Pivotal Tracker Help
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Pivotal Tracker?
- How can I learn about new Tracker features?
- How can I share my feedback for Tracker?
Pricing and Payment
- How much does a Pivotal Tracker subscription cost?
- How does the 60 day free trial work?
- What happens after the end of the free trial?
- Is Tracker really free for public projects, individual use, non-profits, and educators?
- How can I request a free plan for my non-profit or academic institution?
- I am a student, do I qualify for a free plan?
- What is the difference between community and priority email support?
- Can I get a refund?
- How do I cancel my Tracker subscription?
- I'm not sure which plan I need, can I decide later?
- I have a discount or credit coupon code. Where do I enter it?
- What does the term 'collaborator' mean?
- Which forms of payment do you accept?
- How can I edit my billing information or change the credit card on file?
- How do I change my Tracker subscription plan?
- Can I change my existing plan to Monthly or Annual billing?
- Can my company pay by Purchase Order or receive Invoices?
- Where can I get a receipt for charges from Tracker?
- What are public projects?
- How can I make my project public?
- Are the API and external integrations included in all plans?
- Do I need multiple Tracker logins to support different activities?
- How secure is my data?
- Can Tracker be installed on our own servers?
- Who can see my email address?
- Can anyone see my project or know that it exists?
- Who has the rights to my stories?
- Is my data backed up?
- What is a project?
- How can I create a new project?
- How do I change project settings, such as iteration length?
- How do I leave a project?
- Can projects be deleted?
- How do I archive a project, and what does it mean?
- How can I see my archived projects?
- Can projects be made publicly visible?
- How do I set the project's start date?
- Is there a way to jump between my projects easily?
- What are the differences between Project Owners, Members, and Viewers?
- How can I add new members to a project that I own?
- Can I invite others to join Tracker?
- How can I update my personal information or preferences?
- What is the difference between an account and a user?
- What happens when I delete an account?
- What are account members?
- How can I add and remove people from my account?
- What happens when you remove people from an account?
- How do I transfer ownership of an account?
- Can I move projects between accounts?
- What if I need to limit who can be invited to projects in my account?
- What is a story?
- How much detail should I capture in a story?
- Can I break down a story into smaller tasks?
- Can I format text in my stories?
- Why are my stories moving from the backlog to the current panel?
- Why won't my stories stay in the current panel?
- When do accepted stories move from Current to Done?
- Why can't I move done stories from Current to Done?
- Can I move multiple stories?
- Why did my story un-start when I moved it?
- How can I quickly drag stories to the top or bottom of a panel, especially if the panel contains many stories?
- What if more than one person edits a story concurrently?
- How do I find a particular story?
- How can I find all stories that I own but haven't yet started?
- How can I find all stories I've requested that are delivered and ready for me to verify?
- How can I copy a story's URL or ID to the clipboard?
- Is there a way to link one story or epic to another?
- Can I see a larger or full page view of a story?
- How do I find the history for a particular story?
- Can I open multiple panels of the same type?
- How will I know if stories I care about are being delivered, or have been rejected?
- Can I comment on a story via email?
- Can a story belong to more than one project?
- Can I move a story from one project to another?
- Can I move a story created by an integration to another project, e.g. Bugzilla, Zendesk, Jira or Get Satisfaction?
- How can a search be refined?
- Is there a limit to the number of stories that appear in search results?
- How do I keep multiple search panels open?
- Can I save a search?
Velocity, Volatility, and Iterations
- What is velocity?
- What is volatility?
- Where is volatility shown?
- What are iterations?
- What is velocity good for?
- What are points?
- What point scales can I use?
- What is iteration team strength?
- Can the length of a single iteration be adjusted?
- How exactly do team strength and iteration length affect velocity calculation?
- How is Initial Velocity used?
- How can I change the velocity of my project?
- How do I maintain project velocity when restarting a project that has been on hold, paused, or stalled for a number of iterations?
- Can I change how long iterations are, and when they start?
- How do I change the number of iterations included in the velocity calculation?
- What is the Current Iteration?
- Can we plan for more (or fewer) stories for the current iteration?
- Why can't I estimate bugs and chores?
Import & Export
- How can I export stories/epics from my project?
- Can stories and epics be imported from CSV?
- Can I edit or add new tasks to existing stories using CSV import?
- Can I import stories/epics from one project into another?
- What are labels for?
- How do I add a label to a story?
- How do I use labels to find stories?
- Can I remove a label from a story?
- How can I rename or delete a label from a project?
- Can I have a label belong to more than one project?
- What is a release story?
- How do I organize stories for a release?
- How do I create a release marker?
- What does the releases panel do?
- How can I set a fixed date for a release?
- How can my team plan and keep track of big features at a high level?
- How do I link stories to an epic?
- What is the difference between epics and releases?
- I'm already using labels to keep track of big features - can I convert these labels to epics?
- How can I mark an epic as complete?
- If I delete an epic, will all its stories go away?
- How do the epic progress bars get scaled?
- How can I tell when an epic is projected to be completed?
Email Notifications and Following
- When will Tracker send me email notifications?
- How can I follow specific stories or epics?
- Is it possible to bring someone specific into the story conversation?
- How can I see who is already following a story or epic?
- Is there a way to keep track of how much time I spend on projects?
- I've enabled time for my account(s), now what?
- Can other people on my account enter time as well?
- Will Tracker keep track of how much time I spend on stories or projects for me?
- Can I add file attachments to stories?
- Where are the files actually stored?
- How reliable is that, and do you back up files that are attached to stories in Tracker?
- Does Tracker have an API?
- Where can I find my API Token?
- Removing or replacing an existing token
- How do I use my API token securely?
- Can I disable API access to my project?
Google Accounts and Google Apps
- How do I add Tracker to my Google Apps domain?
- How do I add users from my Google Apps domain to Tracker?
- How do I attach Google Docs to my stories?
- How do I remove Tracker from my domain?
- We've added Tracker to our domain but don't see any of the integration features.
- I provisioned Tracker and see all the Google Apps features when I log in, but why do my coworkers not see them?
- How do I associate my Google Account with my Tracker login?
- Why am I getting 'duplicate email' or 'email taken errors' when trying to sign in via Google?
- How can I merge two logins?
- Which browsers can I use?
- How do I refresh my view?
- Are there keyboard shortcuts?
- How do I help ensure that Tracker email notifications are delivered to my inbox?
- I signed up or was invited to a project, why didn’t I get an email?
- Why can’t I sign in to Tracker or reset my password?
- Can I subscribe to Tracker activity using my RSS/blog reader?
- Can I follow my projects on Twitter?
- We use Campfire for team chat. Can we see what's going on in our Tracker project there as well?
- How does Tracker work with time zones?
- What is your data deletion policy?
What is Pivotal Tracker?
Tracker is a story-based project planning tool from Pivotal Labs that allows teams to collaborate and react to real-world changes instantly. It's based on agile software methods, but can be used on a wide range of projects.
Tracker maintains a prioritized backlog of project deliverables, broken down into small, estimated pieces, called stories. It dynamically groups these stories into fixed segments of time, called iterations, and it predicts progress based on real historical performance (velocity).
How can I learn about new Tracker features?
How can I share my feedback for Tracker?
We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please visit our community site to share your ideas for how to improve Tracker feedback, or to chime in on existing topics from other users. If you have a suggestion that is not already addressed, please add a new topic.
Please send any bug reports or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does a Pivotal Tracker subscription cost?
There are a number of different subscription plans available. Most are listed on our Pricing page. There are larger plans listed on the Plans & Billing page for your account. To get to this page, click on the Accounts link, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner. Select MANAGE ACCOUNT for the account whose Plans & Billing page you want to visit.
How does the 60 day free trial work?
When you sign up for Pivotal Tracker, the system creates your first account for you automatically. Your first account will be automatically enrolled in the unlimited 60 day free trial, which allows you to use all features, create an unlimited number of projects, invite as many people to those projects as you'd like, and get email support. You can choose one of the paid plans at any time prior to the end of the 60 day period, otherwise your account will transition to the free plan automatically. No credit card is required for the 60 day free trial or if you wish to remain on the free plan. If you do enter credit card information before the free trial ends, the card will not be charged until the end of the 60 day free trial.
Note: If you've joined Tracker by accepting a project invitation, your free trial won't begin until you create an account of your own, on the Account(s) page. Having your own account allows you to create projects, and invite collaborators to them. More on accounts here.
If you signed up for Tracker before being invited to a project in your company's account, even if you do not have any projects in your personal account, you will still see notifications that the free trial is ending. If you find any projects you are using are in read-only mode after the free trial expires, you either need to make any collaborators other than yourself Viewers so those projects fit within the free plan limits, pay for the account the projects are in, or move those projects to the paid company account.
What happens after the end of the free trial?
If you do not upgrade your account to one of the paid plans, it will automatically transition to the free individual plan, which allows up to 5 private projects, 200MB of file storage, and no collaborators. If your usage exceeds the limits of the free plan, your projects will become read only until you either upgrade to a plan that supports your level of use, or lower the number of active private projects, collaborators, and file attachments.
Is Tracker really free for public projects, individual use, non-profits, and educators?
