Zoho Sprints Quickstart Guide | Zoho Sprints Help

Zoho Sprints Quickstart Guide

Zoho Sprints is a project management tool that functions on the principles of Agile Scrum methodology. Here, each project is divided into multiple phases. Each phase comprises select work items for the team to complete. When those work items are completed, you will have usable features or enhancements that are released as incremental iterations to the product. This adaptable framework with quick successions of deliverables enables you to manage your project efficiently and reach your customers faster while your product is constantly evolving.

How to get started using Sprints?

  1. Sign up for Zoho Sprints at: https://www.zoho.com/sprints/
  2. Enter your Email Address, Workspace Name, and Password. The workspace name you enter here will be the name of your portal.
  3. Click Sign up.

Now, you are ready to explore Zoho Sprints.

Create a workspace

Creating a workspace in Sprints is a prerequisite for creating a project. Workspace is the equivalent of an organization or portal. You will add individuals who will work on the projects to this workspace.

After signing up, you need to setup your workspace.
  1. Provide a name to identify your workspace.
  2. Specify the time zone your team will be working in.

Note: To edit these details or add more specifications, navigate to the Settings page where you will find the Workspace Settings module.

Process flow in Sprints

Here are the various components that come together in creating a project.
  1. First, you need to create a project. This can be any collaborative endeavor that your team will go through to achieve a product or business goal. Customize your project settings based on your requirement.
  2. Next, you need to create the product backlog. It is a collection of all the work items that the project team will work on.
  3. Next, we have the sprint backlog. You can draw work items from the product backlog to your sprints backlog. These are the items that need to be completed within a Sprint.
  4. Once the sprint backlog is consolidated and the start date arrives, your sprint is kick-started.
  5. When the sprint starts, the sprint backlog items will be moved to the scrum board. The board helps your team view, update, and track the status of the work items in the ongoing sprint.
  6. You need to move the work items across the broad to record their progress and completion. When all the tasks are completed, the sprint cycle comes to an end and the sprint goal is achieved and ready for release.

Note: A project can have multiple sprints with focused goals that result in several small developments to the product or business.

Define workspace settings

You need to determine the general workspace settings, work hours, timesheet requirements, and scrum settings to begin with. Learn more.

Assign owner

You need to assign the owner of the project. The project owner is the equivalent of the product owner in Scrum. However, to perform this action you need to add users to your team and assign defined roles and profiles.

Work hours settings

Define the work hours for your project. You can specify the Date format, Time Format, Start and End hours for work, start of the week, and the days that are off. You can also add the list of holidays here. These settings are reflected while calculating hours in your timesheet.

Timesheet settings

Timesheets are used to collect data on the employee work hours. This data helps track the productivity of your team and is used to calculate the billed hours for the resource.

Strict scrum

A strict scrum places your project in a controlled scrum environment where the duration of the project is only for two weeks. New work items cannot be added to a sprint that is in progress. However, if you're looking for a flexible system that allows you to deviate from these rules slightly, you can always disable this option.

Manage users

Once you setup your workspace, you need to add your users. Users here refer to the members who will be part of the projects that are created. The roles and profiles settings allow you to define the roles in your team and create profiles with permission levels that control accessibility. These are available in Settings under Manage Users. Learn more.

Configure roles

Start the process by configuring roles. The default roles in Sprints include Admin, Manager, Member, Client, and Vendor. These options cover most of the commonly assumed roles that tend to be in a team.

Admin - An Admin user is synonymous with the role of a Team Owner. A user with this role is by default assigned to all the projects in the team.

Manager - Users with the role of manager supervise the activities in the projects assigned to them. They will have access only to projects that the admin assigns to them. A manager can also assume the role of a Sprint Owner or Scrum Master.

Member - The member role is often associated with the team members who work on the work items assigned to them. Like managers, they can be part of more than one project, but have access only to the work items assigned to them.

You can use these default roles or create your personalized roles based on your team's requirement. For instance, your projects are all related to development and you'd like to create roles like Product Developer, UI Developer, and Tester, you can click the Role button and provide the details.

