Work board is the central place to execute your work based on your own workflow, where your work is visible as it flows while limiting work-in-progress. The Work Board is a powerful and flexible real-time Work board for executing projects based on visual management. It is designed such that it gives you visual cues to identify the priority, the status of work, bottlenecks, to help you get work done quickly and efficiently.
Example of a Work Board with default Workflow
The Work Board provides all the required flexibility to customize it to suit your value stream with so much less complexity and which is reflected in a few minutes.
To view the Work board, go to the Module Menu adjacent to the Profile pic at the top-right, and click the Boards link. The List of Boards view displays the boards that you created as a product owner or boards on which you are a team member. Double-click the board row to open the board. The Work board is displayed by default. Next time you log on to the application, the Work board you accessed last will appear by default. Alternatively, you can open the board from the Recent Boards icon located on the top for quick access.
Visual Indicators on the Work Board
Let’s look at a default Work Board.
- Color Coding: The Work Board implements color code to identify the card types-User Story, Defect, Issue, etc. The card type is mentioned on the top bar of the card and also displays the color of the card. (click the Legend icon on the board toolbar, which displays the card color).
- Column in the Workflow:The columns represent the workflow-Ready, Develop, Validate, and Approve. A column is further divided into sub-columns i.e. In-Progress and Done, except the Ready and the Approve lanes.
- Lane/Board/Card Type Policies: The description you add (which can describe the policies for card movement) when you configure the Board/lanes show on hovering over the Board/Lane headers. The description or policies entered when you define a card type in the application, show on hovering on the card type in the Legend. This can be effective to communicate card movement policies on the board.
- Card Owner:The card on the Work board displays the current owner on hovering on the Profile image or “Avatar”. If you have uploaded your picture to your profile, the avatar will be also used for identification. You can also select multiple owners for a card from the list of available users by using <Ctrl + Click> or <Shift + Click> in the Microsoft® Windows or <Command-Click> on the Mac OS®. In case of multiple owners, the profile picture changes to multiple people image and on mouse-hover displays the names of all owners.
- Priority:The three stars in different color combinations indicate the priority of a card. See Card Anatomy to understand the interpretation of the combinations.
- WIP Limit: The WIP limit set for a lane and the total number of cards in that lane is displayed on the lane header. For example, 5/3 indicates there are five cards in the lane and the WIP limit for the lane is three. As the total count of cards in the lane has exceeded the WIP limit i.e. the WIP limit is violated, the lane header is highlighted in red.
- Notifications/Inbox Count: When an item is assigned to you, the Inbox icon flashes a count to indicate the new item. The Notifications icon flashes the count when an event has occurred on the board i.e. when a team member has commented on a card or violated the WIP limit. The board when refreshed, increments the Inbox/Notifications Count if the Items/events are Unread. This is a very important visual indicator for a distributed team to get in sync.
- Instant Notification Pop-ups: Instant Notification Pop-ups inform about board activities such as adding a card, commenting on a card, etc. in which you are one of the card owners. Instant Notifications pop up at the bottom right-corner on the event occurring, whether you are within SwiftEASe, or whenever you return to it if you have been working on other applications. The count of such notifications is also available on the Notifications widget, from which you can later track and navigate to the card for checking the updates.
- Card Highlighting: On hovering over the card, it has an upturned corner at the bottom-right corner and a ‘shadow effect’ for a real ‘sticky note’ feel. This can be useful when you want to highlight the card when discussing on an information radiator. Also check Board Refresh, Card, and Legend for more highlighting features.
- Flagged Cards: SwiftEASe enables you to flag a card, mark it for different purposes – so that you can highlight different aspects of the card or draw attention to it. Depending on the reason for highlighting, you can select one or more types of flags to highlight the card. For more details please refer Flagging a card.
- Cycle time: It is a horizontal line based on the thresholds and highlights the current status of the cards as per the value set by you.
Have a quick look at the Card Anatomy to understand how much information a card can provide on the Work Board.
Board Editor: To make workflow through the lanes, just drag and release the cards in the lanes. As a product owner, if you want to improve your workflow, you can define your own Work board to suit your flow.