Yes! Paid plans are required only in order to create private projects with collaborators other than yourself, or if you require more than 5 private projects. Pivotal Tracker is free for individual use (with some limitations, see below), free to participate in other users' projects, free for public projects, and free for qualified non-profits and educators.
- Individual use: Tracker is free for your own personal use, with no collaborators other than yourself, with up to 5 of your own private projects, and 200MB of storage for story file attachments per account.
- Participating in projects in other users' accounts: Accepting a project invitation and participating in projects that belong to other users' accounts is free.
- Public projects: Projects that are publicly viewable, and the collaborators in these projects, do not count toward any plan limits.
- Non-profits and educators: We provide free accounts for qualified non-profit organizations, as well as educators at academic institutions, by request (see below).
How can I request a free plan for my non-profit or academic institution?
Free plans are available for qualified, tax-exempt non-profit organizations as well as academic institutions and educators. To request a non-profit or academic free plan, follow these steps:
- If you haven't already, sign up for Pivotal Tracker.
- Sign in to Tracker. Then click on the Accounts link, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner. Click MANAGE ACCOUNT on the account for which you'd like to request a non-profit or academic plan, and go the Plans and Billing page. If you'd like to create a new account for this request, click the 'Create Account' link on your Accounts page. (Read more about accounts here.)
- At the bottom of the account's Plans and Billing page, under the plans list, click the link under the section titled 'Free plans for non-profits and academic institutions'. This will take you to a request form.
- Fill out this form, and let us know what type of plan you're requesting (academic, non-profit, or other) the name of your organization, URL to your organization's web site, and a brief description of how you plan to use Tracker.
- You'll receive an email when we process your request, typically within 5 to 7 business days.
I am a student, do I qualify for a free plan?
We encourage the use of Tracker to help with your studies, and have a number of options available. If you do not require privacy for you projects, you can make your Tracker projects public - these are free, with unlimited collaborators. Private projects are also free, but with no collaborators other than yourself. If you prefer that your projects be private, and are working with other students, please ask your professor or school to request a special academic plan (see above).
What is the difference between community and priority email support?
Priority email support is available to members of projects in accounts on the Pro plans. Although we try and reply to emails from everyone, we respond to priority support requests first. We do our best to reply to urgent priority requests within a few business hours, and all other priority questions typically within 1-2 business days.
Community support is facilitated through our Get Satisfaction powered support site, which allows anyone to post and answer questions, feature suggestions, as well as problem reports.This allows members of the Tracker community to assist one another. However for all urgent problems requiring help from the Tracker team please contact us via the Help & Support page.
Can I get a refund?
Paid accounts can be downgraded or cancelled at any time, and you will not be charged again. We do not offer refunds on any charges that have already been incurred for the current billing cycle.
How do I cancel my Tracker subscription?
We're sorry to see you go, but hopefully you'll be back one day. Meanwhile, to cancel your paid plan, please
follow the steps below:
- Click on Accounts, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner.
- Click MANAGE ACCOUNT for the account to cancel payments for, to go to the 'Plans & Billing' tab
- If the 'Choose Plan' button next to the Free plan is unavailable, click on the 'Projects' tab
- Mouse over each project and click 'Archive' then click OK on the confirmation dialog
- Return to the 'Plans & Billing' tab and click the 'Choose Plan' button next to Free
- Click the Confirm Plan Change button and you should see 'The account was successfully updated.'
Note: Only the account owner can downgrade their account to the free plan. However, anyone the account owner has made an account Administrator, can take over ownership of the account. Please see: How Do I Transfer Ownership of an Account?
Alternatively, you can go the Settings page for the account, and click on the 'delete this account' link to stop using Tracker completely. However, please print or save any receipts you might need on your Plans & Billing page before doing so.
When you downgrade to the free plan, you aren't credited for previous payments made and we don't offer refunds. So, to get the benefit of your current payment, we advise waiting until just before your next payment is due to downgrade.
I'm not sure which plan I need, can I decide later?
Yes, you can start with the plan that suits your needs today, and upgrade later. If you're on a paid plan and upgrade to a higher priced plan, you will be charged a prorated amount based on the remaining time in the current billing cycle.
I have a discount or credit coupon code. Where do I enter it?
You can redeem a discount or credit coupon after you sign up for Tracker, on the Plans and Billing page of your account, as part of upgrading from the automatic 60 day free trial to a paid plan.
To use a coupon or discount code, follow these steps:
- Go to your Plans & Billing page (click Accounts in the menu under your username, at the top right of the Tracker page, then click Manage Account).
- Click Choose Plan, next to the desired plan and choose Monthly or Annual billing.
- Enter your credit card details.
- Click the 'Have a coupon code? Enter it here' link, then enter your code.
- Click Apply.
- Click Confirm Plan Change.
What does the term 'collaborator' mean?
This is the total number of unique Tracker users that can be member(s) of the private projects in your account with read/write project access. This includes yourself, if you are a member of any project in the account. A given user only counts once, regardless of the number of private projects in your account that he or she is a member of. Read only members (viewers), and members of public projects do not count toward collaborator limits.
Which forms of payment do you accept?
The only accepted form of payment is major credit card, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. We cannot process POs or issue invoices, and VAT is not included in any pricing/payment.
How can I edit my billing information or change the credit card on file?
You must be the owner of an account to make changes to its account's plan or billing information, including credit card updates and adding notes to receipts. You can change the account owner or add a new admin to an account, via the Account Members page. Please see: How can I add and remove people from my account? and How do I transfer ownership of an account?
How do I change my Tracker subscription plan?
To upgrade or downgrade your Tracker account, you must be the account's owner.
Both upgrading and downgrading can be done on an account's Plans & Billing page. Click on the Accounts link, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner. Select MANAGE ACCOUNT for the account you plan to upgrade or downgrade.
Once you have opened the Plans & Billing page, to upgrade, click the 'Choose Plan' button next to the plan you wish to select. Credit card information will only need to be entered if you are upgrading from the Free Trial or Free plan to one of the paid plans.
To downgrade your account, you will need to first make sure that the number of projects and the number of collaborators will fit within the limits of the downgraded plan. We suggest archiving a project to remove the project as well as the project's members from any plan limits.
If an account is downgraded, no credit is issued for any previous payments made and we don't offer refunds. For this reason, we advise waiting until just before a payment is due to downgrade.
Can I change my existing plan to Monthly or Annual billing?
To change your billing cycle starting from your next payment due date, you can contact us so we can do this for you.Alternatively, you can downgrade your account to the Free plan and then upgrade back to the desired plan. Depending on your account usage, you may have to archive projects to meet the requirements of the Free plan before you'll be able to downgrade. After upgrading, simply un-archive your projects and your projects will be back as they were before. When you downgrade and upgrade, you aren't credited for previous payments made and we don't offer refunds. So, to get the benefit of your current payment, we'd advise waiting until just before your next payment is due to downgrade, then upgrade again.
Can my company pay by Purchase Order or receive Invoices?
Not at the present time. Currently Tracker's billing is entirely paperless and requires a credit card, either personal or corporate.
Where can I get a receipt for charges from Tracker?
Note: To receive emailed receipts or to change credit card information for a Tracker account, you must be that account’s owner.
You will receive a confirmation email when you sign up for your subscription to Tracker. If your account is still in the free-trial period when you subscribe, you will not lose the remaining time in your trial. The first credit card charge will be made when the trial would have ended.
You will receive email each time the credit card is charged for your Tracker subscription. In addition there is a view receipt link in the PAYMENT HISTORY section at the bottom of the Plans & Billing page (see above) for each transaction that Tracker has performed for your account. You can click this link to open a printable receipt page for that specific transaction.
If you have specific information you wish to see on the receipt, you can enter information yourself. It is possible to add notes to your account that will be included when you print a receipt. To use this, go to the Plans & Billing page, and scroll down to the middle section, BILLING INFORMATION. Click on the EDIT button at the right end of the section header. Put the text that you want to be included on your receipts into the box next to 'Notes on Receipt' and then click SAVE. After this, when you click on any of the view receipt links in the PAYMENT HISTORY section, the 'Notes on Receipt' text will be included in the receipt page for you to print.
What are public projects?
By default, all projects in Pivotal Tracker are private, and accessible only to users you explicitly invite. Public projects are visible to anyone, shown in the public projects directory, and are intended for use with open source software development, or any initiative that does not require data privacy. Public projects do not count toward project or collaborator limits, on any plan.
How can I make my project public?
As a project owner, you can make your project public (visible to everyone on the internet) by enabling the 'public access' option, on the project settings page. This is the only way that a project can become public, all projects are private by default.
Are the API and external integrations included in all plans?
Yes, all plans, including the free individual plan, include full access to the API as well as external integrations.
Do I need multiple Tracker logins to support different activities?
No, you can create and manage multiple accounts, for example to separate your personal projects from your work projects. More on accounts here.
How secure is my data?
The security and privacy of your personal, payment, and project information is very important to us. Tracker runs in an an enterprise grade hosting environment, we employ industry standard means to protect your data, and all plans include SSL encryption. Credit card information is stored by Braintree, a highly trusted, Level 1 PCI DSS compliant payment gateway and payment processing provider.
Who can see my email address?
