Use the story board

When working in the Team Backlog module, you can manage your development life cycle on a configurable and interactive story board.

The story board is also available in the Defects module (for defects only).

The story board enables you to manage the flow of backlog items through the life of their development and ensure that your team is working efficiently. Design the story board to reflect your team's workflow, and shift backlog items through the phases in the story board to update their progress.

The story board enables you to work in full Kanban mode or in Scrum mode enhanced by a story board workflow.

What does the story board display?

The story board includes columns for each of the phases defined in by your workspace administrator for each type of backlog item. For each phase, a lane is created. These lanes reflect each of the steps in the workflow that your organization has decided to follow.

The story board contains all the phases for User Stories, Quality Stories, and Defects in the same board. If the different entity types share a common phase (New, In Testing, etc.) they are merged in the story board.

If you want to limit what items are shown in the story board, use the Tags tab in the right navigation panel to limit the items displayed in the columns.

Click the Choose Columns button in the toolbar and select which columns to display in the story board.

Note: The maximum number of cards to display in the story board is 200.

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Story board in Scrum and Kanban releases

You can use the story board in both Scrum and Kanban release types. In each release type, the story board serves a different purpose.

Scrum Release Kanban Release

In Scrum releases, you continue working in sprints, but at the same time benefit from the flow and rules that a story board provides.

At the beginning of each sprint, you plan a sprint backlog, from which you take items for the story board. The sprint ends and you close the sprint, in which you reassign items that remain at the New and In Progress phases to the next sprint.

The story board enables you to view the flow of work items through the defined phases

If you want to work on backlog items continuously , you use a Kanban release. This enables you to move as many items through the cycle as possible in the span of the release timeline.

The flow of backlog items is governed only by the work-in-progress (WIP) limit.

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Set WIP rules

For each team in a Kanban release, you can specify a limit to the number of stories that can be currently open (WIP) in each phase:

  1. In the Team Backlog module, in the Stories tab, ensure that Board View is selected and you have displayed the type of stories (User Stories, Defects, or Quality Stories) for which you want to set rules.

  2. At the top of the Team Backlog module, select your release and team from the drop-down lists.

  3. In the header for each lane of a phase, there is a number displayed.

    Click the symbol to enable you to edit the "In Progress limit":

You can set different limits for each lane (phase) in the story board, and different rules per team.

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Use the story board

You can use the story board in a number of ways:

Add items to the story board

To add a new item to the story board, in the toolbar, click + and select the type of item to add. The Add <Entity> dialog opens and enables you to specify details for this new entity.

Additionally, you can add existing items from the release backlog or sprint backlog:

  • In the main Backlog module window, drag an item to a release bucket or sprint bucket (if necessary)

  • In the Details tab of a Backlog item, assign the item to a release and/or sprint

  • In the story board, click the Add button in the toolbar and fill in the backlog item details.

    Depending on which version of the board you are showing (User Stories, Defect Board, or Quality Stories), and the release/sprint selected in the Team Backlog filter, the type of item added and the fields may already be selected.

  • Hover on a column in the story board and click the Add button. Then in the dialog, select the item to add (Defect, User Story, or Quality Story), and enter the name for the item.

    To define further attributes for an item, you have to click on the entity link and fill in the required fields.

Once this item is added to the Backlog, it is displayed in the story board.

Filter the story board

Click the Filter button and add a filter. For details, see Filter items.

The story board is updated accordingly with the filtered details.

Merge story board columns

Leader permissions are required or designation as a team leader (by the workspace administrator in the Teams tab of the Settings) is required.

You can combine different phases of your Backlog items in the same column in the story board. For example, if you have an In Progress column in the story board, you can show all defects that are currently in the phase Open and all user stories that are in the phase In Progress in the same column of the story board:

To merge columns:

  1. In the column header, right-click and select Edit.

  2. In the Select Phases dialog box, select which phase should be displayed in the column for User Stories, Defects, and Quality Stories.

    Note: If you do not select a phase for a specific entity type, that entity type is not displayed in the selected column.

  3. Click OK to apply the changes.

    If you hover over the column header after merging, ALM Octane displays the entity phases for that specific column.

Change the order of story board columns

Leader permissions are required.

In the column header, right-click the column to move and select Move to start. The order is updated accordingly.

This moves the column to the beginning of the metaphase, not the beginning of the entire story board.

Rank items in a lane Drag and drop items within any lane to set the rank.
Hide board columns

Leader permissions are required.

Right-click a column header in the story board and select Hide.

Minimize board columns

In a particular column of the story board, click the arrow to minimize the column or right-click the column header and select Collapse.

The cards for that column are no longer displayed. The column still remains part of the board, but minimized.

Monitor alerts

After setting the WIP status for each lane of your story board, you can see alerts in the header for that lane:

Hover over the alert to see the details and adjust your progress accordingly.

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See also: