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Value Item classes and types

We are confident in doing the release not only on Fridays but on Friday the 13th.


No fluff, straight to the point. It was already possible in previous versions to use a Kanban board to move tasks from column to column.


With a new version (2023.7) of Agile Tools, we are introducing other Value Item types, like Stories, Bugs, Vulnerability, and many others.


But first, let’s refresh some namings and relationships between concepts.


The Terminology

Not everything is a project in Agile Tools. As a matter of fact, Agile Tools is more suited to product development. In any case, we wanted the terminology to be as neutral as possible and, at the same time, not too generic.


We talk and hear a lot about how we should deliver value to our end users and customers, and yet, often, there is a dichotomy between the language we use in our conversation and the one in the tools we use.


Agile Tools goes to great lengths not to force you to use the vocabulary you don’t want to in your daily operations.


With Agile Tools, you will be delivering Value Items, not Issues.


Value Units

Value Unit is the umbrella term for projects, products, services, programs, portfolios, and everything else you believe delivers value.


Value Units are usually hierarchically organized. Portfolios might contain programs, and those can include projects. Or maybe you have a Product Suite with a few Products and Services inside. You can model the Value Units structure any way you like.

alue Units hierarchy examples
Image 1 - Value Units hierarchy examples

There is another noticeable feature in Agile Tools, and that is the ability to create OKR goals for Value Units. That is unique in the OKR software space.

The Scrum framework is described in a Scrum Guide. The goal has a critical role if we practice Scrum for product development. The idea is to have Product and Sprint Goals. The product ones can be beautifully crafted in an OKR form.


Value Items

We commonly refer to “things” we do daily as tasks or activities. Again, words matter; that is why we have chosen a positive word-pair to describe different “kinds of tasks”, and that is - Value Items.


As we are used to linking tasks to projects, in Agile Tools, every Value Unit contains zero or more Value Items.


Mind that you can create a Value Unit of type Project and a Value Item of type Task, and there you have it, a concept you might be used to most.


But, to the joy of those who want to create a Product built with Stories, be our guest.

Value Items of Value Unit and connection to Key Results
Image 2 - Value Items of Value Unit and connection to Key Results

Our daily work (Value Items of various types: Stories, Tasks, etc.) is also optionally connected to chosen Key Results. This way, the tactical layer meets the strategic one.


What is new?


Value Item classes and types

Settings now have an additional section for Value Items. It contains three tabs: Classes, Types, and Hierarchy. There are four default classes: Feature, Defect, Risk, and Debt, each with an assigned color.

Value Items Settings (tab Classes)
Image 3 - Value Items Settings (tab Classes)

There are 13 Value Item types currently, each classified into one of four classes.


Value Items Settings (tab Types)
Image 4 - Value Items Settings (tab Types)

All types of Value Items are on the same level (Base) except the Subtask. The levels above are modeled with Value Units.

Value Items Settings (tab Hierarchy)
Image 5 - Value Items Settings (tab Hierarchy)

Note that Subtask is not yet available in this version. You will also be able to create your Value Item types later on.


Value Unit detail page

Every Value Unit now has a detail page with two tabs (next will be Versions and Milestones) for you to see and configure your projects, products, etc.


General

You can edit new properties in the General tab, like the Key, Description, Lead, and Tags.

Value Unit detail page (tab General)
Image 6 - Value Unit detail page (tab General)

People

In the People tab, you can see members of all the teams connected to a Value Unit and what other teams they might be part of, plus recent work each member did.

Value Unit detail page (tab People)
Image 7 - Value Unit detail page (tab People)

Other new and updated features


Library

A few new action buttons were added in the Library for you to:

  1. create a KPI or a Health Metric from the Metric Template,

  2. add a Key Result Template to an existing draft OKR Goal, and

  3. create an OKR Goal from the OKR Goal Template.

Create OKR Goal from OKR Goal Template
Image 8 - Create OKR Goal from OKR Goal Template

2-nd level navigation for Goals, Library, and Strategy

In the process of unifying the user experience, three more modules got a second-level navigation.


UI and UX improvements

We touched the user interface on several pages, adding and removing(!) elements to improve your experience.


What is coming next?

We are getting out of Early Access with the next version.

Three pricing plans will be available: Free, Core, and Pro. All Early Access accounts will be migrated to a Free plan, so if you have one, you can use Agile Tools free forever.


As always, we will also bring improvements to existing features, like Versions and Milestones for Value Units.

Thank you for your feedback!

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