Frequently Asked Questions

What prerequisites are required to install Express ?

Express comes as a Java war file. It can be deployed to any servlet container such as Tomcat or Jetty. You can download Tomcat here. Express requires a relational database, and the current default database is Postgres. You can download the latest version here. Configuration details can be found in the Express documentation page.

What is the wall view ?

Wall view provides a virtual project wall where Stories remain on the left and their Tasks can be dragged and dropped through swim lanes from OPEN to IN PROGRESS to TEST and finally CLOSED. The project team can quickly get and idea of what is being worked on and what remains to be worked on by checking the virtual project wall.

I have created Stories and moved them into an Iteration, why cant I move them through the swim lanes ?

In Scrum stories are static. They are broken down into Tasks which can then be progressed though the various development stages. You can create Tasks on the virtual wall by clicking the create icon on the top right of the Story or if you go the the backlog view you can create Tasks by clicking the add icon against that story in the datagrid. For developers who don't want to have multiple Tasks you simply create a single child Task for the Story to progress along the wall. When all Tasks are in test or closed, the story is progressed automatically to the same state. When any Task is in progress, the story is in progress.

How do I edit a Story or Task ?

In the backlog view double clicking on a Story or Task will open it in edit mode. The Window can be resized to whatever size is convenient and it will remember it's size so that al other Stries or Tasks are opened in the same sized window for that session.

How do I move Stories into and out of an Iteration ?

In the backlog view you can drag a story from the Product Backlog into the currently selected Iteration. You can select multiple Stories and drag them all at once or you can bring the Stories over one at a time. Generally Iteration managers will drag uncompleted stories back into the Product Backlog if the are not 100% complete at the end of an Iteration. Express remebers the progress of all the Stroy's Tasks and when the Story is dragged into a new Iteration they remain where they were at the end of the previous one.

How do I start work on a Task ?

In the wall view you just drag the Task card from OPEN into IN PROGRESS Express will popup a message box to ask you to assign the Task to someone and you will be selected by default. If you want to assign it to someone else then just select them from the list.

What is a Burndown ?

A burndown chart shows you at a glance how many hours are left to complete an Iteration. Over time the chart progresses toward zero as developers reduce the number of hours remaining on the Tasks they are working on. Often there are spikes in the burndown when the team reaslises tasks which they forgot when they did the initial estimation or they elicit new requirements or details from the product owner. We don't worry too much about this, we just keep tracking it, the shape of the burndown can tell a lot about how the team and product owner are working together.