Upcoming changes and improvements to Assembla Portfolio and Enterprise

Posted by Andy Singleton on Aug 25, 2014 5:29:28 PM

We are upgrading our enterprise and portfolio packages so that our customers can more easily launch, manage and maintain a large number of Fast IT projects. We are also adding new features which will help them track milestones -- the commitments they have made to clients and stakeholders -- and get them delivered on time and on budget.
 
If you use one of our portfolio or enterprise packages you will see a number of changes in the portfolio level menus and features.  All ticket users will see some upgrades to milestones.  Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.  For more control over these upgrades, please contact us in advance to become part of our customer advisory group.  Send your comments, questions, and call requests to jeff@assembla.com.

Why?

Our bigger customers often manage a list of what we now call “Fast IT” projects: websites, mobile apps, digital marketing, and SaaS related projects. They want a "system of record" where they can keep all of these assets together for future maintenance and improvement. We also found that they were using creative techniques to track the commitments they have made for delivering upgrades. Because Assembla was initially designed for a continuous agile process, we were not effectively helping them to deliver on the specific dates that they committed to. We intend to help them with new features for planning and tracking deliverables.

DETAILS OF THE PLANNED UPGRADES

Project Portfolio Management

Support a large number of teams, spaces and deliverables, without losing anything:

  • Dashboard overview of spaces, users, and upcoming deliverables
  • Better way to group spaces for reporting. Replace the old “groups” system with tags so you can easily tag a space by client, business, type, etc.
  • Streamlined process for creating spaces 
  • A simple way to add and maintain custom space configurations (template spaces)
  • Better workflow for moving spaces to and from archived status.
  • Workflow for reporting on status and needs from the project manager to the portfolio manager.
  • New summary report tab on spaces.
  • Improved API for external reporting
  • Rename “Projects” to “Spaces”: We found that when our customers use the word “project” they are often not referring to a single Workspace.  Usually they mean deliverables, which they show as specific milestones inside a space. Sometimes they are speaking of large projects that span multiple spaces and teams. In order to reduce confusion, we are removing the word “projects” from our spaces tab.
Definitions: A workspace or "space" keeps your assets together -- teams, tasks, roadmaps, documentation, and code -- so that you can improve these assets over time. A deliverable is a specific release or upgrade that you are trying to finish by a specified date.  Many of our customers use Assembla Milestones to track deliverables.

Deliverable Management

Deliver what you committed to, on time:

  • Top-level dashboard to show the status of upcoming milestones.
  • Upgrade the milestone views to make it easier to see what has been planned, what has been finished, whether there are any obstacles.  Add optional budget and due date information.  Add links to reports and cardwalls that will show the state of that milestone.
  • Add reporting about status and obstacles to each milestone.
  • Upgrade the milestone calendars that show upcoming milestones for a space or set of spaces.
  • Add new List and Timeline (Gantt) views of the milestone calendar.
  • Swim lanes to show the progress of epics and stories within each milestone.
  • Discussion and cardwall for planning deliverables. We have found that some of our customers have created special ‘proposal spaces’ where they can discuss, plan, and budget upcoming deliverables. They use the ticket discussion threads, and the cardwall for showing the planning and delivery process. We will add special views for portfolio-level Kanban boards and discussions.

Security

  • Hosted customers can use SAML login (released recently), which allows them to centralize their user list, passwords, and permissions into their own SAML server.
  • Private installations give larger customers complete control over their security environment.  We have updated the private install and simplified installation and upgrades.

FUTURE- Import and link with other apps

Importing and linking will make it easy to:

  1. Keep your assets together for future maintenance and improvement, even if they come from teams, suppliers, and clients working on multiple systems.
  2. Track deliverables in all your projects.
Our customers work with clients and suppliers that use a variety of tools. We want you to be able to bring information and assets from those tools into Assembla -- your system of record. You should be able to do this without disrupting the work of your clients and suppliers. Assembla's extensible tool architecture will help. We will be adding tabs and open source connectors that help you capture the assets that you’ve bought and paid for. For example, we are upgrading the Github tool to replicate code from developers working in Github, into your own account.

For more control over these upgrades, please contact us in advance to become part of our customer advisory group.  Send your comments, questions, and call requests to jeff@assembla.com.