Configure profiles

Profiles are permission sets that control the users' accessibility to various components in Sprints. It helps define the permissions that a particular profile must have. There are predefined profiles that you can choose from. However, if you have specific requirements, you can create custom profiles and tweak the permissions to suit your requirement.

Add users

The workspace owner must add the users and assign roles and profiles. The users are classified into team users, client users, and vendor users for ease of management.

Create project

There are a few aspects that you need to consider while creating a project:

Create layouts

By default, Sprints offers a standard layout for you to use. However, you can customize each of these layouts according to your requirements. Navigate to Settings and customize the layouts of Projects, Work Items, Epics, Releases, and Meetings.

Select estimation type

Estimation points help you quantify the size of the work items. Fibonacci sequence is an industry standard to quantify work. However, you can also create a custom estimation type that suits your requirement.

Define project stages

Project stage helps track the status of the project.

Create group

A group serves as a tag to which multiple projects can be attached. For instance, your product can contain several projects in progress for development, testing, and quality assurance. Each of those can be a separate group and the projects can be categorized respectively.

Specify start and end dates

You can specify the duration for your project. This helps introduce the time factor into your project and enables your team to plan and organize tasks within the timeframe.

Configure project settings

The project settings, available in Settings, helps configure the prefix that represents the project, the estimation type for the project, item types, priority specifics, and status of items on the scrum board.

Create epics and releases

Epics and releases enable you to organize your work items and sprints better. Epics allow you to group or combine work items that span across multiple sprints owing to their complexities. Whereas, releases allow you to club work items across sprints that can be rolled out in a single release.

Create backlog work items

The Project Backlog has a list of work items that are necessary to achieve the project goal and set the roadmap for the team. This determines the ultimate project goal. It is made up of user stories, bugs, and any other tasks that need to be completed. The empty backlog appears when you create your project.

The Sprint Backlog is a prioritized list of backlog work items that are required to achieve a specific sprint goal. The team members are assigned work items from the backlog which they need to complete within the Sprint's timeframe. Learn more.

Track the progress of your sprint

The Scrum board provides a comprehensive view of the work items in the sprint and the status of each of the items. The Sprint team, the Sprint Owner, and the Workspace Owner or the Admin can view this board. You can move the items across based on their status. Learn more.

Schedule meetings

Meetings form an important aspect in Scrum-based project management. The daily meeting is an essential event that helps the team collaborate and stay aligned to the goal.

You can select the time of meeting, the duration, and the frequency of recurrence for a particular Sprint and create the participants' list. You can also set a reminder to be triggered before the meeting time.

The typical scenarios that call for a meeting could be Sprint planning, Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, or a General meeting. Learn more.

Get updates

Sprints includes feeds because the members need to stay informed of all the activities that the team is performing. The feed provides a linear update of all the activities in Sprints. Users can post comments or queries on the feed, tag fellow members, and mention work item ID for reference. It serves as an ideal platform for the team to collaborate and work efficiently. Learn more.

The Activity Stream is a timeline of the activities that have taken place in the project. The activities are recorded based on the date and time of occurrence, providing the chronological order of events.

Evaluate your sprint performance

Agile Scrum lays emphasis on review process. You can evaluate the sprint performance using reports and dashboard.

View reports

Reports help analyze the sprint performance quantitatively with the data obtained from your application. Each report is based on various parameters, providing insightful information that will enable the team to make predictions, take corrective measures, identify hold-ups, and get better at estimating accurately. Learn more.

View dashboard

Zoho Sprints comes with an elaborate dashboard that gives the overall data for a project. Learn more.

The dashboard allows you to:
  1. Track the weekly progress of the project
  2. Obtain the overall completion status of work items
  3. Take stock of the total number of Sprints and
  4. Track the user engagement in the project
  5. Get an account of the backlog work items based on the item type, user engagement, and activity
  6. Follow the approval and billing process, and
  7. Compare the actual progress of your project against the planned progress

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