Our May Release Event Recap
Last week we hosted our May Release Event, an hour long look at how to get the most from some of our newest features. Our Product Team gave a 30 minute presentation followed by a 30 minute Q&A. They covered:
- Monitoring and communicating progress with our new Roadmap features
- Working faster and more efficiently with our Power Bar, helping us live the dream to never use a mouse again
- Making data driven decisions with our updated Cycle and Lead Time Charts and Cumulative Flow Diagram Chart
- Setting up a seamless workflow with our in-progress Productboard Integration
- A preview of future improvements to Teams and other features we have planned for an August release
- And other upcoming features
You can watch the full presentation below and / or read about all the features we discussed.
The Power Bar
*Available in Shortcut Labs
Power Bar is our keyboard-friendly, always available interface that allows for quick navigation, search, and actions. In other words, it provides very powerful keyboard shortcuts. Hence the name. It's also integrated with our help center, so you can search through all articles directly within the app.
The Power Bar is also context-aware. What that means is if you are on a Story dialog, for example, and you bring up the Power Bar with CMD-K (Mac) or CTRL-K (PC), you're going to see all of your Story or relevant Story actions at the very top, making it easy to remember and use them. This context awareness is currently only available on the Story dialog but will be expanding everywhere.
Try it out. As noted above, you can launch it via CMD-K or CTRL-K or by pushing your mouse up to the top of the screen and clicking on the persistent launcher (a little lightning bolt) at the top of the app.
Learn more about the Power Bar in our announcement blog post.
*Available in Shortcut Labs
We initially launched the Roadmap to make it easy for teams to keep an eye on what’s being worked on, how that work is progressing, and then communicate that progress to the entire organization. These most recent enhancements are about making the communication part of that list even easier and better.
- Remove Dates - You can now remove dates from the view so that humanity’s limited conception of time does not distract you from work at hand.
- Presentation View - You can view the Roadmap in Presentation View so that all the menus and other noise within Shortcut is not on display.
- Export Roadmap - Export the Roadmap you’re viewing as a PNG image so you can toss it into a presentation or make it your background wallpaper.
The goal of any report is for it to look cool so you feel accomplished and, even more importantly, to provide actionable insights that you can use to make data-driven decisions. Here’s what we updated:
Cycle and Lead Time Charts
The Cycle Time Chart shows how long it takes for a Story to be completed once it’s started. Lead Time shows how much time has passed from when a Story is created (not started) through to when it’s completed.
The new version adds the option to change between different starting and ending Workflow states. This update enables you to drill down to see the cycle and lead time not just between a beginning and ending but between individual steps making it easier to find where roadblocks are coming up in your process.
Google Sheets Integration
The Google Sheets Integration allows for real-time updates of Shortcut data directly to a Google Sheet of your choice. Now it includes more data thanks to additional fields, with new Epic and Milestone field endpoints.
Upcoming Productboard Integration
Our new Productboard Integration creates a seamless workflow between our two tools. Product teams will be able to connect their product discovery and planning in Productboard to their development work in Shortcut and then move back and forth between individual tasks while seeing big picture context.
With the first iteration of this integration, you'll be able to push a Productboard feature into Shortcut as a new Epic. You'll also be able to sync the development status of that Epic work in Shortcut back into Productboard. This will generate a link both in Productboard and Shortcut that you can easily use to hop back-and-forth between our platforms. Also, any time you change a workflow state in Shortcut, it will automatically update in Productoard and vice-versa.
There’ll be a lot more information about this integration coming soon, so keep an eye out!
Coming Updates for Teams
We released Teams back in March, and we consider it a foundational element for the future of Shortcut. We want it to consistently connect Shortcut to the structure of your own teams and organization, modeling your real-world processes directly within our app.
As of today, Teams can be associated with people. They can be associated with work through Epics and Stories. And they can be associated with processes through Iterations. If you’d like to see how Teams currently work, take a look at the recap and video of our recent Teams workshop.
