5th of April, 2019Structure.Gantt 1.4 introduces Agile planning, Fixed-duration tasks and the ability to export chart data as Structure attributes, as well as other improvements and bug fixes.
Structure.Gantt will become a paid app beginning with release 2.0.
1. Version Highlights
- Agile planning
- Fixed-duration tasks
- Chart data as Structure attributes
- Percentage for resource allocation
- Agile Gantt Template
- Other improvements and important bug fixes
2. Changes in Detail
2.1. Agile planning
Starting with this version of Structure.Gantt, it is now possible to use sprint dates to schedule tasks:
Tasks can be moved between sprints by drag and drop or by changing the sprint in the Task Details panel.
Documentation: Planning with Sprints
2.2. Fixed-duration tasks
Tasks that are scheduled by sprint dates or manually scheduled with both start and finish dates defined now have work equally distributed across their duration. Adjusting the duration for these tasks will not affect their work (that can be adjusted separately in the Task Details panel or in Jira itself).
Documentation: Fixed Duration
2.3. Chart data as Structure attributes
Structure.Gantt data is now available to Structure. Gantt attributes can be represented in columns, used in formulas or used in transformations:
The following attributes are currently supported:
- Gantt Start Date
- Gantt Finish Date
- Gantt Milestone Date
- Gantt Progress
- Gantt Type
With more attributes to follow in future.
Documentation: Using Gantt Attributes in Structure
2.4. Percentage for Resource allocation
In addition to displaying the number of hours each resource is scheduled for during a set period of time, it is now possible to show the percentage of a resource's availability that is being used during that time. This can be particularly useful when trying to assess which resources are over- or under-allocated.
Documentation: Resources and Resource Usage
2.5. Agile Gantt Template
Using the new Agile Gantt Chart template, it is possible to create new charts with Agile Planning enabled by default with a several different types of hierarchies:
- Stories only
- Stories underneath of Epics
- Portfolio (requires Atlassian Portfolio to be installed) — with Initiatives above Epics
2.6. Notable Improvements And Fixes
- In addition to Story Points, it is now possible to use arbitrary values for task estimation, i.e. use any text or numeric fields for estimate values (see Work Estimates)
- Starting from version 1.4, switching a task to an Automatic scheduling will not clear underlying fields and their values will be preserved (see Manual Scheduling by Start or Finish Date)
- Tasks with both manual start and finish dates set are treated as fixed-duration tasks, i.e. changing of their duration will not change their work (see Fixed Duration)
- For competed tasks, a checkmark indicator is shown; this is also applies to milestones backed by an issue (see Task Indicators)
- It is now possible to open Slice settings right from the Task Details panel by clicking its name (only if user has the permission to view or edit the configuration)
- Jira date formats are now used across all Structure.Gantt UI
- Fixed: "Login and Approve" form should be correctly shown now for a Structure.Gantt gadget being added to a Confluence page
- Fixed: Resources won't be shown anymore for inaccessible issues
3. Supported Versions
Structure.Gantt 1.4 requires Structure 5.3 or above.
We support all editions of Jira (Jira Core, Jira Software, Jira Service Desk), versions 7.6 or later. Jira Data Center is supported too.
4. Installation and Upgrade
If you already have production data from a previous version of Structure.Gantt, please back up your database or Jira before upgrading.
Please review your Gantt configurations after upgrading to check that your settings are correct.
5. Known issues
Below are a few known issues and non-obvious cases.
- If a formula is selected as the source for resource assignment, any changes made to this formula after the resource list has been built will be ignored. For example, if your formula had a variable assigned to one field and you reassign that variable to another field after the resource list has already been built, the resource list will not be updated to reflect this change.
- User icons from external sites (like Gravatar) will be replaced with uniform user icons during PDF/SVG export.
- Quick filter functionality isn't working properly with the Filter by Resource action, so it is recommended that users avoid saving filters produced by this action.
- Structure.Gantt won't update estimate when Time Tracking Legacy mode is enabled
- If both Time Tracking and Custom estimate is enabled for the task and estimate is cleared through the Task Details panel, it will clear the both Original Estimate and Custom Estimate fields; undoing that operation will set only the preferred one.
- Kanban boards can be selected along with Scrum ones while creating Agile Gantt.
6. Enterprise Deployment Notes
Structure.Gantt 1.4 introduces several features that can be important for large installations and Data Center instances.
6.1. Agile Planning
For Agile Planning to work, Structure.Gantt needs to fetch all Agile boards for the issues contained in the structure, and then fetch all the sprints from these boards. That data is used for visualizing sprints on the timeline and for scheduling. In a particularly large structure, with issues from many boards, that could lead to an increased load on the server and increased latency in calculating the Gantt chart.
6.2. Chart Data as Structure Attributes
We have exposed the calculated Gantt values (calculated start/finish dates) as Structure "attributes", which makes it possible to show them in the Structure grid and use in formulas.
It is important to keep in mind that this data depends on the calculated Gantt schedule. Requesting this value for even a single item would require the whole Gantt chart to be calculated – even if you're looking at a Single Grid layout and Gantt is not shown. The results of the calculations are cached, of course, so once it has been completed, the values for other items will be immediately available – until Structure.Gantt registers an issue update that would require a recalculation of the chart.
6.3. Testing on a Staging Environment
Taking this into account, in case you have a large (10,000 issues or more) structure with a configured Gantt chart, we would suggest to test the following scenarios on a staging environment, before upgrading the production instance:
- Open a large structure that has a configured Gantt chart. Go to the Gantt configuration and enable Use sprints for manual scheduling option, then enable Prefer sprints over manual start and finish feature. Prepare a timer, click OK and measure how long it takes before the updated Gantt chart appears.
- Add a couple of Structure.Gantt columns (Gantt.Start or Gantt.Finish) to this structure. Scroll the Structure grid down and up, noting the delay between the scrolling and the data being loaded and shown in the grid.
- Add a "Text Attribute" transformation to the structure (note: not a grouper inside the structure – a transformation). Select "Gantt.Finish" attribute as the grouping value. (You can also use a formula, for example, to group by the week of the finish date!) Note how much time it will take before the transformation is applied. Then proceed to change several issues in a way to affect the chart schedule, for example, change a dependency or a duration of a task. Note how quickly changes are applied and the structure is refreshed.
Watch the log files for errors and warnings while running these experiments. If you are not happy about the speed of the updates or the server load, please let us know! We might be able to suggest wats to improve the configuration and speed up Structure and the Gantt chart.
The usual load and stress testing are also recommended.