Anyone on a project can see the email address of anyone else on that project. This balances privacy and usability. For instance, when you're adding someone to a project by email address, the auto-complete field will suggest someone who's on another one of your projects, but it won't let you browse the entire universe of email addresses known to Tracker.
Can anyone see my project or know that it exists?
Who has the rights to my stories?
We don't have any rights to your content, except for the purpose of operating Tracker as a web based service. Your data belongs to you. We don't aggregate or analyze the content in any way, just the statistics (# of stories done, # of points, total members per project, etc.)
What is a project?
A project can be anything that you or your team works on that delivers some value, and that is large enough to benefit from being broken down into small, concrete pieces. Tracker is designed primarily for software development, but it's commonly used for other purposes, for example to help organize a marketing campaign, general productivity, etc.
How can I create a new project?
Click the Create Project button on the Dashboard, enter a name for the project, and hit enter. You'll be taken to the new project, where you can immediately start adding stories.
How do I change project settings, such as iteration length?
Only project owners can change project settings. On the Dashboard, hover over the project in the project list to reveal a settings link. You can also access the settings page from within a project by choosing the Change Settings option in the Project drop-down menu.
How do I leave a project?
From the Dashboard, click Show All My Projects, then click the leave link beside the project you no longer need to work with. You can also leave a project from the Project Overview page. You can't leave a project if you're the only owner, you must make someone else an owner of the project first (on the Members page).
Can projects be deleted?
Yes, you can delete projects. Only project owners or admins can delete projects. Unlike archiving projects, deleted projects are removed and cannot be recovered
How do I archive a project, and what does it mean?
If you are an Owner of a project, you can archive your project from the My Projects page (Dashboard => Show All My Projects), or the Project Overview page.
Archiving a project removes it from the Dashboard and other pages, and makes it invisible to all but owners of the project, who will see it only in their list of archived projects. None of the project data is lost, and the project can be reactivated at any time.
How can I see my archived projects?
From the Dashboard, go to Show All My Projects, and click the "Show archived projects" checkbox at the top of the projects list.
Can projects be made publicly visible?
Yes. As a project owner, you can allow anyone to see your project in read-only mode, even if they're not signed in to Tracker. Public access can be enabled on the Project Settings page. Projects that are public can be accessed by anyone if they know the URL, and public projects appear in the public projects directory.
How do I set the project's start date?
In most cases you do not need to explicitly set the project's start date, the system will dynamically calculate the project's start date based on the first accepted story. However, there are some cases, especially on projects with multi-week iterations, that the system's calculated start date doesn't match the actually start date of the project. In this case, you can explicitly set the project's start date on the Project Settings page. The start date needs to be before the project's first accepted story and the start date's day of week needs to match "Start Iterations On" day of week.
Is there a way to jump between my projects easily?
Go to your Profile page in Tracker, enable the 'show project tabs' option, and your recently accessed projects will appear as tabs across the top of the page.
What are the differences between Project Owners, Members, and Viewers?
Only project owners can add and remove members and change project settings. Project members and owners can create, edit, move, and delete stories and can add comments. Viewers can't make changes. They can only view stories.
How can I add new members to a project that I own?
- From within a project, click on PROJECT and select Add/Remove Members.
- In the Add Member field, start typing. You can use the full name, the email address, or this format:
James T. Kirk (JTK) <email@example.com>
- Click the Add button. Tracker will make a guess at what you intend for the name, initials, and email.
- Click Add New Member. Your friend will receive an email invitation to your project.
Can I invite others to join Tracker?
If you're a project owner, you can invite anyone with an email address to your project.
How can I update my personal information or preferences?
What is the difference between an account and a user?
Accounts in Tracker are separate things from personal user logins. A user's login is always associated with an individual--their email address, an optional username and their private password. That login can own or be a member of one or more accounts, and accounts are, effectively, containers for projects.
Accounts allow you to group projects. For example, you might create, or be a member of, an account for your company projects, and have a separate one for your personal work. Every project belongs to an account. You can create as many accounts as you'd like - but each must be paid for and/or managed separately. Accounts also allow you to share administration responsibilities by designating other users as administrators. Admins can do everything the owner can, except upgrade and downgrade the plan the account is on or manage credit card details. An Admin can take over ownership, however, if they need to perform those functions. The account owner or Admins can create projects in the account. To allow anyone else to create projects, the owner or an admin will need to give them Project Creator permission via the Actions menu on the Account Members page.
What happens when I delete an account?
Deleting an account causes all projects in that account to be removed, so be careful.
What are account members?
Account members are Tracker users associated with a particular account, for the purpose of working together on projects and sharing administrative capabilities. You do not need to add users to the account members list explicitly, it will populate automatically as you invite people to projects in the account. The account members page gives you more control and visibility into your account, however, which can be useful for larger companies, with many projects and people. Account members sharing administrative capabilities can have the following roles:Owner: By default, this is the person who created the account. The account owner can view and change any project in the account, add/remove project members, change project settings, etc. The owner is also responsible for managing the account's paid subscription, and receives all billing related emails including payment receipts. An account can have only one owner. Admin: These are additional people who can administer projects in the account, add/remove members, or change project settings. Admins have the right to change people's roles, meaning they can add additional admins, and they can also transfer the ownership of the account to any other admin. Admins should be trusted people within your organization. Project Creator: Anyone designated as a Project Creator can create projects in the account, in addition to the account owner and admins.
How can I add and remove people from my account?
Adding, removing and changing account level permissions for people, can be done on an account's Members page.
Note: Though you can add people to projects in an account here, you can also add them via a project's Members page.
To add someone to the account:
- Click the Accounts link, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner. Select MANAGE ACCOUNT for the account you which to manage membership for.
- Click ACCOUNT MEMBERS.
- Click the Add Member button, enter an email address and select the desired account role. Then click the Add
Note: If you want a member to have project creation permission in your account, check the Project Creator box. The owner and account Admins have that permission without needing the box to be checked. Also, there can only be one Account owner.
- Optionally, click the Actions menu next to the newly added members name and click Add to Projects, to add the
person to all projects or individual projects in the account, after clicking the Save button. (They can also be added from within a project via Add/Remove Members under the PROJECT menu).
Note: You can add someone in accounting to the account as an admin so they can print receipts, without adding them to projects. Then they will not count against plan collaborator limits.
To Remove someone from the account
- Click the Accounts link, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner. If you have more than one account, select the account you which to manage membership for.
- Click ACCOUNT MEMBERS
- Click the Actions menu to the right of the newly added members name and click Remove Member.
- Click the Remove button Note: This will remove the person from the account and therefore from all projects in the account.
What happens when you remove people from an account?
When someone is removed from the account and therefore from all projects in the account, this will not change projects, stories, assignments, project and story history, etc. Their work will still be recorded in the projects that they have worked on. Also, their name will appear with <inactive> next to it in the stories they have worked on, but as they are no longer collaborators they will not count against the collaborator limit.So, no problems are caused by removing a user from an account. However, you need to make sure that the person you are removing is not the sole owner of a project, before you can remove them. There has to be at least one owner per project. Likewise, if the person is the account owner, you have to make someone else the owner before they are removed from an account.
How do I transfer ownership of an account?
The owner of an account is a special 'admin' who is responsible for managing the account's paid subscription, and receives all billing related emails including payment receipts. An account's owner or any admin can change the owner of the account, via the Actions menu on the Account Members page. There can only be one owner, but an account can have multiple admins.
Can I move projects between accounts?
Yes, project owners can change the account that a given project is associated with. Go to project settings, and click on the 'Change' link next to the account name (it's the second field, under 'Project Title'). You can move the project to any account in which you are an admin or have permission to create projects. For more information, please see moving and consolidating projects under one account.
What if I need to limit who can be invited to projects in my account?
Normally, project owners can invite anyone to their projects. If you'd like to restrict project memberships to people explicitly listed on the account, for example employees of your company, you can choose the 'Restrict Project Members' option on the Account Settings page. If enabled, only explicit account members can be added to projects. Explicit account members can be managed on the Account Members page.
What is a story?
A story is small, concrete deliverable for your project. Typically, on a software project, it's a concise description of some functionality, and is usually written from the perspective of the user. A good story is understood by everyone on your team - developers, product owners, and users - and describe something that can be verified and accepted by the project's customer. A simple example: 'A user should be able to add a product to their shopping cart'.
How much detail should I capture in a story?
We like to think of stories as placeholders for ongoing conversations, and tend to keep stories short, typically to one sentence. It's possible to capture a longer description in the description field, though, and converse about the story using story comments.
Can I break down a story into smaller tasks?
We recommend breaking your project into small stories, so that each story describes a single, concrete feature that adds incremental value. With small stories, there is rarely a need to break things down further, but sometimes developers like to keep a to-do list while working on a story. This is the purpose of the "Tasks" section in story details, under the description field. Hover over a task to edit it, delete it, or move it up and down. You can also check off a task when it's complete, but task status does not affect overall story status. If you do not wish to use tasks on your project, you can go to your project settings, and uncheck the 'enable tasks' option under General.
Can I format text in my stories?
