Collaborate with Team Members

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Rally provides several ways for your team to communicate and collaborate on shared work. Depending on your working agreements, your team may choose to collaborate using fields inside of work items, apps, shared page views, shared pages and apps, or a combination of these options. Below are some recommendations on how to utilize each feature.

Collaborate with team members includes the following:

Discussions

Discussions in Rally are a collection of conversational comments regarding a specific work item. A discussion provides a collaborative forum for all team members to record input, such as issues, customer feedback, observations during development, and other information.

Discussion summary page

Each Rally work item has a Discussion summary page.

Discussion link location

The discussion summary page displays:

  • The username that submitted a comment
  • The date and time a comment was added
  • All comments sorted in descending order, with the most recent comment first

You may view and add comments from the Discussion page. To add a comment, use the Add Comment button.

Comments are:

  • Not threaded conversations, but rather a flat listing of time-ordered comments
  • Available for rich-text formatting
  • Limited to 4K in size (including formatting)
  • Indexed for keyword searches
  • Eligible for email notifications
  • Not recoverable from the Recycle Bin once deleted

Discussion icons

You may quickly view how many comments exist on a specific work item and add or remove comments without leaving the page or app.

Discussion icon

Discussion icons are displayed by default on the Backlog, Iteration Status, Release Status pages, and Custom Grid app.

Discussion icons found on cards within board-style apps change color depending on the time the last comment was posted. A discussion with a post less than four hours old displays as dark blue, while older posts display as a lighter blue or grey, so you can see which work items have new information.

You can add the Discussion column to the following pages and apps:

Method Page or app Example
Add a column
  • Backlog
  • Portfolio Items (Requires Rally Portfolio Manager)
  • Children link from the detail page of a portfolio item
Create a custom view
Add a column to a grid app
Use cards on a board app

Recent Activity app

The Recent Activity app allows you to see all recent comments in your current workspace on the Dashboard page, or when installed on a custom page. The app will show any new comments sorted by time.

Recent Activity app

Add a dashboard app.

You can control which workspace and project to reference using the Settings menu in the app. Select the Follow Global Project Setting option to display data from the workspace and project specified in your project picker.

Recent activity app settings menu

Attachments

You can attach separate documents and files to Rally work items to further elaborate or explain them:

  • Attach mock-ups to describe stories
  • Attach error logs and screen shots to clarify defects
  • Attach configuration or setup information to prepare test cases

Attachments are limited to 5MB in size.

Add and remove attachments

To add an attachment to a work item, begin by creating or editing your work item. Once you have a work item editor window open:

  1. Click the Browse button next to the Attachments field.
  2. Browse for the file you wish to attach.
  3. Select the file name to attach, then click Open.
  4. Optionally, enter a description for the attachment. The Description field for attachments is limited to 256 bytes of data (256 ASCII characters).
  5. Click Save to save the attachment and any other changes in the editor window.

To remove an attachment, begin by editing your work item. From the work item editor window, click the trashcan icon Trashcan icon to the right of the attachment, then click Save.

Link to attachments

Share a direct link to an attachment with other team members.

  1. Right-click the attachment file name on the work item detail page.
  2. Click Copy Link Location to save the attachment URL.
  3. Paste the attachment URL into another work item field, email message, or other communication.

Dashboards

Each Rally user has a customizable page under the My Home tab called the Dashboard. This page allows you to configure multiple pre-built and custom apps to show a desired set of data. You can use your dashboard to collaborate with one or more teams.

Set up your dashboard

Consult these topics for detailed information on how to configure and use apps in your dashboard:

Collaborative apps

Below are some suggested apps from the catalog that can help your team collaborate on vital information.

Blocked Work

This app shows any work that you or another team member have marked as blocked, due to factors outside of the team's control.

Custom Apps

The Custom Grid app allows you to use sql-like queries to show a set of Rally work items.

The Custom HTML app allows you to use a custom web script or app. This is useful for linking to other web resources your team may need.

Iteration Burndown

Perhaps the most important graph for determining a team's progress during and after an iteration, the Iteration Burndown chart is available as an app. If you are involved with multiple teams, you can set up more than one app, each pointing to a different Rally project.

Iteration Summary

The Iteration Summary app provides status information for a team's iteration, using simple measurements. The app shows a quick view of the percent of completed work, open defects, and testing status. Recommendations are also provided in the app text if potential issues are detected.

My action items apps

There are three apps that can help you keep track of your commitments to a team. My Defects, My Tasks, and My Test Cases are all set up to show applicable work items that you own. You can create multiple instances of these apps to report on more than one team.

Ready to Accept

The Ready to Accept app displays user stories that are in a completed state with no open defects. This is useful for seeing recently completed work that still needs acceptance by a team lead, product owner, or scrum master.

Custom views

You can use a custom view to display specific data on a Rally summary page. If your team has a set of criteria that dictates what work items should display on a summary page, you can share your custom view with the entire workspace.

Only workspace and subscription administrators may share a custom view with other users.

To share a view, open an editor window by creating or editing a custom view. In the editor window, select the Shared View checkbox.

Shared view check box location

Shared pages and apps

Rally allows you to create your own custom pages under each of the main menu tabs—My Home, Plan, Track, Quality, and Reports. These may be personal or shared with other users in the workspace. You can use a custom page to link to a Rally catalog app, your own custom app, another personal dashboard, or an external URL.

Click here for instructions on how to create and use a custom page.

Share custom pages

In a new or existing custom page, administrators can share a page with the entire workspace. Select the Shared with all users checkbox in the list of custom page fields.

Share with all users check box

Collaborative apps

Inside of a custom page, you can use one of Rally's catalog apps. Below are some suggested apps to use for collaboration:

Blocking History

If you have trouble with the same set of work being continually blocked, want to see the impact of blocking events on an iteration, or need to run a post-mortem on failed work, the Blocking History app may be helpful. This app shows any work items in a given iteration that have been or are currently blocked.

Dependency Status Dashboard #2

If you use predecessors and successors in Rally to manage dependencies, the Dependency Status Dashboard app can help identify those relationships across multiple projects.

Iteration Dashboard

Want to view your iteration progress data in chart form? Use the Iteration Dashboard app. It will show scheduled work, test cases, and defects in a pie chart format, and also include additional burndown charts. This app also allows you to view work from multiple projects simultaneously.

Open Stories, Defects, and Tasks

The Open Stories, Defects, and Tasks app allows you and your team to see all work in a given iteration that has not been marked with a Completed or Accepted schedule state.

Utilization Chart

If your team is constantly under- or over-committing on iteration work, you can use the Utilization Chart app to get a history of total team capacity versus total task estimate, trending over the last 15 iterations. This will help your team estimate and collaborate in retrospective and planning meetings.

Feedback

Please send us your feedback regarding our help site. For feedback regarding the Rally product, click here to open a support case or click here to submit a new feature request
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