create a pre-populated board by accepting the default; if you want to create your own board, clear Use preconfigured lanes. Click Work Board, and click Create.
  2. A new work board is created and, depending upon which project template your project uses, lanes appear preconfigured. For example, if your project uses a scrum process template, then the lanes are:
    • Open
    • In progress
    • Closed
  3. To change the settings for your board, in the left navigation pane, hover beside your board name, click the ellipses: Administration gear icon, and click Board settings & Sharing. On the board settings page, you can:
    • Edit the name of the board: Change Work board to My work board. Note that as you type the new board name, the update appears automatically beside the board name in the left navigation pane.
    • Add a tag or tags to the board: In the Tags field, type chat. The tag #chat appears in the left navigation pane.
    • Share this board: You can share your board with another project, another team, or other individual team members. For this exercise, leave the sharing blank.
    To return to the board, click Close or click your board name in the left navigation pane.
  4. You can choose the number of lanes that you want to show at one time, and the number of lanes available depend upon the size of your display or monitor. Click the lanes icon , and select the number of lanes you want to show in your board, up to a maximum of five lanes. To add more lanes, click the + (plus) sign and you can add a new unconfigured lane.
  5. You can click to pin a lane, or several lanes, so that the pinned lane remains in view as you scroll through the other lanes. This allows you to drag and drop work items easily from one lane to another in the way that you want. Click the pin icon, on the Open lane.

Create your first work items

About this task

You can create work items from your work board using the Create a work item field.

Procedure

  1. In the Open lane, click the Create a work item field, and type a summary for the first work item: Create a simple chat page for our site. Click the Filed Against icon (Filed Against), and select your team. Click Create to create the work item. The default work item type is Defect (Defect):

    my work view

  2. Add more parameters to your task. Click the Type field, and select Story. Click the Priority icon (Unassigned Priority), and set the priority to High.
  3. Click the Tag icon (Tag) and type website in the displayed field, click website, and click OK. A tag can help you group related work items. For example, you can filter to view only the items that have a certain tag.

    recently created work items

  4. Click the story's title field. You can modify more attributes from this drop-down menu. The Filed Against icon (Filed Against) is disabled if there is no value selected. An asterisk is shown next to the icon (Filed Against Required) if it is a required attribute. If this attribute is defined as a required attribute and the user does not provide any value for it, the work item creation fails and an error message is shown to the user.

    error message for required attribute

  5. Type a summary for the next work item: Incoming messages are not reaching other chat participants.
  6. Hover the mouse pointer over the icons under the summary.

    summary icons

    Note: You use these icons to set the work item attributes. Don't worry if you aren't sure about an attribute or think one might change because you can always change it later.
  7. Use the icons to set these parameters for the work item:
    • Set the type to Defect (Defect).
    • Set the severity (Severity) to Major.
    • Set the filed against (Filed Against) to a category associated with your team.
    • Add a tag (Tag) named messages.
    • Set the priority (Priority) to High.
    Tip: Notice the new text after your summary. When you set an attribute, the text code for that attribute is added after the summary.

    Setting attributes

  8. When you're finished, click Create.

Create your first plan board

About this task

Create a plan board. Use a Plan board to plan the release.

Procedure

  1. In the left navigation pane, Under Boards, click + > New Board.
  2. In the Your board name field, type Plan board. Create a pre-populated board by accepting the default. Click Plan Board, and click Create.
  3. A new plan board is created that contains lanes representing the iterations for the project. Depending upon the iteration structure of the project and what iteration you selected when youc reated the board, the lanes might be:
    • Incoming Work
    • Product Backlog
    • Sprint 1
    • Sprint 2
    • development
    • stabilization
  4. To change the settings for your board, in the left navigation pane, hover beside your board name and click the ellipses: Administration gear icon, and click Board settings & Sharing. On the board settings page, you can:
    • Edit the name of the board: Change Plan board to My plan board. Note that as you type the new board name, the update appears automatically beside the board name in the left navigation pane.
    • Add a tag or tags to the board. In the Tags field, type chat. The tag #chat appears in the left navigation pane.
    • You can also hare this board with another project, another team, or other individual team members. Leave the sharing blank.
    To return to the board, click Close or click your board name in the left navigation pane.
  5. You can choose the number of lanes that you want to show at one time, and the number of lanes available depend upon the size of your display or monitor. Click the lanes icon Lane icon, and select the number of lanes that you want to show in your board, up to a maximum of five lanes. To add more lanes, click the + (plus) sign and you can add a new unconfigured lane.
  6. You can click to pin a lane, or several lanes, so that the pinned lane remains in view as you scroll through the other lanes. This allows you to drag and drop work items easily from one lane to another in the way that you want. Click the pin icon, Pin lane iconon the Incoming work lane.

Triage incoming work

About this task

When defects or work items are filed for the team or project, you can use the Incoming Work lane to triage them.

Procedure

  1. View the content in the Incoming Work lane to evaluate new work items. In this example, work items are already created for the team. They are grouped by severity, so that you know which tasks are most important. To rank work items in a lane, you must group the lane by Ranked List.

    Incoming Work view with new work items.

  2. You can send incoming work items to your backlog or to another iteration by dragging and dropping the item to the desired lane:
    Drag and drop work item from one iteration to another
    Alternatively, click Status:New (Status) to resolve it.
  3. You are able to select several work items and drag and drop them to a different lane to change their state. A dialogue box asking you to confirm these state changes appears after you drop to the new lane: Changed state table

Create work items in the backlog

About this task

The Backlog lane displays all of the items that are in the backlog.

Procedure

  1. Click Product Backlog, and then click the Create a work item field.
  2. Type a summary for the next work item: As a user I would like your site to have a chat page.
  3. Use the icons to finish setting the attributes. Set the filed against category (Filed Against), make yourself the work item's owner (Owner), add a website tag (Tag), and set the priority (Priority) to Medium. Click Create.
  4. You can set or change attributes of existing work items in several ways. For example, you can right-click the summary of your story to open the work item editor in a separate tab.

    Work item editor

  5. You can change or set any work item attribute from this editor. You can change most of the attributes from the Overview tab. If you want to add a file, create a relationship with another work item, or add a subscriber, click Links. You can explore the other tabs later. When you share work with a team, add more details about a work item to the Overview tab in the Description field.
  6. In the Priority field, change the priority to High. Then, click Save to capture your changes.
  7. Go back to the Backlog. The navigation between the Work Item editor and the Quick Planner views is not seamless. You must either use the direct link to go the Quick Planner view or use the menu options provided in the component drop-down list. You could also simply use the Back button (however, this would reload the view), or you can always open the work item in a separate tab.
  8. Click the Priority: High icon, and set the priority to Medium for the story. If you have not assigned an owner for the work item, you can click the Unassigned (No owner) icon, and assign an owner to the work item.
  9. Note the ID number of your story. For example, the story ID in the image is 92. This number is unique to your project and helps you keep track of each work item. If you know the ID for a particular work item, you can easily find it by using the search function above the view list or you can add relationships to it.
  10. Click the Open child task breakdown icon (Add Child) in your story's attributes.
  11. Click the Create a child work item field, and then type Configure a chat server using node.js.
  12. Type *task to assign the task type. Watch how the Type drop-down menu displays when you type the asterisk (*).
    Note: If you prefer to keep your hands on the keyboard, you can enter most of the attributes by typing their text code instead of using the mouse.
  13. Set the Filed Against value, and type these attributes:
    • @:<yourUserID>
    • #server
    • $high
    Click Create.
  14. Click the Backlog lane. Notice that a plus sign displays beside the story. Click the plus sign to confirm that your new task is nested under your story. Notice that the task remains on your ranked list. This behavior lets you see the tasks that are associated with a story, but you can still rank the tasks individually.
  15. You need a few more work items to complete this project. Add the following work items and attributes by using the method that you like best. Remember that you can assign or modify attributes after you've created the work item, too.
    • As a user I would like to be able to log into your chat with my Facebook or Google+ account. #login $high
    • Add a child to the story:
      • Click the Open child task breakdown icon (Add Child) in your story's attributes.
      • Click the Create a child work item field, and then type Integrate OAuth to the chat site. *task #login #website $high.
  16. Click the Backlog view, expand your parent work items, and your backlog should look like it does in this image:

    Ranked List

Triage the backlog

About this task

Before you populate a sprint, rank the work items in your backlog. If you use agile management techniques with your projects, you probably use a similar process during your sprint planning meetings.

Procedure

  1. Ranking a list establishes priority order. To view the work items in ranked order, you must group your lane by Ranked List. Click the administration icon Administration gear icon and the lane administration page opens. In the Group byfield, click Ranked list. A ranked list shows the work items in numerical order:

    Work item ranking

    Notice that the last item in the list in unranked.
  2. Collapse the parent items, and notice how each work item's rank is not ranked. You can easily change this status. To rank a work item, drag and drop it on top of the first unranked item in the list. You cannot drop items between two unranked items. For example, drag the Create a simple chat page for our site task to the top of the list, and see how its rank changes to 1.