Side Toolbar: You can perform various operations on the Work board using the Side toolbar. This toolbar holds different icons, which allows you to add cards, filter boards, view activity logs, etc. Mouse-hovering the Side toolbar gives you various options like Add Card, Board Filter, Legend, Activity Log, Refresh Board, Backlog Board, Subscribe to Board Events, Calendar View, Board PlayBack, Board Activity and Cycle Time and so on.
This toolbar hides automatically after 5 seconds of board loading.
Note: You can disable the Side functionality of the toolbar by pinning it on the board.
SwiftEASe provides the best of the features for:
- Add a Card
- Add a Custom Card Type to the Board
- Pull a Card from the Backlog Board
- Pull a Card from the Archived Cards
- Move Cards to Another Column
- Move a Card to the Backlog
- Archive one or more Cards
- Transfer Card to a Different Board
- Flag a Card
- Change the Current Owner / Assign Multiple Owners
- Manage To-Dos for a Card
- Edit Card Details
Note: A card of a closed Board cannot be moved to any other lane of the same Board or transferred to any other Board. Moreover, you cannot transfer a card from an active Board to a closed Board. The closed Board will not even be displayed in the available Boards to transfer.
Add a card on the board to indicate work-item, and then move it to the next column as you complete your part of work. To quickly add a card, right-click anywhere in the column (i.e. lane that indicates the current state of the work-item) to which you want to add. Select Add Card in the shortcut menu. In the card placeholder, select the card type and then type a card title and press ENTER.
Note: While adding a card via right-click, it does not prompt for mandatory fields, if any. Later, when you open the card in the edit view and update it, you will be prompted to fill those mandatory fields to save the update.
The card appears in the lane with the card carousel showing default values for mandatory card attributes such as Priority, Class of Service, and Size. Click the card title to edit values and add other details. Type the description of the card in a maximum up to 4000 characters. You can use the formatting toolbar for text editing that provides basic features, including adding URLs and inserting images. Provide values for card attributes such as Due Date, Estimate, and so on. The estimate can be entered for a Card in days/hours/story points (as selected in preference). You can use this estimate to track the progress of deliverables in a CFD and Throughput chart.
Note: You can expand the Edit Card pop-up for full viewing of Description and Comments by dragging the right corner of the card.
To assign different card owners, click the Avatar box showing name and profile, and select the team members that you want to assign to that card by selecting the. You can select all the users in one go by clicking the Select All option. You can also select the lane to which you want to add the card. You can even select Backlog to add the card to the backlog if you do not want to work on it currently. If you miss selecting a lane when adding a card, the card will be added to the first lane on the board by default. You can change it later if you need to.
You can also add cards / work-items by navigating to Board Cards » Backlog, or Board Cards » <Card Type>, or Board » Cards » All Cards. From these views, you can add cards, edit, or delete the cards. You can filter and sort the list of cards to view, edit, or delete specific cards.
The Issue, User Story, and Defect are the card types available on the Work board. You can enable the custom card types for your board.
Once a Card Type is enabled, it appears in the Card Types palette on the Add card window at the bottom. Click the required Card Type, enter details and then click the Save icon on the toolbar.
If you have already defined a backlog (created a user story, defect, or an issue), you can just pull the cards from the backlog and push it to the board.
To pull a card from the backlog, click the Add Card icon on the Side toolbar. Select Search and Add from Backlog and click the Add to Board button of the required card. Select the column from Select Column in which you want to add the card and click the Save button.
To filter the list of items in the backlog based on Priority, Class Of Service, or size, click the required button in the top row and select one or more attributes from the drop-down list. To filter the list based on Id, rank, title, etc. enter the required details in the blank cells in the top row. Now, for the item you want to pull, click the Add to Board button in the first column. By default, the card is pulled to the first column i.e. “Ready” on the board.
Note that If you have defined lanes on the board, you should select the first column in the Lane that shows up below. The card attribute-enabled lane displays the lane based on the attribute value of the card. For example, if the card is tagged ‘Critical’, only the Critical lane name is displayed. For custom label-enabled lane, you can select from any one of the lane.
SwiftEASe provides a separate Backlog Board, where you can view your backlog in the form of cards and push them to the board quickly. You can view the card details up front as on the board and decide which cards to push to the board.
