New in Silver Catalyst: Card Annotations

Posted on June 18th, 2010 in Agile, News & Updates, Silver Catalyst by siddharta || No Comment

One of the things that is fantastic about physical post it notes is the way you can easily make various bits of information visible. You can jot down any relevant information, like created and started date, cycle time, any reference id. You can use stickies to identify who is working on the feature, and further stickies to indicate blocks and other bits of information. By doing this you can easily visualize what is going on.

This is an area where electronic tools often fall short. Many tools don’t use a card visualization at all, and of those that do, most just display a card with the description on it.

Being big believers in visual management, we just couldn’t leave it at that. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and implemented a brand new feature – card  annotations.

Feature properties are now annotated on the card so that whether you are looking at the backlog, or the board, you see all the information that you need to.


Here are some examples of annotations in Silver Catalyst.

The above (click to view full size) is an example of annotations when viewing features in the backlog. Each row is colored according to the feature type. Red is a bug, green is an enhancement and so on. Additionally, cards are annotated with priority (Must), and Class of Service (Expedite, Fixed Date). In case a feature has a fixed date for delivery (for example to meet a conference/demo date) then the time until it is due is annotated. If there is an estimate then this is annotated on the card as well. These annotations are there to help you to make smart choices when looking at and ordering the backlog.

In addition to the ID and class of service, the feature card also shows properties related to external integrations. In this case, it shows links to change sets in source control that are linked to this feature (#55 ,#60, #61). We also see external test results from another tool annotated on the card (10 tests, 6 passing).

If you have linked Silver Catalyst with Silver Stories then you will see some Stories annotations like which initiative this story originated from (Silver Catalyst).

Task cards are annotated with the task estimate (if any) and the person working on it. The person is color coded – each user is assigned one color so you can quickly glance around the board and figure out what everyone is working on.

There is a lot of scope for using annotations – for example, you might want to create custom properties and have it show up as an annotation on the card. With card annotating, all the information you need on the backlog and on the board is made visible – another example of our commitment to helping you use visual management principles to improve your delivery process.

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