Tag Archives: Our Users

Posts about interesting users, and interesting use cases

Lean & Agile Government in Washington State

Michael DeAngelo, Deputy CIO for the State of Washington (and a long-time user of Kerika 🙂 gave a talk on Lean & Agile Government in Washington State, at the Beyond Agile meetup in Kirkland last week.

Here are his slides:


We will shortly be uploading another presentation, on Agile QA, as well an edited video of his entire talk.

Showing Due Dates in local times

Many of our users work in globally dispersed teams; our own team is spread out between Seattle and India.

With multiple timezones, particularly when they are widely spaced apart, commitments like “I will get this done today” become a little tricky to understand.

If someone in India says “I will get this done today”, is that India time or Seattle time? Well, that depends upon where you are, when you log into Kerika.

Kerika automatically factors in differences in timezones when showing due dates: someone who commits to getting something done “today” in India is actually committing to get it done by 11:30AM Pacific Standard Time, now that the US is in Daylight Savings Mode.

So, the due date is shown in a way that’s relevant to the user’s local time: our Seattle folks see an Indian’s commitment like this

Local time due date
Local time due date

These timezone differences automatically adjust for Daylight Savings Time: there’s nothing you need to do to see when a commitment is actually due.

Except, perhaps, notice that the item is now overdue, as indicated in red in the example above…

What happens if you have a Kerika+Google and Kerika+Box account, in the same name?

As you know, we offer a great integration with both Google Drive and Box, giving you the choice of using either of these cloud storage services when you sign up as a Kerika user.

For most people, the choice of whether to use Google or Box is often made by their employer, whose IT departments may have already developed a cloud strategy for their organization.

For a small number of people, particularly those in organizations that haven’t committed to a particular cloud strategy yet, they do have the choice of using either cloud service, or even both.

So, what happens if you have the same email address, e.g. someone@example.com, and you set up a Google ID and a Box ID that use this same address?

You could end up with two different Kerika accounts that use the same someone@example.com ID: that’s because each sign up, from Google and from Box, takes a different path into Kerika.

This is not a great situation to be in, and we certainly don’t recommend it, but the software does try to behave well when confronted with this situation.

If another Kerika user invites you to join her project team, the invitation will show up in both your Kerika+Google and your Kerika+Box account — and in your email, of course — but when you try to accept the invitation Kerika will check to make sure you are logged into the correct service.

Here’s an example: Jon, who uses Kerika+Google, invites Arun to join one of his projects. Arun happens to have both a Kerika+Google account, and a Kerika+Box account, but Jon doesn’t know that — and he shouldn’t have to care, either!

When Arun sees the invitation, he happens to be logged into his Kerika+Box account:

Invitation received on Kerika+Box account
Invitation received on Kerika+Box account


But when he tries to accept the invitation, Kerika checks to see whether Arun and Jon are both using the same cloud service, and discovers that Arun is logged into his Kerika+Box account and not his Kerika+Google account:

Prompt to login to Kerika+Google account
Prompt to login to Kerika+Google account


So, Kerika works behind the scenes to help Arun sort out his two accounts.

When the “Honey Do” list goes online

Remember Heather & Jason?

Jason & Heather
Jason & Heather

They were the happy couple that planned their wedding using Kerika!

(We were reminded of the thanks to a recent Harvard Business Review article on using Kanban to manage your personal life.)

Well, the last time we saw Jason, we asked him how the wedding had gone, and he said it went beautifully!

Heather was new to the whole Kanban concept, but Kerika helped her understand all the moving parts that needed to come together just right for a great wedding, and she liked the experience so much that their house chores are now organized and managed online.

In other words, the “Honey Do” list has now gone online!

Beth Albertson’s presentation on using Kerika at DSHS

Beth Albertson, Solutions Architect at Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services, gave a presentation on November 18, 2014, at the Project Management Institute’s Olympia Chapter.

Beth Albertson
Beth Albertson

Beth talked about her own background in project management — how she started off as a chemist and researcher, and gradually found her way into project management and IT over the years — and how she used Kerika to transition from a classic “Waterfall” style of project management to something more Agile.

The presentation was very well received, and she has graciously agreed to share it with everyone 🙂

Kerika at the PMI Olympia Chapter

Arun Kumar, CEO of Kerika, and Beth Albertson, Solution Architect at Washington State’s Dept of Social and Health Services, gave a joint presentation at the Project Management Institute (PMI)’s Olympia chapter yesterday.

Beth talked about her experience in moving away from Microsoft Project to online task boards, and Arun talked about the general use of online task boards for distributed teams, Lean teams, and Agile teams, with a special focus on the public sector.

It was a great evening, with dinner served and some great Q&A afterwards!

Too bad we forgot to take pictures 🙁

Using Kerika to help fight Ebola

James Gien Varney-Wong is putting together global brainstorming team to work on creative solutions for fighting Ebola, and Kerika is helping the team share their ideas and content.

You can learn more about this effort at OpenIDEO, where James has embedded a small part of a massive Kerika Whiteboard that people from many countries are using to share their ideas:

Ideas for fighting Ebola
Ideas for fighting Ebola

It’s an exciting, large-scale use of Kerika Whiteboards, reminiscent of the work done by Charles Fraser for the Foundation for Common Good; you can see that Whiteboard page — as a regular Web page! — by clicking here.

Foundation for Common Good
Foundation for Common Good (Click to see the Whiteboard)


This is what keeps us going…

Life in a startup isn’t easy: long hours, little pay, tons of risk, way too many challenges…

But every once in a while, our day brightens, like when we got this email from a user in Germany a few minutes ago:

Hello Team,

I almost can’t believe how fast you work… Great and Fast… My congratulations and a deep bow…

best wishes and regards

Karl-Heinz Kristen

Karl-Heinz, a Photographer and Artist, expressed his thanks with a great painting as well:

Deep Bow from a Kerika User
Deep Bow from a Kerika User

Writing Status Reports: an interesting use-case for Export

Ben Vaught from the Washington State Office of the CIO has come up an interesting use-case for Kerika’s new export feature that we hadn’t considered: use it to write your weekly status reports!

Kerika lets you export cards from a Task Board or Scrum Board in CSV or HTML format: the CSV format is useful for putting data from Kerika into another software tool, like Excel, but the HTML format is designed for human consumption.

Here’s an example of a card that’s been exported as HTML:

Example of HTML export
Example of HTML export

By using the Workflow button (on the top-right menu bar), you can adjust your display to show just the Done column on a board, and then further use the Tags button to limit the number of cards that are shown in this column.

For example, you could display just the Done column, and filter the cards to show just the ones that were assigned to you.

Do an HTML export of this, and you will be able to easily cut-and-paste the output into a Word document or email, and submit your status report!

When Worlds Collide: Distributed Lean and Agile Teams in the Public Sector

We were thrilled to be part of the Lean Transformation Conference organized by Results Washington week at the Tacoma Convention Center. Over 2,700 people attended — a sellout crowd!

Attendees at Lean Transformation
Attendees at Lean Transformation

Arun Kumar, founder & CEO of Kerika, gave a presentation on both days on Distributed Lean and Agile Teams in the Public Sector, drawing upon lessons learned, case studies and best practices from multiple state agencies and private sector firms.

Here’s the presentation: