28 Comments

We are pleased to announce a new release of StoriesOnBoard.

This release is focused on integration with JIRA, Trello and Pivotal Tracker.

In this article you’ll get the background on how to use the integration once it’s been set up. Read this article if you’d like to get an overview of what are the benefits of the integration for you or you’ve already set up the a connection to one of the tools.
The following articles will help you in setting up the integration for the various tools. Read them first if you’d like to actually use the integration. 

The recommended workflow

When we planned and developed the integration with JIRA, Trello and Pivotal Tracker (let’s call them issue tracking tools), we had some basic concepts in mind about how would be the most straightforward to use it in most projects. The following workflow reflects these concepts. Of course each project and organization differs in some way, so please be aware of the recommended workflow, but don’t take it too seriously. Also we’d like to ask for your feedback if you find that the integration in it’s current implementation doesn’t fit well into your environment.

So let’s see how we imagined working with StoriesOnBoard and an issue tracker:

  1. The team/product owner/customer is planning in StoriesOnBoard. They are brainstorming, coming up with ideas, putting them onto the board
    • in the unscheduled task if it's just a fuzzy idea
    • or in a distant release if they think it's needed but not so important at the moment
    • or in the next release if it's a must
    They take notes of their ideas in the descriptions to help them remember later what they thought about.
  2. On a sprint/release planning session the team selects and discusses the most important stories and moves them into the next release. For the selected stories they (or the customer or a business analyst) identify acceptance criteria, write high level specification (only with the details that's needed to understand the requirements).
  3. When the team begins its work on the release, the Product Owner sends the stories into the issue tracking tool (all of them in the release, or just the specified ones). Issues automatically created in the issue tracking tool with the title and the description taken from StoriesOnBoard.
  4. The team is working on the release: discussing the specifications, modifying/completing them in the issue tracking tool, also updating the issue's statuses there and they automatically get refreshed in StoriesOnBoard too.
  5. While they are working on the release they can always have a high level overview of how the release is progressing in StoriesOnBoard. They can select new stories into the current release or defer some to latter releases. If they have new ideas then they can put those also onto the board to the appropriate release (see step 1 above). These are not reflected in the issue tracking tool, till the Product owner is not sending them there (see step 2).
  6. When they are finished with the release (all the tasks set to done in the issue tracking tool), they archive the release in StoriesOnBoard, so it disappears from the board with all it's stories.
  7. Repeat with step 2.

So the basic principles are:

  • create and edit stories while they are just planned (or even they are only fuzzy ideas) on your map
  • detail them only that’s essential for the planning and scheduling (high level acceptance criteria, a few sketches)
  • send them into your favorite issue tracking tool to support your implementation process
  • put the implementation details there (implementation tasks, task assignments to team members, detailed specifications, test cases, documentation)
  • leave the planning details to your story map (releases, themes, epics)
  • get an overview in StoriesOnBoard

Let’s see how you can achieve this in StoriesOnBoard.

Push new cards into an issue tracking tool

This will create new issues in the connected issue tracking tool and set their title and description from your card. In JIRA type of the new issue will be the one you’ve selected for the export type in settings, in Pivotal Tracker it will be “Feature”. There are two ways of pushing cards:

Pushing cards individually

Push_card_to_JIRA_thumb[5]

Pushing all cards in a release

Push_cards_of_release_to_JIRA_thumb[2]

Either way you’ll get a sign on the pushed cards that shows they are connected to an issue in the issue tracking tool and of course you’ll get a new issue there.
Pushed_card_thumb[3]

Update status in the issue tracking tool

Please note that with the integration enabled you can’t change the status of the cards on the board. That’s because the issue tracking tool may have restrictions on it’s workflow. For example only a person with the given role may have the permission to mark an issue done, or some fields could be mandatory for a given state. StoriesOnBoard wouldn’t know about those restrictions, nor it would be able to do anything about them (couldn’t ask for any arbitrary mandatory field’s value). That’s why it follows the status changes of the connected issue tracking system.

So for example when I hit “Start progress” for the “See details of selected product” in JIRA the card will look like the following on the board (after hitting a refresh in the upper right “…” menu):
Change_card_status_thumb[1]

Change title and description


The way of changing cards’ title or description is the same as without any integration. The difference is that the change will be visible right away in the other tool (after a refresh). In the story map’s integration settings you can choose which field to sync automatically (title, description).

Import issues from the issue tracking tool

If you have an already started project in your issue tracking tool or you created some issues there, you can import them into StoriesOnBoard. New cards will be created in StoriesOnBoard from the other tool’s issues that did not exist on your story map yet. Title, description and status are set from the issue’s respective attributes
Import_new_cards_from_JIRA_from_board_menu_thumb[2]

The imported cards will be placed under “Cards imported from …” blue cards / Unscheduled cards:
Imported_cards_thumb[2]

If you have any problems setting up the integration or using it in your daily work please send us a message on our UserVoice site or directly from the UserVoice widget in StoriesOnBoard  (the question mark in the bottom-right corner).



Comments

Comment by Tom

You guys rock! Take my money!

Tom
Comment by Arpi

:) Thanks Tom!

