Projects • Cycle Report

Transparancy for agile projects with Cycle Report


Like almost every other company, we at Mindnow work with many different tools, apps, and extensions to make our daily work easier. However, it can also happen that the functions and possibilities of certain tools are not enough for us. And what a software development company would we be if we didn't create solutions for our pain points? So, we developed our own project tracking tool.

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Article by

 

Kaja Fuchs

Junior Product Owner
01 May 2023

Initial situation: Sometimes it takes more than linear

We use the Linear tool to manage our development projects. It offers exactly the right functions to do an efficient and good job together as a Scrum team and thus achieve top performance. Internally, this works really well, but as soon as stakeholders from outside the company come into play, Linear alone is simply not enough for us.

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1/2Image Source: Copyright NN
Cycle Reports automates steps in the communication with your clients.

Total transparency for customers

Customer satisfaction should be a top priority in every company. And the fact that customers like to know what is happening with and in their project should also be nothing new. The idea behind Cycle Report is exactly this. The question: How can we give customers a more transparent insight into the work without confusing them with the complexity of a tool like Linear?

The solution: A web app that works as an integration for Linear. Via API connection, information is retrieved from Linear and displayed in Cycle Report. The heart of the solution is the generation of reports. In these, the information collected in the Cycles in Linear is presented in a clear and simple way and can then be reviewed and approved by customers.

"We had difficulties creating sufficient transparency for our customers. That's why we decided to develop a tool that solves this problem for us. This means that the customer is always up to date on the agreed scope."
Vadim Kravcenko, CTO

Iteration over iteration

Iteration loops are nothing new to us. Every project we work on experiences countless of them. After all, that's what our work as an agile company is all about. However, Cycle Report is certainly one of the products that once again beautifully demonstrates this iterative process.

It took a whole 1.5 years from the original idea to the beta launch. Cycle Report was originally planned exclusively for internal use. However, we realized that we were not alone with our pain point and that the tool had great potential. But since our work week has only 42 hours and customer projects have our undivided attention and priority, Cycle Report often had to take a back seat.

However, this also gave us the opportunity to test the tool to the extreme. And not just on the surface, but in daily use. A backlog full of new ideas emerged, which we were able to gain through these insights. Over this time, different designers, developers and product managers have reinvented the wheel again and again, making Cycle Report a true Mindnow product.

"Working in a team that is constantly changing was a big challenge. But we rocked it and everyone who joined the team was a great asset!"
Kaja Fuchs, Junior Product Owner
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Image Source: Mindnow AG
At Mindnow we always stay flexible. Iterations are important to succeed.

Section by Salvador Catalfamo

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From a technical point of view

Our Backend Developer Salvador Catalfamo chats out of the technical box:

From a technical point of view, it was sometimes a big challenge to get the information from Linear. Linear does provide capabilities for this, but we had to tweak them a bit.

REST API: Through the official Linear API, we can get any information we need. However, for our purpose, we needed to get the information in real time, which is why we also work with webhooks.

Webhooks: Through the webhooks, Linear sends updated information to our servers in real time. This allows us to display the data from the Linear dashboard directly in our tool. While the webhooks provide important information ( e.g. ticket creation and deletion, changes to Estimations, and more), they do not provide updates on team members and similar functions.

Therefore, we decided to use a hybrid strategy that combines both options: On the one hand, we prioritize the information we receive from the webhooks. On the other hand, we make requests at specific times to ensure that we have all updated information in our systems. The reason for this is that Linear limits the number of requests to the webhooks.

"Working on Cycle Report has been very rewarding. The web app simplifies reporting for customers and improves their understanding of every technical aspect in Sprint."
Salvatore Pratico, Junior Frontend Developer

Section by Salvador Catalfamo

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Good things come to those who wait

The pool of ideas for Cycle Report is far from being exhausted, so far we have only been able to cross off one item on the list. Thanks to tireless commitment and heart and soul, the time has finally come: Since a few weeks the beta version of Cycle Report is available! We could already win some users who help us to push Cycle Report even further with their feedback. We're excited for the future!

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Image Source: Mindnow AG

Involved Minds:
Jakob Kaya
Co-CEO
Kaja Fuchs
Junior Product OwnerInvolved as:Product Owner
Vadim Kravcenko
CTO
Aleksandar Petrovic
Senior Backend Developer
Bogdan Djukic
Senior Frontend Developer
Dejan Mircic
Middle QA Engineer
Dima Spodeniuk
Frontend Developer
Filip Stoisavljevic
Middle Frontend Developer
Filip Tomic
VP of Engineering
Jovan Ceperkovic
Middle Backend Developer
Madat Bayramov
Middle Backend Developer
Marijana Andric
Quality Assurance Engineer
Marko Martonosi
Senior Backend Developer
Olya Nedoboi
Senior QA Engineer
Salvador Catalfamo
Junior Full-Stack Developer
Salvatore Pratico
Junior Frontend Developer
Oleksandr Chernetskyi
Senior Frontend Developer
Veljko Aleksic
QA Team Lead
Zuhal Kuyumcu
UX / UI Designer
Max Kardasevych
UX / UI Designer
Thank you for your interest in our work. If you have any questions, I am at your disposal.
Kaja Fuchs·Junior Product Owner