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What’s new in iObeya 4.16 – On-premise Version?

Disclaimer 📢

This on-prem version combines the new features and bug fixes that were already available for iObeya Cloud versions 4.13, 4.14, 4.15 and 4.16. However, some additional improvements or bug fixes may have been added to the list to make this version certified for on-prem deployments.

General features

Increase to 25 characters the Value field available in both Standard and Activity cards

The Card tool has been designed to efficiently manage projects and tasks thanks to advanced fields such as Members, Due date, Checklist, Priority and Value. However, we received many requests regarding the limitation of 10 characters for the Value field that you can’t use for your own needs.
With iObeya 4.13, the new limit of the Value field has been increased to 25 characters for both Standard and Activity cards allowing you to add more content if needed.

Ability for room admins to archive rooms

After releasing the room self-service management feature that allows all users in a domain to create a room as long as some licenses are available, we have now added the capability for room administrators to archive their rooms from the Room Settings panel.
This feature may be very helpful for Agile & Lean coaches that regularly need to create and archive rooms to host internal workshops or training sessions, for instance.
Like the self-service management features allowing to create and rename rooms, this new capability can be activated on each domain from the platform administration interface.

Therefore, you can still create a dedicated domain on your platform with a limited number of licenses so that your teams can use iObeya in complete autonomy. It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep control over license consumption or if you prefer to give that responsibility to Lean-Agile managers so they can benefit from unused licenses on your platform.

Import board: drag-and-drop

The ability to download a board from an iObeya room, and to upload it later in another room, may be very useful, for example, to make a backup of a board including all its parts (elements, background image, dock tools, etc.), or to make an independent copy of the board in another room.

When it comes to uploading a board in a room that was previously downloaded as a ZIP file on your computer, the procedure you may already know is the following: in the room edition mode (for room admins only), first, place the board icon from the “import” tool; then, choose the ZIP file in a filebrowser.

Now there is an alternative way to do this! => In the room edition mode, simply drag and drop the ZIP file on the grid: the board will be added there!

New Button element added in iObeya

It has been some time since we last introduced a new tool in iObeya. While we provide all the tools necessary to support various Visual Management practices, we have observed a growing need to access external resources and content during meetings with iObeya.

Often, users add a dedicated board element such as a Note or Freetext to share a hyperlink and provide a shortcut to external content in iObeya. However, the small blue hyperlink icon displayed at the bottom-right corner may not always be easy to see and click on.

The new button tool added in iObeya 4.16 allows you to add interactive elements to provide quick access to external information or call-to-action on your boards. The button tool is fully customizable. You can change the label of the button, the text color, the background color, and the border color.

Buttons can be freely resized to easily adapt to the layout and the content of your boards.

The button offers advanced options that can be used to trigger integration scenarios by providing information from iObeya to allow data context binding with external applications. For instance, you can use a button to trigger an automation flow that will update QCD indicators, thanks to our connector available on the Microsoft Power Platform.

Operational Excellence

QCD add-on (Enterprise plan)

Reminder
This is an add-on that need to be installed and activated on your iObeya platform. If you can’t find it, you need to request to your platform administrator to install this add-on.

Display indicator values on QCD charts

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here! We understand how important it is for you to have a Visual Management System with QCD charts that display indicator values so that you can see and analyze your KPIs trends leading to better decision making.
Maintaining our goal of offering flexibility with the QCD module you will be able to display values on the charts, for short term as well as long term, independently from the settings of your charts. All you have to do is to go into the settings of your QCD charts and activate the new “Display Values” option.
With this change, we also took the opportunity to give our users easier access to the chart scale settings to better adapt to the need for precision. We decided to move the scale settings from the advanced configuration panel to the general settings of the QCD charts.

Bringing more Precision to Chart Axes

Another thing that we have improved with our charts is the level of precision on the axes of the charts. High-precision production environments required data visualization with higher precision. For this reason, QCD charts will now be supporting decimal values on both vertical (Y) and horizontal (X) axes.

We have also increased the number of graduations between your scale values on the Y axis so that even the smallest difference between indicator values can be visualized, for instance looking if your “Right First Time” indicators are closer to 99% or 100%

Ability to change the color of a QCD Card

Until now, QCD action card’s color was imposed by the associated QCD Letter color and it was not possible to change it. However, some of you reported the need to manage your cards in such a way that you can see if your actions are on track/late or if a problem is critical.
Good news! In iObeya 4.14 we have introduced the possibility to change the color of your QCD cards like on any other iObeya cards. You just need to click on a QCD card, open the contextual menu, and by clicking on the Change Type option you will be able to select the colors that are configured in your tool dock!

