Agile project management with Axosoft

Monday, March 16, 2015 0 Comments

In any software development process planning and making knowledge available for the entire team is a valuable resource. With the right information it is possible to reduce confusion among team members. The team needs to know what each member is working on, how the overall project is going, what difficulties are raising and how to overcome them.

Tools like Axosoft helps you and your team to organize, plan and be ready to release your software in an easy way.

Axosoft

Axosoft is a powerful project management tool that helps you implement agile methodologies. With integrated support for Sprint Planning and Scrum Standups, you will be able to accurately track your teams progress on what they have completed, what they plan to complete and any roadblocks that may be impeding their progress.

The first time you log into your account, you will be presented with the dashboard:

In this window you will see a list of the user stories (features) that are in the product backlog. On the left side of the window you will find four panels that each contain one group identified as Projects, Releases, Users & Teams and Customers.

In the first panel you will find the Projects group which contains all of the projects you need to manage. Each project can have sub-projects under it which enables you to break the project into smaller pieces, organized in a tree structure for easy management:

In the next panel you will find the Releases group. This group is used to configure releases, versions or sprints for each project or sub-project:

By selecting one node of the releases tree, you will be able to view more detailed project status. In this view, the blue bar indicates the overall project progress (percent completion). The circle (red or green) indicates whether the project or current sprint is on-track (green) or not (red) relative to the sprint end date. This view provides a quick and easy way to see the current status of the project:

In the next panel you will find the Users and Team group. This is where you will see all of the users and teams that are available for assignment to your projects. In this view you can edit users and teams as well as create new teams and users:

In the last panel you will find the Customers group which is used to manage the list of customers associated with a project. Clicking on the "More" button will take you to the "Manage Customers and Contacts" option:

The "Manage Customers and Contacts" option displays the manage customers and contacts screen, where you can edit the options of every customer:

Some of the customer options that you can edit in this view include granting login access to the platform to view the project. This is a very interesting option because you can provide your customer access to the project so that they can see (in realtime) the sprint velocity and burndown progress that will make them more connected to the project.

Sprints

For each sprint Axosoft provides the capability to monitor the burndown rate to track team progress on completing user stories in the sprint backlog. One of the tabs located above the user story list is called the "Dashboard". This tab is used to display the burndown and other useful information associated with the current selected sprint:

By clicking on the "Dashboard" tab the new window will display information about the current sprint, such as burndown, estimated end date (and if this is after the planned date) current velocity, user workload and more information:

Integrating Axosoft with Source Code Management Solutions

Axosoft and Plastic SCM can be integrated using the Axosoft plugin that is shipped with Plastic SCM. To configure the plugin you simply open up the Plastic SCM GUI and go to Plastic SCM Preferences. On the left side menu, select "Issue tracking" and in the "Bind to this issue tracking system" dropdown, select "Axosoft OnTime":

After selecting Axosoft OnTime, you will need to provide the following information from Axosoft to configure the integration:

  • Client id and client secret are needed for api calls
  • User(name) and Password are needed to connect to Axosoft
  • The Axosoft root url

In the Plastic SCM Preferences window you can bind Axosoft issues to Plastic branches or Plastic changesets. In this example we are going to select Bind issues to Plastic changesets.

To get the client id and client secret you need to enable the API support in the system options. To do this you will need to click on the "Tools" in the left navigation panel and from the drop down menu you can click on the "System Options" button which will open a new window. In this window select "Axosoft API settings" in the left navigation panel and then check the "Enable API" checkbox and then click on the "Manage API Keys" button:

By clicking on the "Manage API Keys" button, the Manage API Keys window will open and you can click the "Add" button to create a new API:

Clicking on the "Add" button will open the "Add: API Key window" where you will enter a name for the API integration Key and it will also display the Client ID and Client Secret that you will need to paste into the Plastic SCM Preference configuration window. After you enter a name for the Key and copy the Client ID and Client Secret to the clipboard, you can click on the "Save" button to save the changes in the "Add: API Key window":

You can now go back to the Plastic SCM Preferences window and enter the Client_ID and Client_Secret, user(name), password and root url which should complete the configuration process.

To be sure that you have configured this correctly, simply click on the "Test connection". If the connection fails, check that the following were entered correctly:

  • Be sure you checked the Enable API checkbox on System API Settings window
  • Be sure the Url is correct, it should be the base url that Axosoft created for you when you registered
  • Be sure your user and password are correctly set

If the test connection is successful then you are ready to get to work. Click the "Apply" and "OK" button in the Preferences window, close all windows and open the Plastic SCM Changesets window. Now click on the information panel button to display Axosoft information:

You can now click on the "Add Issue" button to open the Add issue window. In this window, you can enter the ID of an Axosoft task to associate with this changeset:

By clicking the "OK" button you will see the information in the Axosoft extension panel:

Wrapping up

Plastic SCM issue tracking extensions make very easy to add support for issue tracking or project management suites to your development tools. But you are not limited only to existing plugins, you can write your own plugin.

For more information on Axosoft, you can visit their website to get information about how to start working with this awesome agile project management tool.

For more information on Plastic SCM, licensing or download a test version, visit Plastic SCM website.

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