You can make text bold, or have it in italics by enclosing the text you want to apply those styles to, in asterisks and/or underscores. For example: *bold*, _italics_ , or *_bold and italics_*. Add the comment or task you are editing or save the story to see the formatting take effect.
Why are my stories moving from the backlog to the current panel?
Tracker automatically moves stories from the top of the backlog to the current iteration based on project velocity. For example, if your velocity is 6, Tracker will move 6 points worth of stories to the current iteration, because that is what is projected to be completed. Think of the current panel as a view of the top of the backlog (in fact, there's even an option on your Profile page to 'Include Current in Backlog', for teams that prefer the single, unified view of all prioritized stories). Stories should be organized so that the most important are at the top of the current panel, and flow back through your backlog in priority order.
Note: The 'Initial Velocity' setting in Project Settings (the default is 10) is only used if you do not have any 'Done' iterations from which to calculate velocity. The Getting Started guide also contains helpful information.
Why won't my stories stay in the current panel?
Once your current iteration has stories with a total point value that fits within the current velocity, any estimated stories that exceed your project's Velocity will remain in the backlog. They will move to the current iteration if you start them, but the a story should only be started when work actually begins on it. You can always use release markers to help show items that are planned even if they don't 'fit' in your current panel.
Note: When you click Start, you become the owner of the story.
When do accepted stories move from Current to Done?
Accepted stories stay in the current iteration until the iteration is over, and a new one begins (usually the following week, depending on how long your iterations are). At that point, the current iteration moves to the Done panel, along with all stories accepted in the iteration.
Why can't I move done stories from Current to Done?
Accepted stories in the Current Iteration/Panel will move the Done panel once the current iteration ends. For example if you are using the Project setting defaults (weekly iterations starting on Mondays), your Current iteration will roll over next Monday morning.
Can I move multiple stories?
You can drag and drop multiple stories, in the same way as single stories, after selecting them. To select stories, use the small checkboxes to the right of the story titles. If you'd like to select a range of stories, click the first checkbox that you want, then shift click another checkbox farther down the list to select that story and all the stories in-between. This will allow you to drag them together, or use some of the other actions in the Stories drop-down menu, such as export to CSV or move to another project. Note: range select with shift-click only works in a single panel at a time, but you can select multiple ranges of stories across the whole project.
Why did my story un-start when I moved it?
It’s possible to drag single or multiple stories that are started, down among un-started stories in current, also to the backlog or icebox. Since work in progress should always be at the top of current, when you move them to those locations, Tracker just does the right thing and un-starts them.
How can I quickly drag stories to the top or bottom of a panel, especially if the panel contains many stories?
While you are dragging a story, a panel will auto-scroll when you get near the top or the bottom of a panel. However, when you are dragging within a panel containing many stories, it can be slow to wait for the entire panel to scroll by. You can use the 'Clone Panel' () icon to make this easier:
- Clone the panel with the stories to be moved
- Select the stories in the first panel
- Scroll the second panel to the top or bottom using the scrollbar (which is much quicker than scrolling while dragging)
- Drag the selected stories from the first panel to the second panel, either above the top story or on the hash-marked drop zone at the bottom
What if more than one person edits a story concurrently?
Your Tracker browser session is never more than a few seconds out of date with the server. If two people make changes to the same story in that small window, Tracker picks a winner and rolls back the changes made by the loser. The person losing this arbitration receives a notification that their changes have been overwritten.
How do I find a particular story?
Use the search field at the top of the Project page to find stories. The simplest way is to search by some text in the story name or description, but more advanced searches are also possible (see below). Searches are performed across all story text (e.g., title, description, comments, tasks, requestor, owner, attachment filename and attachment description). You can click the Reveal button to highlight the story in context.
How can I find all stories that I own but haven't yet started?
Developers often wish to see all the stories they own but haven't yet started. The My Work panel will show any stories assigned to you that have not yet been started. It will also display all stories in Delivered status (i.e., ready for Accept or Reject) for which you are the requester.
How can I find all stories I've requested that are delivered and ready for me to verify?
Project managers often want to know what stories have been delivered and are ready for them to accept or reject. The My Work panel will show all stories in Delivered status (i.e., ready for Accept or Reject) for which you are the requester. It will also display any stories assigned to you that have not yet been started.
How can I copy a story's URL or ID to the clipboard?
Expand a story, and click on the chain link button () in the top left corner to copy the story's URL to the clipboard. The button will flash yellow to indicate that the URL has been copied. You can also do this with the story ID, just click the ID button to the left of the number. Note - this copy-to-clipboard functionality uses Flash. If Flash is disabled in your browser, you'll see a text field with the story URL instead. If Flash is enabled, but causes problems for you, you can disable the Flash-based copy-to-clipboard feature on your Profile page - look for the 'Click to copy' setting.
Is there a way to link one story or epic to another?
To embed a link to a story or epic in the description, task, or comment of another story or epic, you can either copy and paste the story/epic URL, or use the short #STORY_ID (or ##EPIC_ID for epics) format. You can copy a story's URL or ID to the clipboard with the corresponding button in the top left corner of the expanded view of a story or epic (see above).
After you save the story or post the comment with the story link, the link will appear with a blue or purple background (purple is for epics), indicating that you can hover over that link with the mouse to see a quick preview of that linked-to story or epic. This works for stories/epics in the current project, as well as with stories/epics in other projects.
Note: This on-hover preview will only show you details of stories and epics from those projects to which you have access.
Can I see a larger or full page view of a story?
Stories can be toggled to full-page mode by clicking on the arrow button () to the right of the story title, in an expanded story. Stories appear in this full-page mode automatically, when following a story URL, for example from an email. To shrink the story from the full-page view, and see it in context of the project, click the arrow button () in the top right corner. The X button closes the story.
How do I find the history for a particular story?
With the story expanded, click the clock icon () next to the story ID. The Story History panel will open with the history for that story. Please note, if the story is over six months old, the complete history might not be displayed.
Can I open multiple panels of the same type?
Yes, you can duplicate any panel by clicking on the clone () icon in the panel header. This comes in handy when reorganizing a backlog or icebox with a large number of stories.
How will I know if stories I care about are being delivered, or have been rejected?
Tracker emails the requester (usually the PM) when the story is delivered. Tracker also emails the owner (typically a developer) when a story is rejected. These notification options are set on your Notifications Settings page.
Can I comment on a story via email?
Simply reply to a notification email from Tracker, and all of the text that you add in your reply (above the copy of the notification your emailer automatically includes) will be added to that story as a comment. For this to work, you must send the reply from the email address associated with your Tracker login.
Can a story belong to more than one project?
No, stories are unique to a particular project, and cannot be associated with stories in other projects. Similarly, labels and releases are all project-specific.
Can I move a story from one project to another?
Yes. To move a story, or a group of stories, select them first, using the selection check boxes to the right of story titles. Then, select the 'Move to Project...' option in the Stories drop-down menu, and choose the project to which you'd like the story or stories moved. You should see a message that the stories were moved, and there should a history entry for the move as well, both in the source and destination project. Moved stories retain comments, tasks, attachments, as well as their own history of actions. It's also possible to move stories to a project via the API. Simply do a story update, with the target project's ID in the story's element. More on that on the API help page.
Can I move a story created by an integration to another project, e.g. Bugzilla, Zendesk, Jira or Get Satisfaction?
Since each integration is project specific, it is not possible to move stories that are linked to an external application from one project to another, via the STORIES menu. However, you can create a story in the new project, where you can provide a link to the original story or external item. CSV export / import may be used for this, if you remove integration specific columns before importing.
How can a search be refined?
Searches can be refined with the following modifications:
These can be used to search for an exact phrase. Use quotes for search terms containing spaces, dashes, underscores, parentheses, etc. "I find your lack of faith disturbing" "all_too_easy"
Commas can be used to search on multiple different values within the same search term, for the state, type, id and external_id search terms only. Do not include spaces before/after the commas. state:started,unstarted type:bug,chore id:1,2,3 external_id:100,109
Spaces ( )
Searches and search filters can be combined by separating the terms with a space. The results that match every parameter will be displayed.
state:started requester:DD label:"my stuff" keyword
Note: colons after search keywords should not have spaces between them and the search term, e.g. has:labels should not have a space between has: and labels.
All search criteria can be negated (for NOT searches) by putting a minus sign before the criteria, including words in stories. -state:accepted -owner:DV -label:"ignore me" -shopping
Regular expressions including wildcards (*, ?)
Search for similar words and phrases easily, such as the same word spelled 2 different ways, or that start with, end with or contain different possible characters. *12345 12345* *234* seriali?e label:needs_* name:admin*
Regular expressions need to be surrounded in forward slashes. To find serialize and serialise: /seriali.e/
Note: If search term is in double quotes, it is not treated as a regular expression.
