New Daily Status Report

Posted on June 30th, 2011 in News & Updates by siddharta || No Comment

We’ve just released a new feature for Silver Catalyst – the daily status report. This email goes out once a day with a summary of the activity over the last 24 hours. The email will tell you

  • Which cards have moved
  • Which blocks have been resolved
  • What blocks remain to be resolved
  • A summary of all the cards on the board

While it is not meant to be a replacement for a physical standup, the report will concisely get you up to date with what has been happening in your project. And if you’re a project manager who needs to give status reports to management (and lets face it, most of us still have to), then you can just forward the email along to those who need it. Even better, add them to the project as an observer and they’ll get the emails automatically. Voila! You’ve just saved yourself two hours a day preparing and emailing these reports. Life is good :)

Managing blockers just got easier

Posted on April 15th, 2011 in Agile, Kanban, News & Updates, Silver Catalyst by siddharta || No Comment

If you are working in multiple projects, then you know how complicated it is to track and clear blocking issues from multiple projects. It’s all to easy to get caught up in the details that you forget about some of the blockers. Two weeks later you remember that the blocker you were supposed to resolve is still there, clogging up the flow.

We have a solution for you.
Continue reading ‘Managing blockers just got easier’ »

Getting started with Stories

Posted on November 19th, 2010 in News & Updates, Silver Stories by siddharta || 1 Comment

Yesterday we announced the public beta of Silver Stories. Today we show you the basic workflow involved in getting started with Stories.

Team Agility To Business Agility – Silver Stories Open To Public

Posted on November 18th, 2010 in Agile, Kanban, Lean, News & Updates, Silver Stories, Tools For Agile by siddharta || 1 Comment

We have a big announcement today – Silver Stories is in public beta!

What is Silver Stories?

Silver Stories is a a tool that links stakeholders with development teams.

Most organizations have a gap between the needs of stakeholders and the development teams:

  • Stakeholders think in the “big picture” – of organizational goals, strategic choices and large features. The product backlog requires very small stories that developers can work on. How do you bridge this gap?
  • Teams may be working on different initiatives for different stakeholders. At the same time, some initiatives may be worked on by multiple teams. Development teams would like a picture of their work across multiple organizational initiatives. Stakeholders would like a picture of their initiative across all the teams that are working on it. How do we bridge this gap?
  • As developers work on stories, the progress needs to be linked back up to the big picture. Stakeholders don’t want to know how many stories have been completed, or what the team velocity is. They want to know where they stand against the initiative vision. They want to know if key goals have been met.

Silver Stories bridges these gaps. Silver Stories uses two techniques to enable this: User Story Maps and Enterprise Kanban.

Using User Story Maps, Silver Stories allows stakeholders to define a high level vision, collaboratively decompose them into large chunks of features (Epics) and finally break down the features into stories. It does so in a completely visual environment that allows stakeholders to easily understand what they are building. Silver Stories supports any kind of semantics for the hierarchy. You can use Jeff Patton’s User Activity->User Task->Story breakdown or the traditional Epic->Story breakdown, or anything else.

Enterprise Kanban is then used to flow these stories through a series of steps into one or more team backlogs where developers can work on the stories. As execution continues, the status of stories, epics and the strategic goals are tracked on an end-to-end Kanban board. Stakeholders can, at any time, see where the stories are in the enterprise value stream, which team is working on which story, how many epics are “work in progress” (WIP), which initiative goals have been accomplished and more. Enterprise Kanban enables stakeholders to visualize the high level flow of work, identify bottlenecks and eliminate impediments.

A cross-initiative dashboard allows stakeholders to easily visualize WIP across initiatives and take high level action like reducing the number of epics in progress or re-prioritizing goals to meet the changing strategic objectives of the business. Silver Stories supports marketing and business oriented analysis of the initiative, for instance enabling the use of Kano models to analyze the vision, and make effective decisions regarding priority, release plans and de-scoping decisions. For the first time, businesses have a way to integrate product design, marketing, business strategy and kanban with agile software development.

Joining the Silver Stories Public Beta

Joining the Silver Stories public beta is simple. Just go to the pricing page and click the Request Trial link. Once your trial is setup, you will have access to the beta version of Silver Stories.

Are you a business stakeholder for your IT initiatives? Do you see these problems in your organization? We would love to hear from you!

Changed Permission Management Interface in Silver Catalyst

Posted on November 9th, 2010 in News & Updates by siddharta || 1 Comment

We’ve changed the permission management user interface in Silver Catalyst. You previously added users to a project by going to the Manage Users section and setting project permissions for each user.  The permission management interface was changed to be consistent with the permissions system in Silver Stories.

The new method is as follows:

Login as an admin and click the settings link for the project

Next, select the “Members” section

You can see the available users and selected users on this page. Click the green icon to add an available user to the project, or the red icon to remove a user from the project

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