Display indicator's thresholds as background colors red/orange/green in QCD Graphs

Our goal is to give you the best visual management experience to steer your production plants with visual indicators. With this new version of QCD, we continue our objective of evolving our graphs to better replicate the standards you are used to seeing during your daily Gemba walks.
Now in QCD Graphs, you can visualize your indicators depending on their threshold colors on the Graphs. What does this mean? Well, you will be able to display the colors green/orange and red in the background of your graphs. This will give you direct visibility, as by looking at the graphs you can follow your production trends visually.
You just have to go into the general settings of your graphs and activate the thresholds option Display indicator area. An important thing to note is that this functionality works on only one indicator at a time and the indicator needs to be present in all of your letter circles.
Want to manage your production shifts in a more flexible manner each month?

Ability to Display/Hide the Circles on a QCD letter

As flexibility in QCD is one of our strategic objectives this year, continuing with this trend in iObeya 4.14 you will be able to either create a new circle on an existing letter or hide an existing circle in a letter. This will not affect your data historization, instead it allows you to manage your production shifts in a month more visually and efficiently. It will also automatically update related QCD elements like the Graphs and the Data table. We assumed that you might not want to hide the actions that you have created on a particular circle in a letter, so, these will remain unaffected and you will still be able to visualize related action cards on your QCD board, action plans, and action table!
To use this functionality you just need to open the settings of your letter by using the contextual menu and you will find a new toggle option next to each circle to display or hide existing circles or to create a new one.

Filter the escalation level in action tables mode 2 “ See actions escalated to this room”

Another improvement that we have brought with QCD action tables with this version is the possibility to visualize escalated actions in a room filtered by their escalated levels. Previously, an action table defined in mode 2 settings would list all the actions escalated to a room but it was not possible to filter these escalation levels.
Well now, you can select the escalation levels that are the most relevant for your room/board and visualize your action tables accordingly. This gives you flexibility as well as increased efficiency as you do not have to scroll through all the actions that were escalated to your room before finding the relevant ones!

Create a Synchronized card on a board from the escalated actions view and the room view

It was always possible to create a synchronized card on a board when accessing actions from the board view. 

In iObeya 4.16 we have improved the way you can share information by adding the ability to create synchronized cards from the escalated actions view and the room action plan.

So, how to do this? First, go into the escalated actions from a board or room view from the QCD utility menu.

Click on the “create synchronized card” icon to open a drop down list which will enable you to select the board on which you want to create this synchronized card, and the associated card will appear on the selected board. 

It is important to note that this functionality will only work for actions attached to a letter. However, once created, these synchronized cards can be sent to any board in iObeya, whether QCD or not. This enables transverse sharing of information and will improve problem solving across your organization.

Improvement of escalation icons when an action is escalated or has a response

In this version 4.16 of iObeya we felt the need to improve the visualization of an escalated action vs. an action that got a response. For this, you will have dedicated icons to distinguish an escalated action waiting for a response from an action that has a response. 

  • If the action is escalated in your action plans, you will see a blue icon with an upward pointing arrow and the escalation level name signifying that the action has been escalated. 
  • When an escalated action has been responded to, the icon will turn green with a downward pointing arrow. 

With these colors and arrows, you will be able to distinguish the two states of an action card more visually and easily.

New search bar in consolidation configuration window

You can set up various QCD dashboards with different indicators. All the different indicators in these QCD boards can then be consolidated at different levels of your organization, thereby creating a KPI tree unique to your organization. 

As our clients keep adding new rooms and QCD boards for new production sites, the incoming information for consolidation keeps on increasing. This scaling up of QCD brought  up a pain point for these clients, as it takes some time to scroll through all your rooms and boards, find the correct one and then choose the indicator to be added to your consolidation formulas.

We found this to be quite inefficient and, to give our users a better and fluid experience, we have added a search bar for both rooms and boards so that you can search the indicators in your KPI tree faster while setting up consolidation in your boards. 

With these small step by step improvements in each version we hope to remove usability friction and make using QCD in iObeya easier and a pleasure for our QCD users.

Performance and Scalability

We continuously strive to improve the performance and scalability of the iObeya platform. With iObeya 4.15 in our QCD module we have worked on optimizing the execution time for consolidation operations. The difference today is that we have been able to reduce this execution time by 30%. In simpler words if the original operation took 10 seconds to perform we have brought this down to 7 seconds. In upcoming versions we will continue optimizing our QCD module to give our users the best performance experience.

Agile@Scale

Reminder

These are add-ons that need to be installed and activated on your iObeya platform. If you can’t find the corresponding feature, you need to request to your platform administrator to activate the Agile add-on, Jira connector and/or the Azure DevOps connector.