Name, labels, type, state & estimates
Search for stories and epics by name or word(s) in a name. If your label contains a space or colon, it must be surrounded in quotes. name:"Exhaust ports are ray shielded" name:Exhaust name:Exhaust name:shielded
You can also click on a label name to automatically search this way. If your label contains a space or parentheses, it must be surrounded in quotes. label:"rebel scum" label:"(red squadron)"
To search for unlabeled stories. label: label:"" no:labels -has:labels
Constrain your search to: Feature, Bug, Chore or Release. type:Feature
The state can be: unscheduled, unstarted, started, finished, delivered, accepted, or rejected. state:unstarted
Find stories by estimate. Use the point number value, or -1 for unestimated stories. estimate:8 estimate:-1
People, Following and My Work
Requester (requester: or requested_by:)
Search using the full name, initials, the username, user id or part of the user's name. requester:OWK
Owner (owner: or owned_by:)
Search using the full name, initials, the username, user id or part of the user's name. owner:"Obi Wan Kenobi"
Stories that have no owner can be searched for by multiple means. owned_by:"" -has:owner no:owner
Search for all stories and epics that you are following (but not stories another project member follows). You must include the colon. is:following
My Work (mywork:)
Show in-progress work for a given username (similar to the "My Work" panel, but for any user). mywork:Chewbacca
Has Attachment (has:attachment)
Returns all stories that have attachments. has:attachment
Stories that have no attachments can be searched for by multiple means. -has:attachment no:attachment
Created On (created: or created_on:)
Returns all stories that were created on the given date. created:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. created_on:"Nov 16 2012"
Created Since (created_since: or created_after:)
Returns all stories that have been created since the given date. created_since:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. created_since:"Nov 16 2012"
Created Before (created_before:)
Returns all stories that were created before the given date. created_before:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. created_before:"Nov 16 2012"
Updated On (updated: or updated_on:)
Returns all stories that were updated on the given date. updated:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. updated_on:"Nov 16 2012"
Updated Since (modified_since: or updated_since: or updated_after:)
Returns all stories that have been updated since the given date. updated_since:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. updated_since:"Nov 16 2012"
Updated Before (updated_before:)
Returns all stories that were updated before the given date. updated_before:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. updated_before:"Nov 16 2012"
Accepted On (accepted: or accepted_on:)
Returns all stories that were accepted on the given date. accepted:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. accepted_on:"Nov 16 2012"
Accepted Since (accepted_since: or accepted_after:)
Returns all stories that have been accepted since the given date. accepted_since:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. accepted_since:"Nov 16 2012"
Accepted Before (accepted_before:)
Returns all stories that were accepted before the given date. accepted_before:11/16/2012
If your date format includes spaces you'll need to quote it. accepted_before:"Nov 16 2012"
Created, Updated or Accepted Between (
Returns all stories that have been created updated or accepted between the given dates. created:11/16/2012..12/16/2012
Relative Dates (today, yesterday, yesterday..today, -2w, -2weeks, -1d, -1day, -2h, -2hours)
Returns all created, updated and accepted stories on or within the specified relative time periods, including the last day(s), week(s), or hour(s). created:today updated:-1w accepted:-2weeks..today
Note: Dates are interpreted in your time zone.
IDs & Integrations
Find a story with a particular ID (which can be found inside a story's details). id:42
Find all stories in a project which are linked to an external system via a specific integration type (i.e. Zendesk, Other, more to come in the future). A project's integrations can be found on the "Integrations" tab in Project Settings. integration:Zendesk integration:Other
External ID (external_id:)
Find an externally linked story (in a project with an External Integration) with a particular External ID (which can be found inside a story's details). external_id:42
Has External ID (has:external_id)
Find all externally linked stories (in a project with an External Integration). You can't currently pass a parameter or search for stories without an external link, so has_external_id:true and has_external_id:false don't work. You must include the colon. has:external_id
Include 'Done' Stories (includedone:)
Include 'Done' stories from prior iterations (which appear in the 'Done' panel) in search results. Default is false (do not show done stories). includedone:true
Using the AND operator
The AND operator will match anything that matches both of its search terms. In order to find any finished stories by Rob, use the following search. owner:Rob AND state:finished
Using the OR operator
The OR operator will match anything that matches on ore more of its search terms. To find something owned by Rob or Susan, use this search. owner:Rob OR owner:Susan
Negating Search Terms
Any search term can be negated by simply prefixing it with a dash. So to search for any story that is not labeled as 'production', use the following query: -label:production
Combining Boolean Terms
Any combination of search terms can be joined with AND and OR. Both of these terms have equal precedence, and group from left to right, so use parenthesis to group as necessary. To search for stories with either 'one' and 'three' or 'two' and 'three', use the following search ((one OR two) AND three)
Combining AND, OR, and -
You can use the negation operator (-) inside nested boolean searches as you normally would. To find a story with one or two, and not three, use the following query. ((one OR two) AND -three)
Is there a limit to the number of stories that appear in search results?
For performance reasons, search results are limited to the first 500 matching stories, so it's best to use the most specific search criteria possible.
How do I keep multiple search panels open?
Click on the pin icon at the top of the search results panel and that panel will remain open until you close it. A new search panel will be opened the next time you search.
What is velocity?
Just like a speedometer that measures how fast you're hurtling through space, Tracker's velocity is a measurement of how fast your team completes stories. Instead of miles or kilometers per hour, Tracker expresses velocity as the number of points completed per iteration (normally a week).
Because Tracker stories are assigned point values instead of due dates, Tracker calculates velocity by averaging the number of points you've completed over the past few iterations. In Tracker, past predicts future.
What is volatility?
Volatility is a measure of how consistent your project’s velocity is. While velocity shows you what will be done, based on the rate at which recent work has been completed, volatility shows how reliable that is. A low volatility tells you that estimates are accurate and that you can be confident about what will be done in each iteration.
Read more about how volatility can help your team, and how it is calculated in this blog post.
Where is volatility shown?
You can see information about your most recently visited projects on the Dashboard, including their current volatility. This is a percentage, computed using the number of recent iterations set in each project’s settings for "Velocity Strategy", by a project owner. On mousing over the volatility, you’ll see which iterations were used to calculate volatility and velocity.
As well as the Dashboard, the Velocity chart, in a project's Charts panel, shows the running volatility over the project's visible history. That history is the number of completed iterations shown in the Done panel. The default "Number of Done Iterations to Show" can be updated in Project Settings by a project owner.
What are iterations?
Iterations are just fixed increments of time, one week long by default. Tracker keeps a count of how many points of stories your team gets accepted per each iteration, allowing it to calculate a running velocity (based on the average points per the most recent N iterations), and project the number of future iterations remaining in the rest of the backlog, based on prioritized stories and their estimates.
What is velocity good for?
Velocity allows Tracker to predict when work you've scheduled will be completed. Since stories in Tracker are given estimates in point values, Tracker can track your performance and give more accurate estimates than wishful due dates we all like to get stories done by.
What are points?
A point is a relative measure of complexity, and indirectly the effort to complete a feature story. At first, it can be based on something concrete, like ideal engineering days, but over time, as your team gets used to thinking in terms of points, they'll become natural and intuitive, and part of the team's daily language.
What point scales can I use?
When estimating a story, you choose a value from the project's point scale. Tracker supports three built-in point scales - Linear (0/1/2/3), Powers of 2 (0/1/2/4/8), and Fibonacci (0/1/2/3/5/8), but you can also create your own custom point scale, if your team is used to a specific one already.
To use your own set of point values for your project, go to your project settings, choose 'Custom' in the point scale dropdown and enter up to 12 numbers in ascending order, separated by commas. Points must be whole numbers in the range of 0 to 999. When using a custom point scale, the estimate values will appear as numbers, instead of the bars that you see when using one of the default point scales. Unestimated stories will show the first 5 point values, which you can click to select. If your point scale has more values, you can choose one of them to estimate a story by clicking the '+' button on the right.
What is iteration team strength?
Iteration Team Strength allows you to tell Tracker about variations in your team from iteration to iteration. This helps you account for things like holidays, sickness, or other temporary team fluctuations.
For example, if half of your team leaves for a conference one iteration, you might set your the team strength of that iteration to 50%. Likewise, if your team works all weekend to prepare for launching your product, you would set the team strength to 140% (since they worked 7 days instead of a normal 5 day work week).
To change team strength for an iteration, click on the icon in the iteration header. You'll see a little dialog box come up with a field for entering a percentage. After you apply that percentage, it will appear in the header instead of the icon.
When an iteration has a custom team strength, the points in that iteration are converted into the number of points the team would have completed at 100% team strength. As a result, team strengths between 1-99% (inclusive) increases the number of points averaged for that iteration. Team strengths greater than 100% reduce the number of points in that iteration that contribute to velocity.
Note that iterations with 0% team strength are excluded from velocity calculation.
Can the length of a single iteration be adjusted?
Tracker emphasizes splitting your work into consistent iterations, so your team can focus on delivering real value, every week instead of big future deadlines. That's why each iteration is always the same length.
But sometimes you're working on something that just can't be completed in a single iteration, perhaps because it's not possible to release features independently. Or perhaps your project is on hiatus for the summer.
In both cases, you can change the length of an iteration to reflect the special circumstances. In the case where your project is on hiatus for the summer, you would change the iteration to last the entire summer and set its Team Strength to 0%. Tracker will ignore this iteration and leave your velocity untouched.
To change the length of an iteration, click on the start date in the iteration header, and enter the desired number of weeks in the popup window that appears. Iterations that have been adjusted will display with the start and end date in a different color (yellow). To revert the change, click on the iteration's date again and click the revert button.