Click on the Backlog Board icon on the Side toolbar. The cards, if added as Backlog from the Backlog view or Card Type List View are shown here. Click the Add to Board icon to push the card to the board, which appears on mouse-over on the card. Card Menu is also available for the cards on mouse-over, enabling collaboration and card-related actions on the Backlog Board. If required, add cards to the Backlog Board by clicking the Add Card icon on the Side toolbar on the left edge. It works similar to the Work board Add Card feature. You will find other important board features on the Side toolbar to focus and prioritize cards- Board Filter, Legend, and Card Sizing Views.
The Backlog Board can be organized more effectively based on card attributes to help you quickly locate and push cards with the specific attribute value. Moreover, the category lanes. resets the attribute value of the card when you move it to another category lane.
The Backlog Board also provides flexibility to organize the board by creating your own backlog category lanes. As the prioritization can keep changing based on the dynamic business need, the categorization may need to change.
To organize your backlog based on card attributes or custom categories:
1. In the Backlog Board view, click the Backlog Settings icon on the Side toolbar.
2. Click the Enable Organization button.
3. Select any one of the options from the following:
- Select ‘Organize Backlog based on one of the following Card attributes’ option and then select any card attribute, for example, Priority.
b. Select ‘Organize Backlog based on custom categories’.
- Click Submit.
For Card attribute-based Backlog, the backlog is categorized into lanes according to the values available for the selected attribute. Considering the ‘Priority’ example, the Backlog Board will have separate lanes for Priority values such as Critical, Medium, and so on. The cards matching the Priority value are placed in the applicable category lane. If there are no cards moved to a lane, the lane will be collapsed. As in Lanes, if you move a card of ‘Medium’ priority to the ‘Critical’ priority lane, the priority of that card will be set to ‘Critical’.
For Custom categories-based Backlog, the Backlog lane now shows a Category Lane toolbar on the right corner. Click the Add Category lane icon on the toolbar for the lane, below which you want the new custom lane. Provide a name and description for the new custom lane.
Expand the lane and move the cards to the lane. Add a few more lanes, as and when required and organize the lanes by clicking the Move Up and Move Down icons. To delete a lane, click the Delete icon on the toolbar for that lane. The lane will be removed and if it has any cards, these will be moved to the ‘None’ lane created.
Adding a card using the Add Card icon, adds a card in the first lane by default. For Backlog organized on Custom Categories, right-click anywhere on a custom lane to add and associate the new card to that lane.
To push cards randomly, reset the Backlog Board to the default setting, by clicking the Disable Organization button in the Organize Backlog window. For more on Backlog Board, see the Define Backlog page.
Resequence the cards within the lane by dragging and dropping as required – to be picked up in the left-to-right order. The resequenced cards persist across sessions.
You may even pull an archived card if you want to resume work on it. To pull an archived card, select the Search and add from the Archive option.
To pull a card from the archived cards, click the Add Card icon on the Side toolbar. Select Search and Add from Archive and click the Add to Board button of the required card. Select the column from Select Column in which you want to add the card and click the Save button.
To filter the list of items in the backlog based on Priority, Class Of Service, or size, click the required button in the top row and select one or more attributes from the drop-down list. To filter the list based on Id, rank, title, etc. enter the required details in the blank cells in the top row. Now, for the item, you want to pull, click the Add to Board button in the first column. By default, the card is pulled to the first column, i.e. “Ready” on the board.
Note that If you have defined lanes on the board, you should select the first column in the Lane that shows up below. The card attribute-enabled lane displays the lane based on the attribute value of the card. For example, if the card is tagged ‘Critical’, only the Critical lane name is displayed. For custom label-enabled lane, you can select from any one of the lane appearings.
To make your workflow through the Work board, as work progresses, move cards to the appropriate column on the board. The column where the card remains will represent the status of the card until you move it.
To move a single card, drag the required card and release it in the appropriate column. You can sequence the card in the column, drag it to place in the required order.
Alternatively, you can click the Options icon, which appears on mouse-over on the card, click Move to from the list, and then select the lane and column.
Note: You will have to add a comment while moving a card if the Make comment entry mandatory on card movement policy is enabled.
Move All Cards to Another Column: Right-click a Column header and select the Move All’ option on the menu.
Move Selected Cards to Another Column: You can also select a set of cards using CTRL+ click and right-click to move selected cards. The selected card is indicated by a yellow check mark. To unselect when selecting cards, use CTRL + click on the cards again. The yellow check mark on the card disappears. Next, right-click on the lane header and select the ‘Move Selected’ option and then the lane and its respective column to where you want to move the cards.
Note that you will not be able to select an unblocked card for moving it to another lane using this option.
If you want to suspend work on a card, you can move the card to the backlog. Click the Options icon, which appears on mouse-over on the card, and then click Move to Backlog from the list. The earlier analytics will be available when the card is pulled on the board again.
Archive a card when it reaches the last lane on the board to indicate that the work has been delivered. You may even archive a card from its current lane if you decide that the card need not progress through the remaining flow.
Click the Options icon appearing on hovering over on the card. Click the Archive icon and the card will no longer be available on the board. However, you can view it from the List View of the Card Type as Archived/Closed. The current Owner of the card is retained even after Card Archival. This will help you keep track as to who was the last User to work on the archived card.
Archive All Cards: Right-click on any lane header to archive all the cards in that lane in a single click.
Note that any blocked cards in the lane will not be archived.
Archive Selected Cards: CTRL(Windows) or command (Mac) + click the required cards and right-click to use the Archive Selected option. The yellow checkmark appearing on the cards indicate that cards have been selected. To unselect when selecting cards to archive, click CTRL + click again. The yellow mark disappears for the card.
Note 1: You cannot select any blocked card to archive unless you unblock it.
Note 2: You can archive multiple cards simultaneously that belong to the same column or sub-column only.
If you would like to see the cards that have been archived, you need to go to Board menu > Cards > All Cards. On the All Cards page, click the Filter icon from the side toolbar, and then enter “Archive” in the filter text box of the Current Column. All the archived cards are displayed.
You can move a card to another board if it was actually meant to be there. You do not have to recreate a card if you created it on a wrong board or maybe just a change of decision.
Hover on the card, click the Options icon, and then click the TransferTo option on the menu. After a few seconds, another menu of a different board is displayed. Click the ‘destination’ board and then the Lanes and its column where you want to move the card. A message is displayed after successful movement of the card. On the destination board, you can see that the card is placed in the selected column.
A card will not be moved if the destination board does not have the card type enabled for the board. To enable the card type, see Enable / Disable Card Type on the Board.
When a card is moved, the following details are inherited and shown on the card:
- Card Title, Description and attributes values, including any custom field value.
- Linked Cards including Parent-Child cards links
The Activity log of the moved card only shows from which board the card was moved and not the earlier card movements. The original card from the source board will be deleted.
Note that if the destination board has card attribute-enabled Lanes, the Move card menu will display the applicable lanes according to the card attribute. In this example, a user story card is being moved, hence only the lanes in the User Story lane are available for selection.
If the new board doesn’t have the Card Type ( that of the original card) enabled, then an alert will be displayed to convert the card to the suitable card type and then move the card.
SwiftEASe enables you to flag a card, mark it for different purposes – so that you can highlight different aspects of the card or draw attention to it. Depending on the reason for highlighting, you can select one or more types of flags to highlight the card. You can flag a card or view them both on the card pop-up and carousel view.
To flag a card, mouse-over the card. The various available flag types are highlighted on the bottom right of the card. Click the required flag. To remove the flag, simply click the flag again.
Note: 1. The flags can be configured through the Card Designer at Admin or Board level.
2. While flagging/unflagging a card, you can mention your teammates in the comment too.
The card when added may or may not have an owner assigned to it. An unassigned card is indicated by no image in the avatar placeholder and on hovering shows ‘Unassigned’.
To assign an owner or change the current owner:
- Click the placeholder/picture profile on the card. Alternatively, you can right-click the card, click the Assign Cardoption
- In the Card Assignment window, the current owners’ names, if assigned, appear at the top of the owner list. Click to unselect the current owner and select new team member from the list.
- Click Submitafter you have selected the owners.
