Running Agile sprints is a great way to ensure efficient management of your backlog tasks and prioritizing impactful product development features. Fundamentally, a sprint implies a set period of time during which work that has been planned will be completed.
Setting Statuses as Steps for a Task's Lifecycle
While there are many ways to use Statuses, in this model, we'll be using Statuses as the steps in a Task's lifecycle. Our example is fairly simple, and will use Backlog (tasks not yet committed to a Sprint) → To Do → In Progress → Review → Completed.
If you're looking to get granular with a software development workflow, your Statuses might look more like Backlog → Ideation → UX → UI → Development → QA → Approved for Production → Completed.
Many of the suggestions we use in our example can be applied to any style of workflow by simply changing the Status names as they adhere to your workflow process.
In the above example, I've assigned someone to the Review Status so that any Task that enters the Status is automatically assigned to that person. You'll also note that we've populated our Backlog with a bunch of Tasks that we want to tackle at some point. Our next step is getting those tasks engaged into a Sprint.
Using Milestones as Sprints
One of the staples of the Agile workflow is that sprints (collections of tasks that we want to achieve together) are clustered by time and not by scope. If Tasks in our Sprint aren't complete by the end of the sprint, we'll shift them to the next sprint rather than hold up the release.
Therefore, we can decide in advance how long our sprints should be through pre-panning. The two-week sprints seems to be an industry favorite, so let's create a Milestone that's two weeks long.
Repeating Milestones for Future Sprints
We can set Milestones to recur in two-week intervals so that our next sprint is automatically generated for us. We would do so with the following parameters:
On: Monday (or whichever day you start your sprints)
Then Set Recurring.
Connecting Tasks to Milestones (Sprints)
Now we have our first sprint made and a bunch of tasks that we'd like to eventually accomplish. At this step, we're going to dedicate some of the Tasks in our Backlog Status to our Sprint 1 Milestone.
In the below .gif, we've switched from Board View to List View to make it easier to take advantage of some of Nifty's Bulk Actions.
By holding down
Shift + clicking the first and sixth task, I've selected all of them at once. If you wish to pick and choose specific tasks that aren't all in a row, hold down
command (on Mac) or
ctrl (on Windows) and click on the specific tasks you'd like.
Then we tied these tasks to the Sprint 1 Milestone. We can see these tasks automatically pick up the due date of the Sprint 1 Milestone, though these due dates can be changed to land anywhere within the date range of our two week sprint.
With the same Bulk Action, we're going to relocate these Tasks from the Backlog Status to the To Do Status since they've been selected as part of our current sprint.
Automating Sprint Progress as Tasks are Completed
We can then reference these Tasks from within our Sprint 1 Milestone. We can move Tasks down the Kanban board from our Milestone as well, and even Complete them to see the progress updated in real time.
Once your sprint is finished in two weeks, a new one is created, and we can shift unfinished Tasks from this sprint, as well as new Tasks, into the new sprint.
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