After 1.5 years of work, the Tuleap Team is proud to unveil its new major version that makes easier scaling agile with the support of the Scaled Agile Framework®. Meet Tuleap 13 and all its new features to keep your teams always in sync.

Tuleap 13 makes scaling agile easier with SAFe®

To sum it up, the support of SAFe® in Tuleap revolves around 3 main pillars:

  • Cross-project backlog management,
  • Cross-project team synchronization,
  • Cross-project progress visualization.

You might have seen the pattern here 😉 it’s all about having teams working with their own project with a common vision and shared deliveries.

As you might imagine, 1.5 years of work means there is a lot to cover. So let’s start! We have divided this section into three main parts: the templates, the team synchronization, and the management of backlog.

New Tuleap templates for SAFe®

Starting a new SAFe Program doesn’t have to be complex. Tuleap ships two projects templates for the most common situations:

  • an Agile Release Train (ART) workspace for, let’s say preparing your future new product,
  • a Scrum Team workspace that will contribute to the Train.
The two SAFe templates to kick-off your projects
The two Tuleap SAFe templates to kick-off your projects

Templates come with everything pre-wired for a smooth start. The Agile Delivery Team will be able to create the Program Increment, and fill the backlog with the Features and Program Enablers. The cross-project visualization of progress is made possible with the Roadmap widget.

A Program dashboard with Feature Kanban and Roadmap

After the creation of the workspaces for an Agile Release Train and the Scrum Teams, the only remaining configuration step is to connect them together. Project administrators can do that in the Administration menu of the brand new « Program » tool in the sidebar.

As an Agile Release Train project admin, you can connect with Teams projects
As an Agile Release Train project admin, you can connect with Teams projects

The projects (workspaces) you link to your Train will appear in the sidebar as « Aggregated Projects ». On the other side, in the Team projects, users will have the link to their Parent Project (the Train).

You’ve got your Agile Release Train created and connected together? You are pretty much done with configuration and you can start working. We will create Program Increments and select Features to be implemented.

SAFe® Program Increment synchronization

For Tuleap users that are used to Tuleap Scrum tools, a Program Increment is a milestone. That is to say, a period of time when things get done. The main difference is that Program Increments are replicated between the Agile Release Train and the Scrum Teams.

Create and manage Program Increment in Program view

For Teams, being part of an Agile Release Train is barely different from regular Scrum usage. Actually, in terms of tools, it’s in the regular « Agile Dashboard » that the work will be done. However, when something comes from the Train, the name of the project is prepended to the name of the item.

Moreover, changes done at Train level on a Program Increment will be propagated to the Teams.

Program Increments created in the Team show their parenthood
Program Increments created in the Team show their parenthood

That said, each Team keeps control of its project in terms of structure. It means that, apart from the name of the Program Increment (its time period and its Status), each Team can adapt the corresponding tracker to its needs.

SAFe® Features, User Stories and Enablers

Tuleap keeps in synchronization the Program Increments of all Teams, but that’s not all. The heart of SAFe is the collaboration of all the Teams to deliver value to the customers. The value to the customer is captured and defined with regular User Stories, and the high-level objective is a Feature.

Features are defined at Agile Release Train level and refined as User Stories in each involved Team. A feature is created, analyzed, and refined in a Feature Kanban. And when a Feature is mature enough (that means that stories were evaluated and are ready) it appears in the Program Backlog.

Agile Release Train backlog with Features and User stories

If the Program Backlog looks familiar to you, that’s normal. We designed it to be as close as possible to the Agile Dashboard backlog, so Tuleap users don’t get lost. Moreover, as already seen in the Program Increment section, the Teams will be using the regular Agile Dashboard. So we wanted to offer a consistent experience at all levels.

What Program Backlog does is, again, synchronization between the Train and the Teams. As soon as a Feature is planned for a given Program Increment, each stories, in their respective Teams, are planned as well. Then, teams are free to organize the stories in the downstream iterations, do the task breakdown, etc.

Iteration plan done at Team level
Iteration plan done at Team level

📙 Read the documentation for additional information about Tuleap Program Management plugin and the SAFe templates.

What’s next ?

That’s the first official release of Tuleap Program Management plugin, used first for SAFe deployment. We’ve been testing this plugin with a couple of customers for a few months, so it’s production-ready. It will continue to evolve, and we are already working on the next improvements. At first, the automatic management of Iterations, then Program Board and SAFe Portfolio. So watch this space 😉

Build-in quality is SAFe® as well

Delivering user-centric quality products and build-in quality are at the heart of SAFe as well. That’s why, for several years, Tuleap provides Tuleap Test Management® plugin for early test plans and test management. Here are enhancements that have been developed for Tuleap 13.

Tuleap Test Management®: new workflow for test executions comments

There is an on going epic to improve the management of test execution comments when tests are quite long or have a lot of steps and dependencies. In this situation, tester might need to gather evidences along the way, keep information about for several hours/days, etc. To better cover those use cases, test execution comments are no longer tied to test status.

In other words, testers can edit and save comments without passing or failing the test. In the same way, once a status is set (for instance a failed test) the tester can edit the comment after to add more information about failure.

This change comes with a lot of small but important UI changes, look at the screenshot:

Tuleap Test Execution view with new comment section
Tuleap Test Execution view with new comment section

The changes were made to reduce the distance between the top of page and the useful content:

  • Comments are now always at the bottom of the screen. For read and for edition.
  • When there are images in comments, they are automatically reduced to fit in the comment area.
  • The progress bar that informs in real time about the amount of tests executed is included in the navigation bar at the top
  • The tester podium only displays the 3 better testers (full podium still available when you click on it)

The modal to view large comments is gone. We replaced it by an expand/collapse of the comment zone. This way you get more space to both read AND write comments, without loosing focus.

Test execution comment, expanded
Test execution comment, expanded

Other developments

« Switch to » in Navigation Bar

When we introduced the new Navigation Bar in Tuleap 12.0, we merged two drop down menus (list of projects and recent items) in one. In the original mock-up this button was labeled « Switch to… ». But before the release we thought that the change was maybe to bold for existing users that were very used to click on a « Projects » label to navigate to their workspace. So we decided to label the button « Projects… ».

One year after, the « Project… » label feels counter productive. New comers doesn’t get why it’s labeled like that. It feels awkward to explain that search or recent items are accessible behind a « Project… » label (it’s like hiding a a shutdown action in a start menu!). So it’s time to say hello to « Switch to… » button.

The new "Switch to" button in the navigation bar
The new « Switch to » button in the navigation bar

Good bye PHP 7.X

In 12.12 we switched the Tuleap runtime to PHP 8.0 with the ability to fallback on PHP 7.4 in case of issues. Nothing was identified so it’s time to say « Bye! » to PHP 7.X. Tuleap now runs only on PHP 8.0.

Requests and bugs

There were 46 requests closed during the 13.0 release cycle. Bugs and security fixes were already back-ported on Tuleap Enterprise builds. Most of the fixes or requests were either big enough to deserve their own section above or obscure enough that it matters only if you were the one who reported the issue 🙂

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