If the team member has uploaded his/her avatar, the placeholder is replaced by the image for identification. On hovering over the avatar, the card owner name is displayed.
While assigning card owner(s) for a card, you can also filter the users from the list based on their role, name, or a combination of the two.
- To search a team member by name, enter the search string. As you type, the matching results are displayed. Click the required user name to select.
- To search a team member by role, enter the role and username in the following format:
- To include multiple names in the search filter, separate names with a comma. Example, #Manager:dileesh,chirag,
Note: When you pull a card, you are automatically assigned as the card owner. If you do not want this and want to assign the card to the team members you select, you can disable the board policy, ‘Auto-assign cards when pulled’ from the Board Editor. Thus, you can choose the card owners on your own when adding or after you have added a card.
To assign a card to multiple owners, in the Card Assignment window, select multiple owners to a card by clicking the required team members one by one. If you selected multiple owners, the profile picture displays picture of multiple owners and on hovering, displays the names of the owners. This feature enables team members in adding multiple Tasks/To-Dos to the card and assigning a To-Do for each of the owners selected. They can report progress (i.e. Pending/In-Progress/Completed and To-Do effort) against the assigned To-Do, which will finally roll-up to the card-level progress.
To unassign the current owner, select ‘Unassigned’ from the list. Note that if an owner has not uploaded his/her image, it is indicated by the user’s initials.
You can add tasks or To-Dos to a card to break down the work into smaller manageable units. Card Owners can add and manage their own set of To-Dos, estimate effort, and report progress against their To-Dos.
If your Product owner has created a predefined To-Do list, you need to just report progress on it. You may still add to the pre-defined To-Do list for a card.
To add To-Dos for a card on the board, click the To-Do icon on the card appearing on mouse-over. You can even click the Card Title and then click the Tasks section.
Note:- If the To-Do icon is disabled. It can be enabled through the Card Designer at Admin or Board level.
- Click the Add button on the top. A To-Do row is added below.
- Enter the details for the To-Dos you add.
- Task/To-do Name : Double-click to type the name to identify the task name and hit ENTER.
- Applicable Column – The current column of the card is displayed by default. You can select the lane with its respective column on the board for which the task will be applicable.
- Estimate – Enter estimate for the To-Do, which will be interpreted as days/hours / story points (as selected in preference for the enterprise). However, if the Time-Tracking Plug-in is enabled for the enterprise, you need to interpret the To-Do Estimate in hours only. The sum of all To-Do Estimates will be shown in the To-Do Estimate for the card. The Estimate (Card) and To-Do Estimate is not inter-related.
- To-Do Owner – By default, the To-do is assigned to one who adds it. Click to select the owner for the To-Do from the list of team members. If you want to assign later, select the ’Unassigned’ option from the list.
- Current State – Until the owner does not update the task to indicate progress, the ‘Current State’ will display as ‘Pending’.
- To add more To-Dos, click the Add icon for the existing To-Do and enter details as described above.
- To remove the To-Do, click the Delete icon for the required To-Do.
Note: If the lane in the Applicable column appears in red, it indicates that the lane is deleted from the workflow / process.
To report progress of your To-Do, double-click the Current State drop-down list and select, ‘In-Progress’ or ‘Completed’ from the list. The colors-gray (Pending) orange (In-Progress), and green (Completed) also indicates the To-Do status. If you have Time-Tracking Plug-in enabled for your enterprise, you will see the Actual and Remaining columns to update effort (in hours). For effort-based updating and tracking of To-Dos, see the Logging Effort for To-Dos help.
Updates to a card To-Do’s are logged in the Card Activity Log for tracking task activities such as new To-Do, Assignment of To-Do Owner, etc.
The card details can be viewed and modified on the board by clicking the card title. The Edit Card window displays the Card Details, Comments, To-Do, and Attachments tabs along with a quick count of these items in the header itself (To-Do tab will show both the completed and total count). Make your changes in the Details tab. To change the card owner, click the Picture Profile and select new owners or you can select ‘Unassigned’ to un-assign the card.
Note that you will not be able to enter an estimate for a card, if it is linked as a parent card to its child cards. The value is read-only and is rolled-up from its child cards.