Read More

Make Fast IT work for you

Posted by Andy Singleton on Aug 13, 2014 3:27:00 PM

Fast IT projects are Web sites, mobile apps, digital marketing, SaaS integrations, and other projects that need monthly or weekly planning.  We find a lot of these projects on Assembla.  The Fast IT concept has been helpful for our customers who are trying to manage these projects with increasing professionalism.  We are shaping the Assembla roadmap to help Fast IT work more smoothly. 

 

Who cares about Fast IT?

Fast IT Managers who are already handling the Fast IT projects in their organizations.  This could be you!  We have seen customers that have refined their “business model”, expanded their capacity, and done amazing things.  The Fast IT model gives them space to work in, and a community to learn from.
People who do digital marketing.  Digital marketing is the biggest consumer of Fast IT, for Web sites, mobile apps, campaigns, and analytics.  Gartner made waves by predicting that in 2017, the CMO – the fast IT buyer - will have a bigger budget than the CIO – the core IT buyer.  I believe it. Fast IT is growing rapidly. We want to help you grow your career with it.

Agencies, outsourcers, and other service providers.  These are the Fast IT specialists.  Positioning around Fast IT can help them make more money by making it easier to start and deliver projects, and then get recurring revenue for continuous improvement. 

The Picture

 fastit_for_blog

In the picture above, I compare Fast IT to “Core IT”.  Fast IT has a mission to be fast and responsive and discover opportunities.  Core IT has a mission to provide secure, reliable systems and services.  Their employers and colleagues need these services every day, and they value reliability and stability.  Core IT providers often get annual budgets, and they have a long term perspective.  So, the people that run Core IT often try to slow down Fast IT projects and add some layers of planning and security that aren’t appropriate.  The Fast IT model resolves this conflict.  It’s a simple model that separates Core IT from Fast IT.  Then, the core people can be reliable, and the fast people can be fast.

How will Assembla help you with Fast IT? 

First, we’re learning and sharing.  We’re looking for great Fast IT practitioners who will share secrets of success.  We’ll organize meetings where you can advance your  knowledge and contacts.  We’ll be posting information on the blog, in Webinars, an in our product.

Our Fast IT customers often call Assembla a “system of record.”  They appreciate the all-in-one design that collects code, discussions, and documentation, all in one place.  Fast IT generates a lot of these assets for a lot of different projets, and these assets need to be maintained over time.  That’s where Assembla comes in.  An Assembla workspace is not just a project management hub.  It’s also a repository for all of the code, discussion, documentation, and team relationships that will allow you to maintain your assets over time.

Fast IT projects start fast.  Assembla helps you get started fast by providing one place where you can add team permissions and start communication.

Fast IT projects need daily or weekly attention.  Assembla makes it easy to see all project activity and resolve needs and obstacles.

Finally, we are adding features to our Enterprise package that will help customers who are tracking a lot of different deliverables, and  trying to deliver them on time.

Read More

[Recap] Fast IT: Concepts and Examples from Assembla and Attivio

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 31, 2014 4:51:00 PM

Last week, Sid Probstein, CTO of Attivio, and Andy Singleton, founder of Assembla presented a webinar about “Fast IT,” a new way of managing rapidly changing and Agile projects in areas like mobile, Web, analytics and marketing applications, while working smoothly with reliable core systems ("Core IT"). Andy discussed the dynamics of Fast IT, and Sid presented a case study of how Attivio spun up a major Business Intelligence app in two weeks with two people.

If you missed our webinar, view and download the slides

Want an overview of Fast IT in 60 seconds? Watch the video below:

Get notified about new and exciting content around Fast IT by completing the form below:

Read More

Topics: videos/podcasts, Fast IT

Assembla now allows automatic payments with PayPal

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 25, 2014 2:17:00 PM

Paying for your Assembla subscription with PayPal has never been easier. We recently added the ability to set up recurring payments with PayPal that will automatically pay for your Assembla subscription every billing period, whether that be monthly or annually. Previously, it was a manual process that required logging in and paying every time an invoice was created.

To set up automatic payments with PayPal, visit your billing page > select the PayPal option > and follow the steps.

assembla paypal option1

If you have any questions or issues, please contact Assembla support at support@assembla.com.