Teams and Workflows
Our future updates are all about making Teams even more useful for modeling your process. Take a look at this diagram:
It shows two development Squads: Growth and Website. They’re using the same development process Workflow. So they should be able to both connect their Teams to that Workflow within Shortcut without needing to worry about our Projects feature. This is why this is a feature we’re working on as we speak.
This doesn’t necessarily fit every team, though. Some Teams may contain members who work on different Workflow processes, potentially even using a process from an entirely separate team that member works closely with. That’s why we’re also building a one-to-many relationship between Teams and Workflows, allowing, say, the Website squad to be connected to both the Product Development Workflow and the Design Workflow.
To get here, we intend to elevate Teams within the Story card so that when you select a Team for a Story, you’ll also be able to select which Workflow that Story should be part of if there is more than one for that Team. This ensures that a Team's Story always ends up in the right location and follows the right process, replicating and improving upon functionality that you get from Projects today.
What will happen to Projects when we do that? We intend to make Projects an optional feature. Eventually, you'll also have the ability to simply turn them off. If you continue using Projects for another method of categorization that isn’t a Team, such as a feature area or a technical area, you can continue to do so.
If you’re excited for Workflows to come to Teams, you can prepare by moving into a single Project within each Workflow and then use Projects as duplicates for Teams until we make it possible to turn Projects off.
We’re also exploring a more powerful, flexible, and intuitive custom fields concept, so you can bring more order and structure into Shortcut. It'll allow you to add structured data into Shortcut to capture important dimensions for your business and your process. You’ll be able to organize, view, filter, and report on these fields within and across Teams.
This feature is in the early stages, but this will bring a lot of power into Shortcut that is currently only partially available via Labels.
We’d love to hear more about your use cases for Fields. Please [use this link] to provide it.
Future Updates to Table Views
Currently, there's an optional Table view available on the Milestone and Epic pages. We'll be adding this view to the Iterations and the Stories pages too. Across all these tables, we're making a number of usability updates to help you complete tasks faster. They’ll have a consistent look and feel, along with inline editing, the option to group by functionality, and bulk edit options.
We’ve heard feedback in the past that the table views can feel cluttered, and it isn’t always easy to find the most important information. We're paring down the number of columns in our default table views so they're more scannable and easier to read. We're also adding the option to customize which columns show in each of the tables. That way, you can choose to include the information that is the most important to you and drop anything extraneous from view.
We don't want to break any of your current processes, so we won’t change any default views until you have the power to customize them.
Future Reporting Updates
Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) Chart Enhancements
We're adding our CFD Chart to the Reports page. Currently, it's only available on the Epic and the Iteration pages.
As we do that, we’ll also be improving it by giving you the option to show this Report summed up by points or by Story counts, whichever best matches the way that you work.
Story Owner Filter
We’re adding a new Story Owner filter to the Reports page so that you can run any report based on Story Owner.
Rolling Date Range
And we’re adding rolling date range options so that you can, for example, set up your Reports page to show the last three months of data instead of having to select a specific date range. This means that every time you return to the page, it’ll just show info for that rolling range. You won’t have to adjust the date every time you come in.
We hear a lot of feedback about the ability to remove weekends from reports or whatever days your weekend might be on from reporting.
In particular, we know that having the Burndown Chart include weekends kind of throws off the total reliability of that chart. It also makes it feel like you should be working on weekends, and it is Shortcut’s official position that you should not be. This will be available across all charts, just using Burndown Charts as an example since it’s our most common request.
Customizable Reports Page
And we'll be adding in the ability to select which Reports you want shown on the Reports page, so you can focus on what's most important and get rid of the Reports that aren't used by you or aren't part of your process.
This is only the beginning of what we’re launching or have planned. We'd love your feedback as we launch these new features; just drop us a line in our Community Slack to tell us what you think.