How exactly do team strength and iteration length affect velocity calculation?
Velocity is, to be precise, the sum of all 'normalized' points completed over a given set of iterations (based on project settings), divided by the combined length of all those iterations, in weeks. 'Normalized' points are the number of points the team would have completed in an iteration at 100% team strength (more on that above).
velocity_per_week(iteration_1, ..., iteration_N) = SUM(iteration_i.points / iteration.team_strength) / SUM(iteration.length_in_weeks)
Iterations with a team strength of 0 are excluded from both sums.
The formula above always returns velocity per week. The project velocity Tracker displays is always multiplied by the default iteration length, and rounded down to the nearest integer. For example, if your iterations are 2-weeks long by default, Tracker will multiply the per-week velocity by 2.
How is Initial Velocity used?
When starting a new project, there are no past iterations with which to calculate velocity. In these cases, Tracker uses an initial velocity, which you can set in the Project Settings page.
Initial velocity will also be used if you haven't completed any work at all for the past 3 iterations (or however many iterations you've configured velocity to average).
How can I change the velocity of my project?
You can experiment with overriding project velocity, but that's only visible to you, until you revert the override or close your browser. You cannot change the actual velocity, which Tracker calculates from previous iterations. Velocity is a reflection of how much your team can get done in a single iteration. Artificially inflating this number can lead to missed deadlines and stressed programmers. Your job is to estimate and prioritize your stories; let Tracker calculate what can be completed based on impartial measurements of effort and time.
How do I maintain project velocity when restarting a project that has been on hold, paused, or stalled for a number of iterations?
If several iterations pass where little or no work is done on a project, and then you resume work, you will want to use your velocity from the last iterations in which you actually performed work. You can do this by combining iteration length and team strength override:
- Locate the iteration where the project was first "paused", and zero- or low-velocity iterations began.
- Change the length of this iteration to include all of your paused, zero- or low-velocity iterations.
- Set the team strength for this custom-length iteration to zero or the correct reduced strength for the period of time.
Now, the custom-length iteration with overridden team strength will only be counted as a single iteration in your running velocity calculation, and the last iterations in which you actually performed work will be included in the calculation.
Can I change how long iterations are, and when they start?
Your project settings determine how long your iterations are and when they start, with the defaults being one week and Mondays. You can change this (in the Project Settings page) to 1-3 weeks and any day of week.
How do I change the number of iterations included in the velocity calculation?
In Project Settings, you can change the Velocity Strategy to include the past 1, 2, 3, or 4 iterations. The default is 3 iterations.
What is the Current Iteration?
The current iteration is the iteration that your project is on right now (this week, for one week iterations). It contains all stories completed in the current iteration, as well as all started, finished, delivered, and rejected stories. If there is room for more stories (from the top of the backlog) based on your project's velocity, those stories will automatically appear in the current iteration as well.
By default, the current iteration in it's own special panel (Current) and not the backlog, but there's a preference on your Profile page that allows you to combine the current iteration with the rest of the backlog.
Can we plan for more (or fewer) stories for the current iteration?
In general, we recommend letting Tracker plan your iterations automatically. There may be times, however (for example early in the project, before velocity stabilizes), when it may be preferable to commit to more (or fewer) stories than what Tracker estimates will be completed. To plan the current iteration manually, turn off the Plan Current Iteration Automatically on the project settings page. In this mode, you'll have full control over stories in the current iteration - the only stories that will appear there are any in-progress stories, stories you've accepted since the start of the iteration, and stories you've explicitly moved there via drag/drop. Note that turning off automatic planning only affects the current iteration - you will still see future iterations in the backlog, calculated based on the project's velocity.
Why can't I estimate bugs and chores?
By default, only features (which are planned stories that provide immediate, direct business value) can be estimated with points. In contrast to features, bugs and chores tend to emerge over time, and while they are a necessary part of your project, they can be thought of as a constant drag on business-valued output - an ongoing cost of doing business.
Tracker's automatic velocity calculation frees you from having to account for this cost, allowing you to focus your planning on business value, risk, and prioritization. By measuring velocity in terms of features only, Tracker can estimate how much real, business-valued work can be completed in future iteration, allowing you to predict when project milestones might be achieved, and allow you to experiment with how any change of scope might affect such milestones.
While discouraged, it is possible to enable estimation for bugs and chores, in project settings. However, it is not possible to revert that setting once your project has any estimated bugs or chores.
How can I export stories/epics from my project?
You can export the entire project (including epics), or selected stories. Use the 'Export CSV' option in the Project menu to export the entire project (or the entire backlog/icebox), or select some stories and use the Stories drop-down menu. To export epics, use the 'Export CSV' option in the Project menu and select 'All Epics' in the options. This will download stories/epics to a comma delimited text file. The first row in the exported CSV file contains column headers, which are required for the Import CSV.
Can stories and epics be imported from CSV?
Project owners can use the CSV file format to import stories and/or epics (via the Project menu on the project page).
Import can be used to update existing stories/epics, or create new ones, and both stories and epics can be imported from the same file.
If a row in the import file contains a value in the ID column, Tracker will attempt to update fields of the existing story or epic with
that ID (in the target project), otherwise it will create a new story or epic.
When importing epics, the 'Type' field of the CSV import must contain the value 'epic' to indicate that the row is an epic. Importing this example will result in one new story, and an update to an existing one:
Id,Title,Labels,Type,Estimate,Current State,Created at,Accepted at,Deadline,Requested By,Owned By,Description,Comment,Comment 100, existing started story,"label one,label two",feature,1,started,"Nov 22, 2007",,,user1,user2,this will update story 100,, ,new story,label one,feature,-1,unscheduled,,,,user1,,this will create a new story in the icebox,comment1,comment2
This example would result in one new epic, and an update to an existing one:
Id,Title,Labels,Type,Description 100, existing epic,"label one,label two",epic,this will update epic 100 ,new epic,label one,epic,this will create a new epic in the icebox
The first row of the import file must contain column headers. For stories, the only column that is required is 'Title', all other columns are optional. When importing epics, both the ‘Title’ and ‘Type’ columns are required.
Importing this example will create two new stories, and one new epic:
Title,Type,Description first new story,, this will be the description for one new story second new story,, and this will describe a second new story and one epic,epic,this will be the description for one new epic
Certain columns (in an exported CSV file) are ignored during import, including iteration number and start/end dates, as well as the URL. Also, possible values for Current State are 'unscheduled' (meaning the story is in the icebox), 'unstarted' (in the backlog), ‘planned’ (in current for manually planned projects), 'started', 'finished', 'delivered', 'accepted', and 'rejected'. When importing stories and epics, possible values for Type include 'feature', 'release', 'bug', 'chore', and ‘epic’.
When updating stories using the CSV import, to change story estimate value to 'Unestimated', set the 'Estimate' column value to '-1' in the CSV.
Can I edit or add new tasks to existing stories using CSV import?
Tracker currently only allows you to add tasks through CSV import when you're creating a new story.
What are labels for?
Labels are tags, associated with stories. Use them to organize your icebox, and keep track of related stories (for a example a large feature or a theme).
How do I add a label to a story?
In an expanded story, or when creating a new story, click into the Labels field and type the name of the desired label. If a label already exists that matches what you type, you'll see it appear in a list below the Labels field - use the down key to select it, and hit enter. The down-arrow icon at the end of the Labels field allows you to choose an existing label quickly with the mouse. You can also apply labels to multiple stories at once, by selecting multiple stories, and using the Stories drop-down menu at the top of the project page.
How do I use labels to find stories?
You can see all labels in the project in the Labels & Searches panel. Clicking on a label will show all stories with that label. You can also click on labels next to story titles.
Can I remove a label from a story?
To remove a label from a story, expand the story, and click on the 'x' to the right of the label that you'd like to remove. You can also select multiple stories, and remove labels using the Stories menu at the top of the project page.
How can I rename or delete a label from a project?
Open the Labels & Searches panel. Hovering over a label reveals two icons which allow you to rename or delete that label.
Can I have a label belong to more than one project?
No. Labels are unique to a particular project. Similarly, stories, releases, and user-roles are all project specific. If you have labels with the same name in two different projects, searching by that label will only return stories from the current project.
What is a release story?
A release is a special type of story that represents a milestone in the backlog. Releases may be tied to production code pushes or they may simply represent a group of related features.
How do I organize stories for a release?
Organizing a release in Tracker starts with having a prioritized Backlog of stories, grouping them with Epics and tracking their completion with Releases. Epics can be thought of as containers used to group features together into larger feature sets. Stories set to the Release type are markers that indicate a certain milestone in the backlog. You can optionally set a deadline in a release marker as well.
Release markers should always go at the end of a set of prioritized stories that make up a release, rather than the beginning. As stories are completed, the release follows them through the workflow because as stories above the release marker are finished, the release marker will make its way up the backlog and into the current panel. You can drag stories above and below the release marker to indicate where or not they will be included in the release. Once all of the stories above the release marker are completed, you can click the 'Finish' button on the release story.
How do I create a release marker?
A release marker is just a story that has its Type set to Release. While release markers frequently represent the release of code to production, they can represent any milestone or deliverable that is meaningful for a team such as an iteration or a internal beta. They can optionally have a date assigned to them. If a release is tied to a date, once the date has passed the marker turns red.