Read More

Topics: assembla releases

Post Assembla events to your favorite chat apps: Slack, HipChat, Flowdock & more

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 15, 2014 8:26:00 PM

If your team uses Slack, HipChat, Flowdock, or Bigplans for communication, we have added preconfigured webhooks to make setting up these integrations painless. Once configured, you can selectively manage the Assembla events that are posted out to these apps, such as ticket activity, commits, deploys, etc., to monitor project activity in real-time, inline with other team communication.

To get started, click on the desired integration below:

slack logo
HipChat Logo
flowdock logo
Bigplans logo
Read More

Topics: collaboration, assembla releases, Integration

Interested in cryptocurrencies? Get started with 1000 free Ripple XRP

Posted by Andy Singleton on Jul 15, 2014 2:55:00 PM

ripple logo

Ripple is a protocol for value exchange that makes it easy to transfer and trade fiat currencies, Bitcoin, or XRP - the native asset of the Ripple network.

Assembla is giving away 1000 free XRP (the Ripple native cyptocurrency) to any person with software development skills who is interested in learning about Ripple development. Get it here: https://www.assembla.com/ripple

I called Ripple Labs a few months ago to find out more about ways that their "gateway" can help us pay developers in many different countries. Essentially, we do banking for the developers on our global team. We pay internal accounts, hold the money until they ask for it, and then transfer money to them by bank wire, ATM/Payoneer, or other mechanisms. We have found that the bank wire system is embarrassingly slow and unreliable. This is the problem that Ripple is trying to fix. Their gateway is like a bank in an open-source box. It keeps accounts in any currency, including USD, other currencies, XRP, and Bitcoin. It can transfer those accounts instantly and reliably on the shared "ledger." It is also gaining exciting new features such as "multi-signature" which enables outsourcing and crowdsourcing customers to post a budget amount, and then transfer it to their hard-working suppliers through an arbitrator.

Now I am working more closely with Ripple to help them scale up their development process. I decided to make this free XRP offer for two reasons:

  • Users need 20 XRP to activate a Ripple wallet. We want to remove the hassle from acquiring the XRP so new developers can get started.
  • We want to build an email list of developers that might be interested in working on internal development, bounties, or bank integration projects.
ripple blog CTA
Read More

Topics: open source

Assembla Bigplans Integration How-To

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 15, 2014 12:26:00 PM

If you use Assembla and Bigplans, we have added a pre-configured webhook making it easy to post Assembla events out to your Bigplans chat room. Check out below for configuration instructions.

Bigplans is a simple, integrated way to manage a distributed team.  It includes a "lean" task board, real-time chat, and a unique "advisor" (a real person) that helps you get on-demand resources if you need them.  For programming teams, it includes a tight integration with Assembla login and Assembla tickets. 

You can use the Webhooks tool to feed Assembla events into any of your team chats.  To get started, you will need the Webhook tool installed in the Assembla project you want to configure. If you do not have the Webhook tool installed, visit the Admin tab > Tools section > and click ‘Add’ next to the Webhook tool.

Once installed, click on the Webhook tool in your main navigation and select Bigplans from the list of pre-configured post options:

Bigplans Assembla Webhook

You will need to obtain and update the auth token in the “Content” section.

To obtain your Bigplans auth token:

Visit Bigplans and navigate to the plan you want to post Assembla events to. Click on the ‘Connect’ option in the top bar. Under the “Message API” section, there is a section called “API Token” that will display your token. If no token is set, click on the ‘Reset’ button. Copy the token ID and replace the “BIGPLANS_AUTH_TOKEN” in the Webhook tool.

Bigplans Assembla Webhook Token

Now configure what Assembla events you would like to post to your Bigplans chat room and click ‘Add and Authenticate.” Don’t forget to enable the configuration under the “Title” field.

Your Assembla events will now be posted to the configured Bigplans chat room:

Bigplans Assembla Webhook Chat

If you have any questions or problems during setup, please contact support@assembla.com. If you do not have an Assembla project and would like to test out this integration, try Assembla out for free.

Read More

Topics: collaboration, assembla releases, Integration

Assembla & Slack Integration How-To

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 15, 2014 8:23:00 AM

If you use Assembla and Slack, we have added a pre-configured webhook making it easy to post Assembla events out to your Slack chat room/channel. Check out below for configuration instructions.

