We’ve switched to Markdown text formatting
By popular request, we’ve switched the text formatting in Trajectory from Textile to Markdown (Github Flavored)!
All previous comments and Ideas have been converted from Textile to Markdown, and all formatting should be done using Markdown going forward. We don’t anticipate any issues in the conversion, but if you see something amiss, please contact us at our help site, http://help.apptrajectory.com.
Trajectory Pricing Changes
We are commited to Trajectory and have been listening to your feedback on the service and working to make Trajectory stick around for a long time to come. We’re announcing today several important changes to the way Trajectory pricing works.
You can now use Trajectory for free
The first, and most important change is that we are changing from a free-trial model, and introducing a completely free plan level that gives you one project, two users, and 1 GB of free storage. Now, individuals and small teams can use Trajectory completely free, and people who are just kicking the tires can do so as long as they’d like.
In addition to introducing the completely free plan level, we’ve also introduced user limits on all of the other plan levels. We’ve grandfathered all existing accounts into the current number of users you have. So, if you’re currently above your limit, there is nothing you need to do today, and you can continue to use Trajectory at the same price you pay now. However, in the future, if you need to add even more users, you will need to upgrade to the appropriate plan level.
The new user limits are as follows:
- Free: 2 users
- Micro: 3 users
- Small: 10 users
- Medium: 25 users
- Large: 50 users
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions about these changes.
Full featured JSON API now available
We’ve just published full details on the publicly available Uploads and Comments APIs. We’ve also updated the API documentation to reflect the full details of our new subscriber management system. These were the last few pieces of Trajectory that were not part of the API.
With these changes, the Trajectory API is now complete encompasses all of the functionality in the Stories and Ideas interface of Trajectory, and you can read the full documentation on our help site.
Whats more, the entire Trajectory Stories and Ideas interface is now completely driven from this same JSON API. Everything relating to the creation and management of Stories and Ideas that Trajectory does, you can now do via the exact same API.
This now means that, if you wanted, you could create a completely alternate client or interface to Trajectory using the same API that we ourselves use for the application.
We’re excited to see what people will do with this API. If you do something interesting, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easier Account and Project Editing
You can now more easily navigate to editing your account and project settings.
Announcing Campfire Integration
I’m very pleased to announce the availability of Campfire integration with Trajectory.
Setup is straightforward. As an admin on your account, edit the project you’d like to broadcast notifications about in Campfire.
Then click the new “Configure services” link in the upper right hand side of the Edit Project page. Click the Campfire link and complete the information necessary to link your Campfire account. If you’ve setup Campfire integration with any other services, like GitHub, you’ll be familiar with this setup.
Once configured, any new stories, new ideas, story state changes, and comments on stories and ideas will be broadcast to your Campfire room.
This was one of our most requested outstanding features from customers, and like most things in Trajectory, it’s something we’re going to use the heck out of ourselves.
We hope you enjoy it!
How velocity and team strength work in Trajectory
How Trajectory deals with velocity
Trajectory calculates your current velocity by averaging the points accepted in the last three iterations. This number represents a good estimate of the number of points you can expect to accomplish in the current iteration. Trajectory also uses this number to break out upcoming stories into an estimated schedule.
This estimation strategy comes from the Agile principle Yesterday’s Weather.
For new projects, we set the default velocity to 20. This can easily be changed within the settings page for any project.
Use team strength to keep velocity accurate
There are situations that can cause the calculated velocity to be inaccurate. One case could be members of the team being on vacation during one iteration but not the next. You can account for these temporary reductions in effort by adjusting the team strength for an iteration.
As an example, if a team of five people has three members going to a conference during an iteration, you can set the team strength to 40%. The purpose of this setting is to adjust velocity calculations so that future iteration velocities and release planning can be more accurate.
Where do I set team strength?
Team strength is set on the iteration page, which can be reached by clicking on the date of the iteration on the story index. You’ll see an input in the sidebar that allows you to change the team strength for the iteration.
Note that this value can be more than 100%. This is useful for situations where you have extra people working on the project during that iteration.
When the team strength is not 100%, the value will be visible in the iteration header on the stories index.
The Rhythm Method
One of our goals for Trajectory is to provide a guided path to a better way to develop software. When possible, we let that influence the way Trajectory works.
Iterations are each one week. We find that an iteration length of one week is a natural rhythm which shouldn’t be ignored and will lend itself well to operating at a sustainable pace.
Attempt to break down larger stories that you don’t think will be completed in one week down further. If you really can’t complete a story in one week, thats OK, it’ll flow across multiple iterations.
Trajectory doesn’t have an icebox
The icebox is a place where stories go to die. It’s typically used to hold two kinds of stories:
- Features that need more discussion or planning before they can be started
- Features that are currently out of scope or very low priority
Trajectory has the concept of Ideas. Ideas allow you to have a detailed planning discussion about a feature or set of features. Once the feature has had enough discussion, stories that can actually be worked are created directly from the Idea and the two are linked so information is not lost.
Here is an example of an idea, and the stories on the right hand side that have been associated with it.
Features that are currently out of scope or very low priority should just be placed at the bottom of the backlog. If an item is low enough priority that it may never be done it can just be an Idea or should not exist at all.
With this in mind, the concept of an icebox is unnecessary.
There is a better way to plan and organize your development. Try Trajectory today.