What does the releases panel do?
The releases panel shows all releases color-coded by their state. Dark blue indicates that the release is in progress or is completed. Red indicates that a release is currently falling after its deadline.
Releases cannot be reordered in the release panel. They appear in the backlog just below the final story in the release.
How can I set a fixed date for a release?
When you create a release marker, you have the option of tying it to a specific date. A line will appear in the iteration where that date falls. The release marker itself will continue to appear just below the last story included in the release. If a release marker is below the fixed date mark it will turn red, indicating the release is in danger of being completed after the fixed deadline. As long as the release marker is above the fixed date it will continue to appear in blue.
How can my team plan and keep track of big features at a high level?
Epics allow your team to plan, discuss, and keep track of progress of coarse grained features or themes, at a level higher than individual stories. Epics are similar to stories, but they live in their own panel, and can be arranged independent of stories in the backlog, to make the project's big picture priorities obvious to the whole team. You can also use epics for design collaboration of big features, and make it easy for developers to find assets (such as mockups) for a big feature that spans dozens of stories.
How do I link stories to an epic?
Epics are tied to stories via a special label, called the linked label. Apply this label to stories to make them part of the epic. Labels linked to epics are purple, instead of the usual green.You can also drag a story (or stories) from the icebox or backlog to an epic's story list panel, to move that story to that position and associate the story with the epic. To just link stories to an epic, without moving them, drag and drop stories on to the epic itself, in the epics panel.
What is the difference between epics and releases?
Epics represent large features or themes, and tie multiple stories together, allowing those stories to be interspersed with stories from other epics in the backlog or icebox. In contrast, releases represent specific milestones in the backlog, in terms of scope, with optional target dates.
I'm already using labels to keep track of big features - can I convert these labels to epics?
Yes. Open the Labels and Searches panel (via Shift-L, or the More menu in your project), and click the 'Convert to Epic' item in the drop-down menu next to the desired label or labels.
How can I mark an epic as complete?
An epic automatically turns green to indicate that it's complete, when all of its prioritized stories become accepted. With all prioritized stories accepted, epics are considered complete even if they still have stories in the icebox, since on-ice stories tend to stay that way for a long time or indefinitely. Completed epics whose accepted stories are no longer in the current iteration (but are all in done, past iterations), get automatically hidden from the epics panel - click the ‘Show N Done Epics’ link at the top to reveal them.
If I delete an epic, will all its stories go away?
Deleting an epic removes the epic itself, along with its description, comments, and file attachments, but it does not delete any stories or the linked label itself.
How do the epic progress bars get scaled?
The multi-colored progress bars that you see in the epics panel are a relative visualization of epic size and progress, in terms of accepted/in-progress/prioritized/on-ice story states. The width of the bars are scaled relative to the largest epic in the project, and un-estimated stories (including bugs and chores), are assumed to have a fractional point value (0.5).
How can I tell when an epic is projected to be completed?
Hover over an epic’s multi-color progress bar with the mouse to see a more detailed breakdown, including an estimated completion date. This date is the last day of the iteration that the epic's last prioritized story appears in, in the backlog.
When will Tracker send me email notifications?
By default, Tracker will send you an email notification when:
- a story you've requested is delivered for your acceptance
- a story you own (are working on) is accepted or rejected
- there is a new comment on a story or epic that you're following, or you're explicitly mentioned in (more on that below)
- a story is assigned to you (i.e. someone makes you the owner of the story)
- for all projects you are a member or owner of
You can change the default settings and also choose to receive email for the following:
- when any new story or epic is created in your projects
- all comments in your projects
- only comments with explicit @mentions of you
- comments excluding source commits
- all story state changes
Note: You will not receive email notifications for actions you perform.
Note: You can also mute general notifications from specified projects. You will only receive notifications from muted projects if you are mentioned, unless you have selected "No comments" for both In-app and email notification.
To control which email notifications you receive, go to your Profile (in the menu under your username), then the Notifications Settings tab.
Replying to any email notification about a specific story or email will add that reply as a new comment.
How can I follow specific stories or epics?
Stories and epics can be explicitly followed by checking the 'Follow this story' checkbox, in the expanded view of a story or epic. You will receive email notifications for all comments posted to stories or epics that you follow, unless you've disabled such notifications on your Notifications Settings page (see above).
If you're the requester or owner of a story, you follow that story automatically. You also become a follower of a story or epic when you post a comment to it.
Is it possible to bring someone specific into the story conversation?
To make sure that a specific project member or owner receives notification about your comment, or to simply add a person as a follower to a story or epic, you can mention them in a story comment by typing @, followed by the first few letters of their name or username. Note that project viewers cannot be @mentioned or follow stories, since they are readonly. You'll see a dropdown menu appear, with matching members of the project. You can also click the add mention () button below the comment (it's the rightmost button) to add a mention.
Mention a person in a comment makes that person a follower of the story or epic, and results in email notifications for subsequent comments (per their notification settings).
Note: If you see the icon in the mention dropdown, it means that the person in the list has disabled their comment email notifications, and will not receive an email for your comment.
What charts are available in Tracker?
The Release Burn-down chart shows progress through the Release chosen in the drop-down box. The graph shows the actual burn-down of points up to the current iteration along with the projected burn-down line assuming the current velocity is maintained. In addition, the necessary fixed burn-down rate is shown as a straight line starting with the beginning of the release and hitting zero points at the end of the release. If a release is behind schedule the target line will turn red. If a release is ahead of schedule the target line will be green.
The Current Iteration Burn-up chart shows progress through the current iteration. As stories are accepted their points are added to the line. The target line starts at zero at the beginning of the iteration and increases at a fixed rate to reach velocity at the end of the iteration. Falling below the line means the current iteration's velocity is currently lower than the running average velocity. Being above the line means the current iteration's velocity is currently higher than the running average velocity.
The velocity chart shows the team's actual velocity in past iterations along with the running average velocity and the mean velocity for the life of the project.
The Story Type Breakdown chart shows the distribution of story types and points by iteration. The values can be overlapping or stacked.
How do I access reports?
The Reports link in the top right corner will take you to the various reports available. You can also access project-specific reports from the Project Overview page.
What is the Progress Report?
The progress report shows selected information about the stories in your projects. Select the proper date range and the project of interest. By default, All Projects is selected. The list will show the title of every story that changed state in the date range, along with the history and/or current state of the story, as selected.
The first column of checkboxes allows you to filter stories by Current State. The second column filters stories by Story Type. The third column lets you select whether to show the History of each story (every state change and edit in its life), the Current State of the story (in parentheses after the story name), both, or neither. If neither checkbox is selected, only the story titles will be displayed.
Note: Progress reports may only show stories and history from within the last 6 months.
What are the Points Breakdown Reports?
These charts help you visualize the progress of your project as stories move through the different stages of completion. Stories start out as "Unstarted", then move on to "Started", "Finished", "Delivered", and then "Accepted" (unless they get rejected). The different colored bars show the point totals of the stories that are in each state at the end of each day. As days pass, you would expect the number of unstarted to go down, and the number of accepted to go up. If any of the other groups are especially big, the chart may help you identify bottlenecks in your workflow.
This breakdown is available for both the current iteration and the previous one. You can also use it to visualize the development of your entire project for the last 15, 30, or 60 days. Stories in the icebox, and stories that were already done at the beginning of the period, are excluded from the totals.
Is there a way to keep track of how much time I spend on projects?
Tracker does have basic time keeping functionality, which allows you to record how many hours you've spent on a given project, per day, for record keeping or invoicing your clients. You'll need to enable this functionality for your Account, on the Account Settings page, accessible via the Accounts link, located under your name at the top-right of Tracker (Username->Accounts->Manage Account->Settings->Time Tracking).
I've enabled time for my account(s), now what?
You should see a Time link, located under your name at the top-right of Tracker. Clicking that will take you to a Time Tracker page, where you can enter time shifts for your projects as well as run and export time shift reports.
You can enter shifts via the New Shift link. The section above it allows you to specify criteria for a report of entered shifts - the Submit button just displays the shifts that match the criteria.
Can other people on my account enter time as well?
You can add additional 'time enterers' on the Account Members Page (Accounts -> Manage Account-> Account Members->Actions). Time enterers are those who can enter time on the account. Time Keepers are those who can administer time on the account and view all time data associated to projects on the given account. Time enterers on the account will be able to enter time against any project in this account.
Will Tracker keep track of how much time I spend on stories or projects for me?
No, time keeping is manual, Tracker only keeps track of your velocity at the level of a project. At Pivotal Labs, we normally take a few minutes at the end of each day to record how many hours we spent on each client project, for invoicing purposes.
Can I add file attachments to stories?
Attachments can be added to stories in projects that are configured to allow attachments. Open a story, use the Browse button to select the file you'd like to attach, and click Upload. Files are stored on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). You can upload any number of files, but the size of each file must be 50 megabytes or less.
Where are the files actually stored?
How reliable is that, and do you back up files that are attached to stories in Tracker?
