Manuscript supports agile methodologies in its workflow. The Iteration Planner helps you to visualize your sprints in an easy, drag-and-drop format.
Accessing the Iteration Planner
The Iteration Planner is available to Manuscript On Site accounts and Manuscript On Demand subscribers with the Agile Module. You can get to the Iteration Planner from the Planner menu; here, you’ll have the option to create or manage planners, as well as a list of existing planners, if any. You can find out more about creating and managing planners here.
If you cannot access the Planner menu, send us an email and we can make sure your account has the correct features enabled!
Creating a Backlog and Sprint
When you enter Iteration Planner, select the planner you’d like to use from the dropdown menu at the top-left of the screen. Next, choose the milestone(s) you’d like to use by clicking “Add Milestone” on the top right. The box that appears allows you to search through both global and project-specific milestones, as well as to create new milestones for use in planning. For example, you may want to use a Backlog milestone to triage your cases, and add them to sprint milestones from there.
When you’ve chosen milestones, you can then begin moving cases around. To add a case to your sprint, just drag it from your backlog to the sprint milestone and drop it in the location you want. Drag and drop cases to change their order in the planner as well. The Iteration Planner shows the case name, current estimate, priority and assignee to help you determine the order of cases in the sprint.
If you find you’re in need of more cases, they can be quickly created by clicking the plus button at the upper right of the milestone column and typing a case title. This will show a “Create new:” option you can click, or just hit Enter to confirm. This also functions as a full-text search on case titles which you can directly add, and filters which you can expand to add cases they find.
Filter Columns: Add Cases By Filter
If you have cases from other milestones that you don’t want to see on your planner view, such as Undecided milestones, or cases you’d like to see that match a filter, you can click the Add Filter Column button. This lets you use any filter you have saved in Manuscript to quickly add cases that match. You may add as many filter columns as are helpful, and they can be reordered by dragging them around just like milestone columns. Filter columns can be removed by clicking the X at the upper-right hand corner of the column.
Filter columns are also convenient when you need to view a milestone in more than one planner. Normally, a project-specific milestone can only be added to a single planner. Global milestones can appear in multiple planners, providing they don’t have any projects in common. But if you wanted to see, for example, a backlog milestone in several planners, you could create a filter with:
milestone:"project backlog" orderBy:backlog
and add it wherever you see fit.
Note that while you can reorder cases in milestone columns, you can’t do so in filter columns — case order is dictated by the “Sorted By” settings of the filter itself. If you’d like to change this, you can modify the filter Sort criteria from the case list page.
You also can’t add cases to a filter column as in a milestone column, nor is the Kanban board available for filter columns, but you can drag cases from a filter column to other milestones.
Adding Estimates: Hours or Story Points
Estimates can be added to cases within the Iteration Planner by clicking on “Needs Estimate” on a case. A text box will appear, and you can type in your estimate and hit Enter to save. Estimates can be changed in the same way. Once an estimate is logged, a progress bar will appear. As hours are logged against the case, the progress bar will fill up. Need more detail? Hover the mouse over a progress bar to see the exact values.
If you prefer story points, good news! You can switch between hours and story points next to the Project name at the top of the Iteration Planner. “Needs Estimate” will now allow you to enter a story point value. The story points are also visible and editable within the full case view.
Viewing the Work
Within the sprint, you can further group cases by their Kanban column, priority, project, assignee, or status. Click the “Group By” section to see this. Within the grouping, you will also see a breakdown of number of cases and remaining estimated time in each group.
To change the Kanban column, priority, project, assignee, or status of a case, choose the appropriate sorting and drag the case into a new group within the sprint. Additionally, each grouped section shows an “Add Case” button so that new cases can easily be added to the appropriate grouping.
Not only can you customize what’s shown in each column, but you can choose what you’d like to see across the entire planner by clicking on “Show View Options”. Here, you can choose which projects you’d like to view, drill down on a single area, and display how much work is remaining in each column as hours or story points.
Sharing your Sprint
The Iteration Planner provides a shared view of your data by project. Your teammates can access this view by selecting the same project under the Planner menu.