July 14, 2010

How to Use Release Planning in TestTrack

Helix ALM
TestTrack 2010.1, which was released in April 2010, includes folder enhancements that were specifically designed to help you organize and manage the work in a project release, sprint, or iteration. Folders now have a type associated with them, which means you can create custom folders for different purposes. I am going to focus on one folder option -- release planning.

Create Folder Types

To get started with release planning,  you need to create a new folder type. Choose Tools > Administration > Folder Types, and then click the Add button. Make sure you select the 'Enable Release Planning fields' option. Any folders you create using this custom folder type will now include fields for specifying start and end dates, available man hours, and target story points. You'll also want to create a folder type for each type of  project iteration so you can time-box the contents of the folder. Common folder types used for release planning include: Sprint, Iteration, Phase, and Milestone.

Set Release Planning Information

After you create new folder types, you can choose a type when adding folders or change the type of an existing folder. For this example, let's assume you added a new folder using the folder type you just created. Right-click the new folder in the folder view and select edit folder. Click the Release Planning tab.
  • Enter the start and end dates for the release to allow planning reports, such as burn down charts, to be created based on the folder contents.
  • You can also specify the working hours per day and the number of users available for the release. TestTrack uses this information to automatically calculate the number of available man hours.
  • If you use story points in your development environment, you can also indicate the story points to complete during the specified period.
After you finishing configuring the release planning information and adding items to the folder, you'll be able to view the progress of a release or sprint and also perform detailed planning. When viewing the folder, the Release Planning pane displays helpful information, such as remaining days and available man hours. The Live Charts pane displays real-time project information. You can also drag-and-drop between folders to add or remove work based on the schedule. Release planning in TestTrack makes it easy to keep track of your progress on a daily basis while providing the ability to also easily share information with team members. Once you have folders setup, you can start tracking project time with TestTrack.