Comment by Nik

Any plans for Wrike integration?

Nik
Comment by Jacob McDaniel

Any plans for Asana integration?

Jacob McDaniel
Comment by Arpi

Thanks for the questions Nik and Jacob! We haven't planned Wrike and Asana integrations yet, but it's all up to your demand.
Please post ideas for them on our UserVoice forum and vote on them: storiesonboard.uservoice.com/forums/276721-general

Thanks!
Arpi

Comment by Ben Chan

Hi, I posted this on UserVoice but reporting here in case you missed that :)

I linked a story map to Trello and was given the option to sync to lists. I closed that popup and could never reopen Board Settings again. All I get is 'Internal Server Error'.

Comment by Arpi

Sorry Ben for the issue and the late reply. Actually we missed your comment but have seen the Uservoice ticket :) (It's fixed)
Please post general questions and bug report there.

Thanks,
Arpi

Comment by Pål Eirik Paulsen

Love your excellent product! Have you considered making an addon that allows a user story or feature to be tagged with a design tag so that you can show a relation to a design page where the story is covered? Often I cover multiple user stories in one wireframe, and it would be tiresome to add the same wireframe to all user stories covered by the wireframe. This design page could also include test cases, and maybe graphical design.

Comment by Ariel Silverman

Any plans to integrate with Rally?

Ariel Silverman
Comment by Ariel Silverman

Have you thought about adding a feature that tracks who is working on what task at the moment (who is pulling this task to ONGOING status?

Ariel Silverman
Comment by Arpi

Thanks Pål for the kind feedback!
For tagging (or labeling) cards there's a feature request here: storiesonboard.uservoice.com/.../6950016-custom-colored-labels-on-cards
Please vote on that if that's what you thought of.
For the common wireframe/specs what I found to work for me is to write only the notes about the discussion on the card's details (for a reminder) and later write the detailed test cases on wiki pages and reference them from the card's details.
Please let me know if it helps.

Comment by Arpi

Dear Ariel,
Integration with Rally is on our backlog: storiesonboard.uservoice.com/.../6954116-rally-integration
Please vote on it if it's important for you.
About assigning cards to team members: Generally we recommend using an issue tracking tool for more fine grained tracking of the implementation of the stories (customized statuses, workflows, assigning to team members), because that is (was) not the purpose of our tool. That's why we are integrating with these systems.
But! We are listening, so please vote it's feature request too, if you think that this would be an important part of the map: storiesonboard.uservoice.com/.../7095328-assign-tasks-to-a-team-member
Thanks!

Comment by Pete

Hi
Great App! Really like the simple functionality and integration to Jira.

A couple of suggestions -
* Have you thought of updating the Estimate from StoriesonBoard back to Jira and Vice Versus - would be great to be able to sync that as well.
* I spent some time working out how to add new issues before I read the instructions, a add issue button would be useful, even if I can understand the benefits of doing it from a related issue.
* Have you thought of allowing users to equate Tasks to the Jira EPIC Link - and importing them as well as the link - then we could maintain this in one place. I know that EPIC doesn't always = Activity on a map, but in alot of scenarios it can be quite a good approximation.
* Finally I now understand why you didn't provide a button to push All New issues (regardless of whether in a release) back to Jira, but I think it would be more flexible to allow this function, and useful. We need to prioritise our stories in Jira, and Jira is the "single source of truth" so being able to this in a slightly different way to how you expected would be great.

Thanks again.
Pete

Comment by Olav Schettler

Wonderful product, especially the JIRA integration.
How do you guys make a living?

Thanks,
Olav

Comment by Arpi

Thanks Olav! :)
Besides StoriesOnBoard, we are working on sw dev projects for various clients.
We are also working on making StoriesOnBoard a commercial product to be able to give more resources to it's development and support.

Comment by Gareth

Do you have any plans to integrate with TFS?

Comment by Sivaprakash

I have been searching for something neat and simple to organize my product specification and track the implementation. Just came across your site today and have pretty much set up everything I want.

This is so awesome. Thank you guys!

Sivaprakash
Comment by Arpi

Thanks Sivaprakash!
Please feel free to contact us if you need help setting it up.

Comment by Mathew

Do you have any plans to integrate with VersionOne?

Mathew
Comment by Mary

Hi - do you have any plans for integration with Visual Studio Online (Team Foundation Server)

Thanks.

Comment by T Powley

Do you have any plans to integrate with the Product management tool Aha?

T Powley
Comment by Gil

Hi, is there a way to import stories from jira from different projects in the same board? This is the only thing preventing us from adquiring the product :-(

Gil
Comment by Arpi

Hi Gil,
We are working on the possibility to link a board to a JQL query in Jira. We are implementing this exactly for the opposite situation: to be able to connect multiple boards to one (part) of the project.
But, this might make it possible to create a JQL query from multiple projects and import them onto the board. The real problem would be to be able to send the new cards into the appropriate projects as there are no field for that in StoriesOnBoard now (and we don't have plans to add it).
Please contact us at feedback@storiesonboard.com. We'd like to better understand your case.
Thanks,

Post comment