Joanne Webb

Commit Mode Update and API Changes


When a team begins a new project, it can take some time for their velocity to stabilize. Tracker’s “Commit Mode” enables scheduling more or fewer stories into the current iteration, sprint or cycle than Tracker would plan automatically. This manual control over the stories included in the current iteration was originally seen as a temporary planning need, so it has only been available on a per-iteration basis.

We continue to recommend that you let Tracker plan for you and focus on achieving a steady velocity. This helps you see what can be done, based on your team’s pace (i.e., the average number of story points completed from your previous iterations). However, we’ve been listening carefully to feedback from those who prefer to always plan the current iteration manually, and have given a great deal of thought to how to evolve this feature. We’ve also kept in mind the Scrum community’s move away from committing to forecasting. So, coming soon in both the original and beta versions of Tracker, commit mode will be reimplemented as “Manual Planning Mode.”

Manually planned projects will have an “MP” icon at the top of the Current or Current/Backlog panel.

Currently, commit mode only exists in the original version of Tracker and not in the beta. When it returns as manual planning mode, in both the original and beta versions, you’ll be able to do everything you used to with it, with a few key changes:

  • The project will not switch back to automatic planning at the end of each iteration. No more clicking on the “diamond ring” to enable manual planning.
  • In manual mode (auto planning disabled), stories won’t automatically flow into the Current iteration. Only in-progress stories and stories accepted in the Current iteration will appear in the current panel (or first iteration in a combined Current/Backlog).
  • Any planned stories that are not accepted when the next iteration starts will remain in Current. Accepted stories will move to the Done panel for the newly completed iteration.
  • Manual planning will be enabled (by deselecting automatic planning) under Project Settings only. There will no longer be an additional step to turn on manual planning in the project itself.

This update also requires some changes to both API V3 and API V5:

  • The “enable_commit_mode” project attribute and “planned_iteration_number” story attribute will be removed from API V5.
  • The “planned” attributes/parameters will be removed from API V5.
  • The V5 story endpoints and resource will include a new attribute, manually_planned. This will only be returned in API responses for stories that are in manually planned projects.
  • A new “automatic_planning” project attribute will be added to all project endpoints in API V5.
  • In API V3, commit_mode will be removed from the project endpoint.

We’ll be looking at more of your requests and suggestions for manual planning in future beta updates. But for now, we hope teams that require manual planning of the current iteration will find these changes go a long way toward meeting your needs.

As always, we appreciate your feedback via email or the comments below and for the latest on Tracker, please follow us on Twitter.