Automate Subtasks with Business Rules


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Creating subtasks for each larger task described in a card is а great way to break down more significant tasks in your roadmap and monitor their progress. However, the creation of subtasks and tracking of subtask status require time and attention from you and your team. You must often manually manage the consequences of their completion and the circumstances of their creation.  Additions to runtime policies and the Kanbanize search aim to free up time and attention you previously needed to allot to subtasks by making parts of their management automatic.

Our new release provides the ability to create subtasks and update cards based on the status of their subtasks automatically using a number of the available runtime policies in our business rules engine.

 Automatically Move Card Based on Subtask Status

Often, the status of the subtasks affiliated with an entire card dictate the status of the whole task itself. For example, the card must move to a different column or someone needs to be notified depending on your process. Now, if the action is predictable, the system can automatically carry it out for you.

Setting up the automation takes less than a minute and will save you valuable time on a daily basis. Тhe automatic process is set up and activated through the runtime policies tab in the admin panel using the policy referred to as “Card is Updated” in particular. After you open the policy set up panel, set the “Subtask Status” trigger based on your preference (ex. when all subtasks are done) in the left hand column. Afterwards, select the board and column to which you wish to apply the policy and assign actions that will kick in once the policy activates.

For example, you can set up a card to be moved to the done column, when all of the subtasks are completed. In addition to this, the policy can create a new subtask and assign it automatically to a person responsible for the review of the card.

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The actions column gives you a variety of options like: send notifications to people of interest, change the color of the cards, etc. It is up to you to find out what will suit your process best.

Automatically Create Subtask When Card is Moved

You are now able to create subtasks automatically through the following policies and their triggers: “Card is Created”; “Card is Updated”; “Card is Updated by Email”; “Card is Мoved”; “WIP Limit is Reached”; “WIP Limit is Exceeded”; and “Card Count”. To activate these automations, simply open one of the policies listed above and set up a trigger for the new Create Subtask action. Select the “Create Cards or Subtasks” field located at the top of the column of possible actions. The new policy addition also enables you to predefine the assignee of the automatically-created subtasks before they appear on the board.

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For example, you can set up the creation of a new subtask called “Review” every time a card about a new feature is moved into the last stage of the In Progress section of your board. This automatic subtask generation can ensure that the feature has been reviewed by the appropriate party before moving to the Done column.

Choose the “Card is Moved” runtime policy and select the trigger Board. Column and Swimlane for which to activate the policy using the “Add new property” option. According to the example above, this might be the “New Features” swimlane in the column before Done. Select the “Create Subtask” action. This generates a “Not Set” option you can click on to set the assignee and description of the new subtask when it is automatically added to the card. In the case of Reviews, the assignee might be a project manager or development lead. To confirm, click “Save Details” then the green checkmark to activate the policy. The final setup before activation should look similar to this:

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New Subtasks Filter in the Search

The powerful Kanbanize search also got upgraded with a set of subtask related options in order to provide you with even more filters to help you navigate your boards. The new criteria allow you to look for a card, depending on the total, finished or unfinished count of subtasks.

To access the new filters just go to the advanced search field located in the board banner and click the familiar magnifying glass icon. Continue by clicking on the “Refine Search Criteria” option, located on the left of the search panel. The new subtask-related search options are located at the bottom of the list of criteria you can use for your search.

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Subtasks are vital units of larger undertakings and we wanted to make sure to give them the attention they deserve on your Kanbanize boards. We hope the new additions will be useful to you and we can’t wait to hear your feedback on these new additions to Kanbanize!

Happy Kanbanizing!

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