Top ten tips

  1. Why can’t I drag stories to the Backlog? Why do they move to Current instead?
  2. What is the Icebox used for?
  3. Why do I have empty iterations in my Backlog?
  4. Can I manually plan the Backlog?
  5. Why is my epic considered done when I haven’t completed all of its stories?
  6. How do I change my velocity?
  7. Why can’t I add additional project members?
  8. Can I add a separate email address for billing-related emails?
  9. How do I change my iteration date ranges?
  10. How do I cancel my paid plan?

Why can’t I drag stories to the Backlog? Why do they move to Current instead?

This will occur when there’s still room in the Current iteration for all scheduled/prioritized stories (scheduled means anything that’s been moved out of the Icebox), according to the estimates that have been assigned to those stories in comparison to the current velocity.

To elaborate, Tracker will only allow stories to be planned in the Backlog if the Current panel contains at least as many story points as the project’s velocity value. For example, if the project velocity is 10, and there are only 5 points’ worth of story points in Current, Tracker will place any new stories in Current until that value of 10 has been exceeded. Once the Current panel contains as many story points as the project velocity is currently worth, stories will start being planned in the Backlog for future iterations.

For more information, please see Backlog-to-Current flow.

What is the Icebox used for?

The Icebox panel is used to house stories that aren’t yet ready to be prioritized/scheduled. A story can be added and kept “on ice” until it’s ready to be prioritized by clicking the + at the top of the Icebox panel. When it’s ready to be prioritized, drag it into the Current iteration/Backlog panel. Icebox stories are in the “unscheduled” state.

Why do I have empty iterations in my Backlog?

Tracker will try and ensure that each estimated story is placed in an iteration in which it can be completed. Depending on what the project velocity is compared to the estimates that’ve been assigned to stories, you may see an iteration that contains fewer points than the current velocity value (or no points at all), while the next iteration contains more. This occurs when Tracker anticipates that a story will be started in one iteration, but won’t be accepted until the following iteration. This behavior is more apparent in projects that have a low velocity, combined with individual story estimates that exceed that low velocity value. When this occurs, you may see empty iterations in between stories to account for the amount of time that would pass before the next story is anticipated to be completed. However, once the current iteration has passed, the velocity will recalculate and the Backlog will adjust accordingly.

For more on how iterations and velocity work in Tracker, please see Working with Iterations in Tracker.

Can I manually plan the Backlog?

Although it’s possible to manually plan the current iteration, there’s not a way to prevent Tracker from automatically planning a project’s future iterations. As stories change state and flow through the Tracker workflow, you will see the planned iterations in the project Backlog adjust accordingly based on the total points planned compared to the current velocity. This helps to give realistic expectations of what can be completed in the coming iterations, based off of an average of the project’s recent rate of progress (velocity). Even though it’s sometimes possible to schedule a story in a particular iteration, it’s likely to change and move into another iteration as conditions in the project change. For this reason, we recommend to not put so much emphasis as to what iteration a story is in, but rather, the priority order of the story in relation to other stories in the project. With good estimating practices, Tracker’s velocity and automatic planning will provide valuable and realistic insight into what the future may hold.

For more on how iterations and velocity work in Tracker, please see Working with Iterations in Tracker.

Why is my epic considered done when I haven’t completed all of its stories?

An epic is considered done when it has at least one story accepted, and no remaining stories in the Backlog; stories in the Icebox aren’t factored in. This is because it’s typical to not get around to completing all the stories in the Icebox. If we counted Icebox stories, the epic might hang around forever, even though all the stories that were planned to be completed for it have been accepted. For this reason, epics can be completed and may show up as “done” even though they still have some stories in the Icebox. However, if there is even one unaccepted story in Current or your Backlog, the epic will not show as done.

How do I change my velocity?

There is not a way to manually set a project’s velocity in Tracker. One of the main purposes of Tracker is to help predict when stories might be completed based on a project’s actual pace of progress over the last few iterations. This helps take pressure off of determining what can fit into an iteration, and allows teams to focus more on what needs to get done (i.e., story prioritization). Combined with good estimating practices, Tracker can help provide realistic expectations about what can be completed in future iterations.

To further elaborate, Tracker calculates velocity based on the number of story points that were accepted over the last few completed iterations (also known as your Velocity Strategy, which you can set to be anywhere from 1-4 iterations, in your Project Settings). Every time a new iteration completes and moves to the Done panel, the project’s velocity recalculates and determines how many points will be planned for future iterations.

For more information about velocity in general, please see Understanding velocity.

Why can’t I add additional project members?

More than likely, the collaborator limits have been reached for the subscription plan chosen for the account. A collaborator is any user who is a member or owner of at least one private project within an account (including the account owner, if they are a member of any private project in the account). Each collaborator only counts once against an account’s collaborator plan limits, regardless of the number of private projects that they are a member of in that account.

For more on how to view and manage collaborators, please see Managing collaborators.

At the moment, only the Tracker account owner can receive billing-related emails and update the billing information. It’s not currently possible to cc or add an email address for those emails.

However, we do have a couple of suggestions. As receipts are sent to the account owner, you might like to make the person you want receipts sent to the owner on the account. If they aren’t invited to any projects in the account, they don’t count against plan limits. For more on how to change the owner, please see Transferring account ownership. Alternatively, you might just set up a rule in your email client to forward Tracker receipts (e.g., to accounting).

How do I change my iteration date ranges?

The most effective way to change your iteration date ranges is to manually edit the length of one previously completed iteration (in weeks) to effectively cause all future iterations to shift up or down as a result.

For instance, if your project’s iteration lengths are one week, and you want your current iteration to shift ahead by a week, simply edit one previously completed iteration to be two weeks. That will make your current and subsequent iterations move forward by one week. Alternatively, if your iteration lengths are two weeks and you want your current iteration to move back a week, edit a previously completed iteration’s length to be one week. That will make the current and subsequent iterations move back one week.

For more, please see Changing the iteration start date.

How do I cancel my paid plan?

We’re so sorry to see you go! If you have any parting thoughts, suggestions, or feedback, we’d really appreciate hearing them at tracker@pivotal.io. For detailed steps on how to cancel a subscription plan, please see Canceling your subscription.

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