    Rank a task with drag and drop

    Rank of work is changed

  3. You can also rank a work item by clicking in the Rank column, typing the number, and pressing Enter:

    Ranked list

    A ranked list shows the numerical order:

    Tip: If you have work items in the Recently Created section, you can drag them to the Ranked List section to rank them.
  4. Multi-level ranking lets you rank work items at all levels. You can rank the parent work items, and then you can rank the children within each parent work item. For example, if a parent work item is ranked 1, then the children of that parent work item are prefixed with the rank of the parent item, such as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and etc. You can update the rank for items by dragging items into the list or on to other ranked items.

    Multi-ranked work items

  5. Now that you've ranked the work items, assign story points to the stories: Click 0 pts next to each story, and select 20 pts from the drop-down list.
    Note: In agile projects, story points are a team-determined scale reflecting the effort required to implement a story. Remember that you can expand each story by clicking the plus sign to review its child items.
  6. Before you finish triaging your tasks, finish assigning work items owners.
  7. Click the Owner icon (Owner) for each of the unassigned work item, and select your name from the drop-down list. If you are working with other team members, you can use this method to assign related work items to them.
  8. You should create time estimates to ensure that you place an appropriate number of stories on a sprint. Click the expand chevron Expand chevron to expand the Integrate OAuth to the chat site work item's drop-down menu, and select Estimate: Unassigned from the drop-down menu.

    Unassigned Estimate

    Tip: Remember to review your story points and work item owners when creating time estimates.
  9. Set the duration to 3 days, and click OK.
  10. Assign 3-day estimates to your defect and remaining tasks.

Plan the iteration

Procedure

  1. In your plan board, select the lane for the iteration that you want to plan. The lanes shown are for the parent iteration and the selected iteration, and when you scroll to the right, the next two sequential iterations.

    Iteration Planning

  2. Click the title bar of the Create a simple chat page for our site task from the backlog lane and drag it to the sprint lane. Drag the rest of the work items to the sprint lane, in ascending order, by ranking.

View the team's work

About this task

Now that you set up your sprint, you're ready to start work.

Procedure

To see your team's progress, click Team Progress to see the time remaining, hours worked, items resolved, and story points achieved in a sprint.

Team Progress that shows the time remaining, hours worked, items resolved, and story points achieved.

Work through the sprint

Procedure

  1. Click the Open lane.
  2. For the Configure a chat server using node.js task, click the Status icon (Status), and then click Start Working from the pop-up menu.
  3. Notice how this item moves from the Open lane to the In Progress lane.
  4. Just like in the Iteration Planning view, you can drag items between lanes. Drag the Integrate OAuth to the chat site task to the In Progress lane.
  5. As you work on your tasks that are in progress, update the number of hours spent on the task. Find the Integrate OAuth to the chat site task, and click in its title bar to expand the drop-down menu. Use the Time Spent option to show that you've spent 16 hours on the task.
  6. Find the Integrate OAuth to the chat site task. Click its Status icon (Status), and select Complete from the pop-up menu to close the task.
    Tip: You can complete this process from the Team's Work view, too. You might find the ability to assign hours and complete tasks useful during your daily scrum meeting.
  7. The Quick Planner feature makes it easy for you to track your sprint's work as you complete planned tasks. It's also easy to create and address new work items.
    1. In the Open lane, click in the Create a work item field and make three more work items:
      • As a user, I'd like your chat site to look good on my phone. #mobile $low
      • Test site on mobile devices and optimize Bootstrap and CSS files to improve performance. *task #mobile #website $low
      • The server handles the requests too slowly. *defect #server $high major
    2. Go to the Incoming Work view to triage these new tasks. Use the Triage to Backlog icon (Triage to Backlog) to send all the work items to the backlog.
    3. Wait. This defect seems pretty important. Click Iteration Planning, and drag the defect from the Backlog lane into the Sprint 1 lane.
      Tip: If you are leading a team, you would want to triage new work items in the Incoming Work view and the Backlog view during your sprints.

Filter work items

About this task

To find work items quickly, you can use filters. Once you use a filter, if you close and reopen the board, the filter terms persist.

Procedure

  1. Click the Filter work items by keyword field. When you click the field, a window shows the available filters that you can use to refine your search:

    Filter that shows the high-priority work items.

  2. Click a filter to populate the field. For example, click Priority, and then click High. The work items with the priority set to high display.
    Tip: For more examples on filtering work items, hover the filter icon (Filter help icon) and you see filter option examples:
    Filter examples

What to do next

You should now have a good overview of the Quick Planner feature and see that you can use it to track any type of project, no matter how small or complex. For more information, see the topic Managing projects with Quick Planner.
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