To get started, you will need the Webhook tool installed in the Assembla project you want to configure. If you do not have the Webhook tool installed, visit the Admin tab > Tools section > and click ‘Add’ next to the Webhook tool.

Once installed, click on the Webhook tool in your main navigation and select Slack from the list of pre-configured post options:

Slack Assembla Webhook

You will need to setup an incoming webhook service integration within Slack to obtain your token. To do this, visit https://YourSubdomain.slack.com/services/new/incoming-webhook, select the desired channel to post to, and click ‘Add Incoming Webhook.’

describe the image

Once created, copy the provided Webhook URL and update the External URL in Assembla’s Webhook tool.

Now configure what Assembla events you would like to post to your Slack room/channel and click ‘Add and Authenticate.' Don’t forget to enable the configuration under the “Title” field.

Tip: Within the Slack “Incoming Webhook” page that you set up for this integration, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and expand the “Integration Settings” where you can add a label, change the post-to channel, and change the icon and name for your webhook bot.

Your Assembla events will now be posted to the configured Slack room/channel:

describe the image

If you have any questions or problems during setup, please contact support@assembla.com. If you do not have an Assembla project and would like to test out this integration, try Assembla out for free.

Read More

Topics: collaboration, assembla releases, Integration

Assembla & HipChat Integration How-To

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 15, 2014 7:40:00 AM

If you use Assembla and HipChat, we have added a pre-configured webhook making it easy to post Assembla events out to your HipChat chat room. Check out below for configuration instructions. 

To get started, you will need the Webhook tool installed in the Assembla project you want to configure. If you do not have the Webhook tool installed, visit the Admin tab > Tools section > and click ‘Add’ next to the Webhook tool.

Once installed, click on the Webhook tool in your main navigation and select HipChat from the list of pre-configured post options:

HipChat Assembla Webhook

You will need to obtain and update the auth token and room ID in the “Content” section.

To obtain your HipChat auth token:

You will need to visit https://YourSubdomain.hipchat.com/admin/api and enter your password to access the “API Auth Tokens” page. Under “Create new token” select ‘Notification’ type, provide a label, and click ‘Create.’ Copy the token ID and replace the “HIPCHAT_AUTH_TOKEN” in the Webhook tool.

describe the image

To obtain your HipChat room ID:

Visit https://YourSubdomain.hipchat.com/admin/rooms and click on the desired room you would like to post Assembla events to. Copy the App ID and replace the “HIPCHAT_ROOM_ID” in the Webhook tool.

describe the image

Now configure what Assembla events you would like to post to your HipChat room and click ‘Add and Authenticate.” Don’t forget to enable the configuration under the “Title” field.

Your Assembla events will now be posted to the configured HipChat room:

HipChat Assembla Example Chat

If you have any questions or problems during setup, please contact support@assembla.com. If you do not have an Assembla project and would like to test out this integration, try Assembla out for free.

Read More

Topics: collaboration, assembla releases, Integration

[Webinar] "Fast IT": Concepts and Examples from Assembla and Attivio

Posted by Adam Feber on Jul 11, 2014 11:41:00 AM

Join us on July 23, 2014 from 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM EDT for a webinar “Fast IT”: Concepts and Examples from Assembla and Attivio.

describe the image

When we at Assembla heard about the 2-2-2 project structure used by Attivio, we knew we had a fun story and a big idea to share.  The fun story is the way that Attivio can spin-up major Business Intelligence apps with 2-day, 2-person prototyping sessions. The big idea is “Fast IT”: a way of managing fast and Agile projects, while working smoothly with your slower, more reliable core systems: "Core IT".

In this Webinar, Sid Probstein, CTO of Attivio, and Andy Singleton, founder of Assembla, will share their discoveries about ways that “Core” and “Fast” can work smoothly together.  We will show tools that help you wrap and index your Core IT so that you can easily use it in Fast IT projects.  And, we’ll show how to professionally launch and manage an expanding portfolio of Fast IT projects for analytics, Web, mobile and marketing applications and SaaS integration. 

This Webinar is designed to help IT professionals or project managers who are handling analytics, Web, mobile, cloud and marketing applications.

describe the image

Presented By:

assembla logo rectangle    Attivio logo

Read More

Topics: videos/podcasts, project management, Fast IT

Follow Assembla

Get Started

blog-CTA-button

Subscribe to Email Updates