Display the sprint dates automatically in the tables for ADO and Jira connectors

The sprint table available for both Jira and Azure DevOps allows you to visualize and plan your work while helping you to also control your load according to your capacity. In order to improve your Agile teams’ efficiency during rituals such as PI planning or sprint planning, we have added the sprint dates at the top of each column on the sprint table.
Therefore, in this latest version, when users create new sprint tables, iObeya will automatically display the sprints’ start and end dates if they have previously been defined in Azure DevOps or Jira.
Beware: this new feature will not automatically apply on your existing sprint tables created before the version 4.13 of iObeya. However, you can easily export your boards and re-import them in your room to display the sprint date at the top of each column.
Moreover, if you change the dates defined in Jira or Azure DevOps, the information is not automatically updated in iObeya. You will have to follow the workaround procedure described above to update the dates on any existing sprint boards.

Being able to display in read-only mode the configuration of a Jira board

In the Jira connector, the tables (Sprint, Kanban & Free table) allow you to visualize and easily manage your Jira cards on specific axes and also update issues directly from iObeya.
However, once a board is created, it is difficult for users to understand the configuration of a Jira table and what data they are using. Therefore, in the version 4.13 of our Jira connector, we have added the capability to display the configuration settings of existing Jira tables at both the room and board levels.

Compatibility with Jira 9.x

The latest version of Jira Software is upon us, and there are some great reasons to upgrade. Jira Software 9.4 is the new Long Term Supported (“LTS”) release, meaning that Atlassian will provide bug-fix releases until this version reaches its end-of-life date (November 15, 2024). Detailed information is available on the official Jira Software 9.4 release notes.
With iObeya 4.14, our connector is officially compatible with version 9.x of Jira and we will provide long-term support for this new LTS release (Jira Software 9.4.x).
On the other hand, Jira Software 8.13 the minimum version required to use our connector has reached its end-of-life date (November 8, 2022). This version 4.14 of iObeya is the last version that will support Jira Software 8.13. From now on, we will focus our efforts on the two LTS versions supported by Atlassian (version 8.20 and 9.4).
We also plan to release in Q1 2023 a new version of our connector supporting OAuth 2.0 authentication with Jira. This authentication mechanism is only available with Jira Software 8.22 and upper versions. We aim to give you visibility on which version you should target if you plan to upgrade your Jira instances while taking into account the dependencies with our Jira connector for iObeya.

Load calculation takes into account story points with decimal values

This new version of iObeya brings the support for decimal values that can be used in the Story Point field for Jira / ADO Sprint boards and Agile team boards allowing the teams to define more precisely the effort required to deliver a piece of work.

If you are already using decimals, the load on your existing boards should be automatically updated after the upgrade to version 4.16.

Manage parent-child dependencies between Jira cards

The new version of our Jira connector for iObeya allows project teams to visualize the parent-child dependencies between Jira issues directly within the iObeya platform.

You can now see, directly from iObeya, how different Jira cards are related to each other and understand the impact that changes to one issue may have on others.

This new feature is available in three different contexts:

  • From your board: by displaying blue links between Jira cards that have a parent-child relationship.

  • From a Jira card: by opening the collection view of a Jira card, you can see all the parent and/or child issues available in Jira, in addition to the already existing linked issues.

  • From the card editor: you can see, create, and remove parent-child dependencies when editing a Jira issue from iObeya.

This information can be critical for effective project planning, task prioritization, and cross-team collaboration. Here are some benefits offered by visualizing the parent-child dependencies directly from iObeya:

  • Improved visibility: It allows teams to easily understand the relationships between Jira issues, which can help improve overall efficiency and understanding of the project.
  • Better agile planning: Understanding and visualizing the parent-child dependencies between Jira issues helps teams create more accurate project plans and identify potential risks and issues early on in the process. The new capabilities offered by our Jira connector can be especially useful for agile teams, as it allows them to see the dependencies between user stories, features, epics, and adapt priorities based on the overall project progress.
  • Time-saving automation: when adding stories to a board during PI Planning, for instance, it will not be necessary to draw iObeya links and then enter them manually in Jira anymore: creating a parent-child relationship in iObeya will automatically add it to Jira and vice-versa.

Platform administration

Shared room templates across platform domains

As you scale your Lean-Agile practices in your organization, you may want to standardize the Visual Management practices in order to accelerate your transformation journey. This can easily be achieved with iObeya by leveraging the use of the room templates.
However, so far, room templates were limited to a particular domain, making it difficult to reuse them across multiple entities or departments when getting started with new rooms across different platform domains.
With iObeya 4.13, we’ve added the capability for platform administrators to share a template across domains to create new rooms from a template within any domain available on the platform.
In order to share a template, the platform administrator would need to go to the domain’s settings, click on the list of rooms templates from that domain, and from the list of templates, highlight the template to be shared, and click on “Share across domains”. The corresponding room template then becomes available at room creation under “Platform” templates, in addition to the “Domain” templates.

Release notes 4.16 On Premise

To learn more about what changed in iObeya 4.16, read the detailed Release notes to get the full list of changes and bug fixes included in this new version.

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