Shipping software is tedious, leave alone shipping quality software. Most of the tools in the market do not meet customer needs and often have them tool hopping between IT services and managing software projects.
Freshservice offers a robust project management module which will help you manage software projects through their lifecycle. It has the complete development suite with built-in features like backlog management, sprints, test case management, release management and many more.
This article will walk you through the basics of creating and managing software projects in Freshservice. Before going into the details of it, it is important to know a few terms that we’re going to use throughout the article.
Any software project in Freshservice New-Gen project management module has 5 main components to run end-to-end software projects
Backlog consisting of work items ( Epics, Bugs, Tasks & User Stories)
Sprints & Boards
Test Case Management
Analytics & Reports
For this article, we're covering just the basics of setting up a software project using these building blocks.
1. Epics, Backlogs, Tasks, User Stories and Sprints to organize and categorize work.
1.On the left panel of the screen, click on the icon to access the ‘New-gen project module (1), Hover over and click on the Sprints Tab (2) next to “tasks” on the main screen and select either Epics (3), Backlog (4) or Sprints (5).
Before we go further, let’s quickly understand how to use Epics, Backlog and Sprints here
Epics - Epics represent large pieces of work like major features in a software or an initiative in a project. Epics can also be used to group similar user stories. In agile, Epics cannot be added to sprints directly because usually the time taken to complete an epic will be more than the sprint duration. So, the epics need to be broken down into multiple tasks or user stories, which can be moved to sprints.
Backlog - The backlog is a place where all items ( Tasks, User Story, Bugs) that are unresolved and not taken for sprints are displayed. As the project grows, teams can keep adding more items to the project backlog and prioritize them using drag-drop.
Sprints - In agile, sprints are short durations where teams work on prioritized items ( Tasks, User Story, Bugs) from the backlog. These are short development cycles, usually 14 days long, where teams pick important items from the backlog on day 1 and focus to complete these items by the end of the sprint
2. Running Sprints & Managing them
Now that you've created and added all your epics, backlog with items (user stories, bugs or tasks) the next step is to
1. Create and run sprints & also get sprint insights to get specific data on progress.
Note : You can view the sprint progress on a kanban board ONLY after you start or activate a sprint after adding all your work items to it ( this includes the new ones you can create or the ones you choose to drag and drop from the backlog) . If you do not start your sprint, this is the message that will pop up
2. Monitor progress of your sprints using a sprint board
The Kanban boards are completely customizable and offer a birds eye view as to how the project is running along
3. Gain sprint insights(1) View Sprint progress on a board(2) and plan capacity for the sprint so that no team member is overloaded (3)
3. Test case management
Write test cases, organize them in multi-level folders. Pull multiple test cases to create a test run. Optionally, group multiple test runs into a test plan. Capture test run results and log bugs for failed test cases in a run. Store historical test case results from every time you re-run
You can link all your work items and track your releases as versions. You can use this to deploy software in a predictable manner. Manage multiple releases, view release reports, monitor release progress and get one-click release notes.
Step 1 : Click on “more” and choose “Versions”
Create new versions by clicking on "New", Monitor all released and unrelated versions in a single screen
Link all your development tasks to your release and "Mark them as released" as and when they are done
Edit release versions easily (1) Click on "Release Notes" to get context on every release that happens (2)
5. Reporting & Analytics
Gain the right insights about all your projects easily with advanced reporting. Pick and work on curated reports, customize reports based on the metrics you need and get it sent to your mailbox automatically with a schedule
a. Go to project analytics module on the left side of the main screen
b. Use existing curated templates to build reports(1) or create custom ones based on your team needs (2) *this screenshot has an example of Azure Migration Report* Click on "New" to create a fresh report (3)