We rely on Amazon's S3 service for file attachments, and do not back them up ourselves. More information about the reliability of the S3 service can be found in Amazon's S3 FAQ, and their SLA (Service Level Agreement) can be found here. We recommend maintaining your own copies of files that you upload to Pivotal Tracker stories.
Does Tracker have an API?
Yes, Tracker has a comprehensive RESTful HTTP API. It allows developers to extends Tracker's functionality, and integrate with other tools that your team might be using. For documentation and examples, see API Help.
Where can I find my API Token?
Your token API allows you to authenticate against the API, and/or 3rd party tools that access your Tracker projects via the API. You can find your token at the bottom of the Profile page, accessible via the dropdown menu under your username in the top right corner of any page. If you don't have a token yet, click CREATE NEW TOKEN.
Removing or replacing an existing token
To invalidate an existing token, click REMOVE_TOKEN on your Profile page. You can also replace your existing token by clicking on CREATE NEW TOKEN. Any application using a token that's been removed or replaced will no longer have access to your Tracker data. Note - changing your password replaces your API token automatically.
How do I use my API token securely?
If you suspect that your API token has been compromised, remove or replace it on your Profile page (see above).
How can I integrate Tracker with other applications?
Tracker allows you to prioritize and collaborate on stories that were imported from, and linked to resources in other applications, for example bug tracking tools, customer support ticket systems, etc. See the Integrations help page for details.
How do I add Tracker to my Google Apps domain?
Please follow the steps detailed here. Note - you need certain privileges in your Google Apps domain in order to install apps from the Google Apps Marketplace.
How do I add users from my Google Apps domain to Tracker?
As a Tracker account owner or admin, go to your account members page for the account that is linked to your Google Apps domain. Click 'Add Member' and at the bottom of the popup form you will see a link 'Add members from list' to bulk add users from the Google domain.
How do I attach Google Docs to my stories?
On a project that is in an account linked to the Google Apps domain, open the story details for the story you wish to attach to and click 'Add Google Doc'. You will then see a popup list of documents that you can select for attachment. Any Google Doc you add to a Tracker story will be automatically shared with project members, when they first open that Google Doc from within Tracker.
How do I remove Tracker from my domain?
Go to the Google Apps Dashboard for your domain - if you can’t find it via Google’s navigation menus, the URL is usually this format:
All installed apps are in the Google Apps Marketplace section, near the bottom of the page. Find the Pivotal Tracker entry, and click the “Delete Pivotal Tracker“ link on the details page. This does not delete data in Tracker, it only removes it from Google’s navigation and revokes data access permissions.
You will also need to “unlink” the integration from the Tracker side. Go to the Settings page of the account that was linked to Google Apps (by clicking on the Accounts link, located in the dropdown menu accessed from your name in the upper-right corner. Then select MANAGE ACCOUNT for the appropriate account and choose the SETTINGS tab), and look for “Unlink from Google Apps domain”. Again, unlinking the account does not delete any data, and you can link the account to Google Apps again at any time by following the steps here.
We've added Tracker to our domain but don't see any of the integration features.
This could be either because your projects are not in the Tracker account that you’ve linked to Google Apps, or the account linking part of the provisioning process did not complete. Remove Tracker from your Google Apps domain (see above), and follow these steps carefully.
I provisioned Tracker and see all the Google Apps features when I log in, but why do my coworkers not see them?
It’s possible that they are working in a project that’s in a different account than what you’ve linked to Google Apps - go to project settings in those projects to see what account they are in. The other reason they don’t see the features might be that they have not yet (correctly) associated their own Google Apps domain identity with their Pivotal Tracker login. Each person has to do this for themselves, as they’re the only ones who have the login credentials for both systems. If they are using a Google Account identity (instead of Google Apps), they will need to un-associate that from their Tracker login, and associate their Google Apps identities - see this entry for how to do that.
How do I associate my Google Account with my Tracker login?
From the Sign In page, you can sign in to Tracker with your Google Account or as a Google Apps for Domains user (click the appropriate link at the bottom of the form). This will take you to Google where you can sign in with your normal Google (or Google Apps) credentials.
The first time you use this Google identity to access Tracker, you will be prompted to choose whether you'd like to associate the Google identity with an existing or new Tracker user.
Note: If you're seeing a duplicate OpenID email warning, it may be because you previously signed in to Tracker with a different OpenID provider (Google Accounts vs Google Apps or vice versa). Google Accounts and Google Apps are different OpenID identities, and currently a Tracker user can be associated with a single identity only.
It may also be because you have different email addresses for your Tracker login and Google OpenID login.
If you have signed in to Tracker with a different email address than your OpenID email, please use that email address and Tracker password under 'Existing Tracker User', to link to your OpenID email address correctly.
Otherwise, to switch the Google identity for your existing Tracker user, follow these steps:
- Sign out of Google and Tracker
- Go to the Tracker Sign In page, and sign in with the Google option you used previously (Google Accounts or Google Apps)
- If you don't have a Tracker password, go to your Tracker Profile page, enter a new password, and click Change Password
- On the Tracker Profile page, click the 'remove' link to the right of the Google OpenID URL
- Sign out of Tracker
- Go back to the Tracker Sign In page, and click the desired Google signing option - either Google Accounts or Google Apps, depending on whether you'd like to associate your Tracker user with an individual Google Account, or a user that's part of a Google Apps domain.
- After signing in via Google, enter your Tracker username or email and the password chosen above, in the 'Existing Tracker User' section on the left side of the displayed form. Your Tracker login will now be associated with your Google identity, and from now on you can just click the Google icon to sign in to Tracker. Remember to use the right one (Google Account vs Google Apps).
Google/OpenID identity management is complicated and can be confusing. If you're having trouble, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you get everything set up correctly.
Why am I getting 'duplicate email' or 'email taken errors' when trying to sign in via Google?
If you see an error message about duplicate OpenID emails, it means that you’ve been to Tracker before, but signed in with a different Google “identity” (Google Accounts vs Google Apps or vice versa). If this happens, please follow the steps here.
If you see a message about your email being in use, it means that Tracker already has a login for you. If you don’t remember your Tracker password, you can use the “forgot password“ link on the normal Tracker signin page. If you’ve really never used Tracker before, then you have probably been “invited” to a Tracker account or project already by a co-worker. If so, you should have received an invitation email that contains an activation link. You must activate your login by following the link in the invitation email. You can then associate your login with your Google Apps domain identity during the activation process.
How can I merge two logins?
Send an email from both email addresses to email@example.com so that we can verify that you own both user accounts. Be sure to specify the email to be removed along with the email you want to keep.
Which browsers can I use?
Pivotal Tracker supports recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, as well as Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11. Please disable any compatibility mode settings in Internet Explorer, these are known to cause problems with Tracker.
How do I refresh my view?
You don't need to explicitly refresh anything. Tracker automatically updates itself with changes made by other users. The browser client polls every few seconds for changes and updates the view immediately.
Are there keyboard shortcuts?
Yes, for some of the more common actions, including showing/hiding panels, adding stories, and searching. On the project page, type '?' to see help on keyboard shortcuts.
How do I help ensure that Tracker email notifications are delivered to my inbox?
Tracker sends emails from 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and 'email@example.com'. Add these addresses as allowed contacts, or indicate that these senders are not spam.
I signed up or was invited to a project, why didn’t I get an email?
If emails from us aren't in your SPAM folder, it is possible we received bounce-backs from your email system. This could be due to a typo in the email address or a problem with your email account.
As well as checking with your email administrator it can help to add 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and 'email@example.com' as allowable senders and/or contacts to help with receiving emails in the future from Tracker.
Also, if you contact Support, we can resend your invitation.
Why can’t I sign in to Tracker or reset my password?
If multiple attempts to sign in fail, for security, we automatically suspended the login. Please contact Support so we can re-enable the login for you.
Note: Someone's login being suspended also temporarily removes them from the account and project member lists. If someone tries to re-add them to the account or project they will see a message saying the user id is already taken.
Can I subscribe to Tracker activity using my RSS/blog reader?
Yes, you can subscribe to the activity in projects, using any blog reader that supports Atom. To subscribe to projects, go to the Projects page and click one or more subscribe icons. Note: The RSS subscribe icon only appears, if the "Enable RSS/Atom" option is selected in a project's Settings.
Can I follow my projects on Twitter?
Set up a Twitter account for your project, and configure Tracker to send tweets to that Twitter account in project settings. Remember, tweets are public (and searchable), so if your project is confidential, enable the 'Protect My Updates' option in your project's Twitter account settings.
We use Campfire for team chat. Can we see what's going on in our Tracker project there as well?
Yes, you can enable Campfire integration with your project, and see project activity in your Campfire room. See the Integrations help page for details.
How does Tracker work with time zones?
Tracker defaults your time zone based on your browser or operating system setting, but this can be changed on your Profile page. All dates and times that you see in Tracker will be adjusted based on your time zone. Projects have time zones as well - this defaults to the time zone of the user who created it, but can be changed as well, in project settings. The project's time zone controls when iteration boundaries occur. If a project's iterations start on Mondays, and its time zone is PST, new iterations will start on Mondays at midnight PST. Everyone in the world will see the new iteration at that same time, even though they may be in different time zones. Someone in New York, for example, won't see the new (current) iteration until 3am their time.
What is your data deletion policy?