Use Agile in Project Plan 365

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In Project Plan 365 you can use agile project management to track your projects. You can create new agile projects or turn on agile views for an existing project (traditional "waterfall" project).

Create new agile project

To create a new agile project, go to File New and choose Scrum Project or Kanban Project (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Create new agile project

Scrum and Kanban are two agile methodologies – Scrum uses sprints (time-boxed iterations, typically two weeks long) to organize tasks and allows for quick goal shifting, while Kanban uses a backlog and board statuses to manage work in progress.

Choosing any of them will enable a ribbon tab (Scrum or Kanban) with slightly different options (Figure 2 and Figure 3).

Figure 2: Scrum ribbon tab

Figure 3: Kanban ribbon tab

Add agile to an existing project

You can enable agile for an existing (traditional "waterfall") project by going to Project ribbon tab and click on Agile button (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Enable agile for an existing project

Once you click on Agile button the Agile Methodology dialog will show (Figure 5). This dialog will give you three options – Scrum (add Scrum to the current project), Kanban (add Kanban to the current project) and None (remove agile from current project).

Figure 5: Agile Methodology dialog

You can also use this dialog to switch from one methodology to the other.

Notes:

  • Removing or switching the agile methodology from a project will not remove agile related data. This means that even if your project's agile methodology is set to None you will still be able to visualize and modify agile related data (sprints, board statuses, agile views).

Agile views

Project Plan 365 provides several views for agile project analysis:

  • Task Board;
  • Backlog Board;
  • Sprint Planning Board;
  • Current Sprint Board;
  • Agile Tasks;
  • Backlog Sheet;
  • Sprint Planning Sheet;
  • Current Sprint Sheet.

Sheet-based views allow tabular display using predefined tables and filters, while board-based views provide a more visual representation of the agile project – tasks are organized on board columns that can be either sprints (Figure 6) or statuses (Figure 7).

Figure 6: Sprint Planning Board

Figure 7: Task Board

Work with agile in Project Plan 365

To create an agile project in Project Plan 365, you first need to add tasks to the backlog, then assign tasks to sprints (Scrum only), and finally move tasks across the board as your team works on and completes them.

You can see all of your agile tasks in the Gantt chart view and manage them using both traditional waterfall methods and agile methods. You can also run only a subset of a traditional project using an agile method. See manage your agile tasks in the Gantt chart.

Add tasks to the backlog

Your backlog for a project is the list of tasks that your team maintains related to the accomplishment of that project. In Kanban and Scrum, this will be one large prioritized list.

Adding new tasks in board-based views

Do one of the following:

On the Scrum tab, choose Planning, then Sprint Planning Board.

On the Kanban tab, choose Backlog, then Backlog Board.

In the first column, either No Sprint for Scrum or Backlog for Kanban, select New Task, type a task name, and then choose Add or press Enter.

Figure 8: New Task

Edit tasks in board-based views

To add more information to your task you can double click the newly added task and Task Information dialog will be shown. You can also select more options (delete task, open Task Information dialog, assign resources, mark 100% complete) by right clicking a task:

Figure 9: Task contextual menu

Below you have an example of how various tasks (from left to right – simple task, task with resources assigned, task 100% completed) will look like in a board view:

Figure 10: Tasks display

Move tasks across the board

You can move tasks across the board (Figure 11) to either update their board status, to assign the selected task to a specific sprint (Figure 12) or to reorder them in the current board column. To move a task just click on it and drag on the desired position (drag-and-drop).

Figure 11: Update board status of "Task 1" from "Backlog" to "Next up"

(Backlog Board view)

Figure 12: Assign "Task 2" to sprint "Sprint 1"

(Sprint Planning Board view)

Search for a task in the current board

If you need to quickly find a task you can use the real-time search functionality offered by all board-based views. In the right-top corner click on the search icon () and type in the text box what you are looking for. As you type you can see that the board will only contain tasks matching your search:

Figure 13: Search results (in this example – search tasks

that have "resource1" assigned)

To exit/discard a search just click on the "X" symbol.

Edit board status columns

You can customize your Backlog Board by:

  • Add new board status columns;
  • Rename board status columns;
  • Delete board status columns;
  • Move board status columns.

To add a new board status column, go to Backlog Board view and click on the last board column "Add New Column" (Figure 14). You will be prompted for a name then you can click anywhere on the board and the new board column will be added:

Figure 14: Add New Column

To access the other options listed above go to Backlog Board view, right click on a board status column title (Figure 15) and select the desired option:

Figure 15: Board Status column contextual menu

Notes:

  • First board status column (Backlog) cannot be moved or deleted;
  • Only empty board columns can be deleted.

 

Manage sprints

To manage sprints, you need to open the Manage Sprints dialog (Figure 16) (Scrum Manage or Sprint Planning Board Right click on sprint title Manage Sprints).

You can customize your sprints name, length and start date of the first sprint. Project Plan 365 will automatically generate start and finish dates for the rest of your sprints based on the start date of your first sprint.

Figure 16: Manage Sprints dialog

By default, Project Plan 365 generates sprints through project's finish date.

Figure 17: Generate Sprints options

You can also specify a custom date:

Figure 18: Picking a custom date

Once you finished editing your sprints click OK to apply your changes.

Notes:

The custom date selected must be after the first sprint's start date, else you will receive an error message.