All posts by Kerika

About Kerika

Kerika is work management for Lean, Agile and Distributed Teams.

The Kerika Elite: a group of our most influential users.

The Kerika Elite is a program we have set up to improve our product strategy and gather feedback from a select group of our most experienced and influential users.

There are two main elements to this program:

    • Kerika Elite will be involved in the earliest stages of our product development: we will share with them proposed designs long before they are implemented, to get early feedback on features that we are considering building, and
  • Once new features are built, Kerika Elite users get early access them so they can provide real-world experience that can help us polish the product before it’s released to the rest of our users.

Kerika Elite users have contributed greatly to our mobile development efforts over the past year, and we look forward to their advice and suggestions for our future initiatives as well.

Can you be one of them? Sure.  Anyone can nominate another user to be part of the Kerika Elite, although the final decision is ours to make.

Kerika Elite users are not compensated in any way; they simply enjoy being in the kitchen with the Kerika Team when we cook up delicious new dishes!

You can now choose your background colors

A new feature that we recently introduced will let you choose a background color: one for the desktop app, and one for the mobile app. (Oops, did we just talk about the mobile app?)

To select a color: click on your user profile photo, which appears on the top-right of Kerika:

User Preferences dialog on desktop
User Preferences

Select My Preferences for this Account from this dialog, and you will land on a revamped Preferences page that now includes options for selecting a background color:

Choosing color preferences
Color Preferences

We are offering a range of light and dark backgrounds; in our own testing we found that the darker backgrounds look better on the desktop, while the lighter backgrounds look better on phones.  But, of course, that’s just our opinion — try this out and select what you like best!

We are moving away from Scrum Boards

We are transitioning our Scrum Board users to Task Boards: the Scrum Boards are used only by a tiny portion of our user base, who overwhelmingly prefer using Task Boards and Whiteboards.

Background

For many years now we have offered both Task Boards and Scrum Boards, but the relative popularity (and implied usefulness) of these two are lopsidedly in favor of Task Boards.

The main difference between Task Boards and Scrum Boards has been the use of a shared Backlog: a column of cards that can be shared by several Scrum Boards at the same time.

In Scrum Boards, the Backlog appeared fixed in the leftmost column of the board, and like Done and Trash, it couldn’t be be moved, renamed or deleted.

The Backlog was “live” all the time in the sense that any change made by one attached Scrum Board to the Backlog was immediately reflected in every other Scrum Board that was attached to the same Backlog. If Scrum Board A added a card to a shared Backlog, it immediately showed up in the Backlog column when viewed by Scrum Board B and Scrum Board C.

The Problem

This wasn’t a good way to implement Scrum Boards, as we found out ourselves during our internal use of these boards. It’s principle weakness was it led to a proliferation of Scrum Boards, since each Sprint required a new Backlog. (Our own development team is currently on Sprint 180 so we experienced this proliferation early on.)

We though the general feature in Kerika that lets accounts archive old boards would help, but this just pushed the proliferation problem to another area; it didn’t really fix it.

The Solution

We are just going to have Task Boards (and Whiteboards) from now on. At some point in the future we may completely rethink, redesign, and rebuild a new kind of scrum boards, but it doesn’t make sense for us to continue offering the current version.

As a consequence, all existing Scrum Boards will be converted into Task Boards. Here’s how that would work:

Consider an existing set of boards that all use the same shared Backlog: Board A, Board B, and Board C.

Right now all three boards see the same Backlog, at the same time: if cards are added or moved away from the shared Backlog by any board, this view is immediately updated for all three boards.

When we transform Scrum Boards to Task Boards, each of Boards A, B, and C will have its own local copy of the Backlog.

From this point on, any changes made by any of these boards to their local copies of the Backlog will not affect the copies that were made for the other boards. Each board, then, becomes independent and can proceed on its own path, without affecting any other board since there is no longer a shared column of cards.

Questions?

We have already been in touch with active users of Scrum Boards and have not heard any concerns from them about this proposed change, so we are confident that we are making the right decision. If you do have any questions, please contact us at support@kerika.com.