SwiftKanban Knowledge Base

Release Planning

For many of our users who use ‘SCRUM’, or ‘SCRUMBAN’ (a combination of SCRUM and Kanban), the ‘Release Planning’ capability can help the team to plan releases perfectly in an easy-to-use drag-drop interface. The teams can define the Release capacity and track the release progress with the built-in visual indicators.
If you have created a product backlog, just drag and drop the cards in the release, depending on the priority and how many story points totally need to go in a release. You can even increase or reduce the scope of the release, as required, by editing the release.
You can directly push the cards onto the board after scoping it for the release, and need not go to the Kanban Board to pull them.
Note 1: The Release Planning feature can be enabled from ‘Plug-ins’ page.

Note 2: No Release can be created and tracked for a Closed Board.

Steps to Define a Release in your Board

1. Navigate to Main menu and select Release menu from the list of available menus.

2. In the List of releases page, click Add new release. Enter the Name, Start Date, Release Date and Release Capacity (In StoryPoints, ToDo’s or any other UOM defined in the enterprise).
Note: Release name is Mandatory.

The Release screen is divided into two columns: Release Scope and Not in Release

Release Scope is further divided into three columns: To Do, Doing, and Done.

The Release Scope column shows the card count in X:Y format, where Y is the total number of cards assigned to the Release and X is the number of cards after applying the Filter.

For example, in the image below the Release Scope shows the card count as 3:11, where 11 is the number of cards tagged to the release, and 3 is the number of cards that are shown after applying the Filter on the release scope.

Not in Release is further divided into two sub-columns that are Backlog Cards and Board Cards.

The Not in Release Scope column also shows the card count in X:Y format, where Y is the total number of cards assigned to the Release and X is the number of cards after applying the Filter.

For example, in the following image, cards are shown after applying the filter. So, as shown in the image, the card count is 2:32, which means there are 32 cards that are yet to be tagged to any release and 2 cards are displayed as per the applied filter criteria.

3. Drag cards from Not in Release column and drop under Release Scope column. The cards you drop into the release bucket will be associated with the release.

4. If the Show Open Release Only slider button is ON you can view the open Releases; else All releases are listed. The list of releases is displayed along with the following details:

A release created will be available in the Release list to be tagged to a card (unless a release is closed). Moreover, you can also tag a release to a card from its edit view by selecting the release from the field with the same name.

By default, the Capacity of the Release is interpreted in Story Points or any other UoM as defined in the Admin. But, you can also set it to be shown in To-Do Hours.

To view the cards scoped in the past releases, click the release row and to hide, click it again.


5. To re-scope, the release, double-click it and drag and drop cards to their respective columns. To go to the Detail view of the release to add comments or upload, download, or delete attachments, click the More Details link.You can expand or collapse the Release Scope and Not in Release columns by clicking the minus/plus on the extreme right of the column respectively.

To share the release across other boards click the share icon, and then select the boards that you want to share with. Once the release has been shared, it appears on the Release drop-down attribute of any card across those shared boards.

Note 1: All the cards across other boards that are tagged with the shared release will also be available in the Release Scope panel of the shared release. But, clicking the Burndown chart of that release will show only the data of those cards which belong to the Board for which the release has originally been created.

For example, there is a Board A for which we have created a release, called A1. This release has been shared with Board B. So, the release scope of A1 will have cards that are tagged to release A1 from both Board A and Board B. But, if you look at the Burndown chart of the release A1, it will capture the data of cards that belong to the Board A only.

Note 2: A release cannot be shared with a closed Board. When you click the Share Release icon from a Release, the closed Board is not shown on the Board list. Read here if you are interested to know more about the Closed Board.

Note 3: A shared release can be edited only from the board where it was originally created. When you access the release from a board to which the release is shared, the Edit release icon is grayed out. To add a card to the shared release from any other board, navigate to the Kanban board and open the detailed card view, and select the shared release from the Release drop-down.

To delete a release from the enterprise permanently, click the Delete icon for the required release.

Executing Cards from the Release Scope

After you have defined the scope of the release, you can push the cards directly from the Release Scope.
When you are viewing or editing a release, you can click the Add to Board icon on the card added into the Release Scope. The Add to Board icon will be available for cards in the backlog only.

On clicking, it shows up lanes and its columns. Click the required lane and its respective column to which you want to move the card.

After adding the card, it will no longer show the Add to Board icon for that card, indicating that the card is already added to the board.

Close a Release

If you don’t want a release to be available for tagging cards to it, you can close i.e. inactivate the release. To close a release, click the Close icon on the extreme right of the toolbar for the specific release.

When you are adding or editing a card on the board or from its detail view, the release drop-down will not show the release anymore.
If you want to activate a closed release again, click the Open icon for it.

Release Burndown Charts

For SCRUM practitioners, SwiftKanban provides the Release Burndown chart for the team to track its progress against a release plan in their daily scrum meetings. Burndown charts that can be tracked for any board containing tasks with estimates and actual effort, is a graphical representation of outstanding work (or backlog) against time. It is useful for predicting when all the work scoped in the release plan will be completed.

In SwiftKanban, you can plot the Burndown chart by:

Now, let us understand how to plot the chart. To view the Burndown chart for a release, perform the following steps:

  1. From the Board menu, navigate to the Release option, expand the required release by clicking the release row and click the Charts icon for the release.

  1. Select the option from the Burn Chart By field. Based on this selection, the Burndown chart will be plotted and the Y-axis in the chart will be rendered as per the selected UoM.

Note: By default, it will be the same as set in the Capacity UoM field in the Admin Policy.

3. The Burndown chart is displayed showing how remaining effort comes to ‘0’, which also is a burn-up chart if you track the progress of Actual Effort.

4.  You can filter the Burndown chart to view it for specific card types. Click the Filter icon on the chart toolbar. The filter will be applied even for export in MS Excel format.

5. Moreover, you can also export the chart into MS Excel by clicking the Export icon on the chart toolbar, and view it offline.

6. Click the Close icon to close the chart.

Important Information about Viewing Cards in the Burndown Chart

All the cards across other boards that are tagged with the shared release will also be available in the Release Scope panel of the shared release. But, clicking the Burndown chart of that release will show only the data of those cards which belong to the Board for which the release has originally been created.

For example, there is a Board A for which we have created a release, called A1. This release has been shared with Board B. So, the release scope of A1 will have cards that are tagged to release A1 from both Board A and Board B. But, if you look at the Burndown chart of the release A1, it will capture the data of cards that belong to the Board A only.

Viewing Release or Sprint Burndown Chart by Estimate, To-Do(Hours), or Card Count

Let us understand how the chart is plotted when you select Estimate, To-Do(Hours) or Card Count.

Viewing Chart by To-Do Hours

To view the Burndown chart by To-Do(Hours), the To-Do owners should enter the To-Do Estimates, Actual Effort, and Remaining Effort on a daily basis in the cards to track the progress of the Release in the Burndown chart.

You can enable the Time-Tracking Plug-in to enter effort on To-Dos. Effectively, you can see some meaningful data generated on the Burndown Charts. See Logging Effort for To-Dos help for details on how team members can log effort for To-Dos.

Viewing Chart by Estimate

 Viewing Chart by Card Count

Release Burndown Export

The Release Burndown can be exported in MS Excel format, along with the Burndown data. To export the Burndown chart, click the Export icon .

You can open the file in MS Excel or your preferred spreadsheet application. You can click the Filter icon to export the chart and burndown data for specific card types.

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