понедельник, 30 июня 2014 г.

How Redmine plugin «Luxury buttons» helps to realize request for information in issues.

How Redmine plugin «Luxury buttons» helps to realize request for information in issues.

Redmine task management system works great for developers, but is difficult to use in a corporate environment. We use Redmine in a corporate environment more than 2 years and want to share this experience.

In this article we will discuss how to implement user-friendly request for information in Redmine issues.

In standard Redmine you can create tasks and work with them. But build a nice, and most importantly handy lifecycle of tasks in Redmine is very difficult. In standard Redmine there is no user-friendly feedback mechanism that would allow us to request information for the issue, if it is necessary. There are quite often situations when the executor of issue misunderstands what was wanted of him, and starts to do an issue not as customer wished. It turns out unnecessary work and wasted time. At the same time, realizing user-friendly request for information, we can minimize these errors.

It is extremely inconvenient for the end user to transfer issue to another state or assign to another user editing the whole shape. In addition, to make user be able to request information from the other user in any status, both should have access to full issue editing mechanism in any status of issue that is not always acceptable.

redmine plugin luxury buttons update
Redmine plugin «Luxury Buttons» provides a lot of opportunities for editing issues and allow you to use Redmine for a wider range of tasks. 
The plugin «Luxury Buttons» allows you to configure the lifecycle of issues and work with the issue through handy buttons that perform strictly limited set of actions and displayed depending on specified display conditions. This approach allows to reduce user error, as each user is allowed to do only what he has to do in this situation.

With the help of plugin «Luxury buttons» you can implement a user-friendly mechanism of requesting information from any employee in any issue status. How to do it?

How we implemented request for information in issues

Redmine plugin «Luxury Buttons» adds the ability to create custom fields with type "Issue Status", which allows us to save issue status in the custom field at any time.

redmine plugin luxury buttons custom field

Also has been implemented an opportunity to hide some custom fields on the issue form under the spoiler. Sufficient to establish the flag «Hide on issue page». This allows not displaying all technical issue fields to the user. Issue page becomes more comprehensible.
redmine plugin luxury buttons issue

Field will not be displayed on the issue form, until you click the spoiler button «Display hidden fields».

redmine plugin luxury buttons issue fields

For user-friendly realization of information request in Redmine we need to make a new status "Information request" and make a couple of custom fields: field "Information requester" with type "User" and field "Status before information request" with type "Issue Status".

Configuring the button to request information on an issue from a particular person, we can add to the button some additional functionality of saving current employee and current issue status in custom fields. This approach will allow us to have access to the data of who made request for information and in what status it was made.

redmine plugin luxury buttons button

At the moment of information request, Redmine user, whom the issue is currently assigned to, will be automatically copied in the "Information requester" field and the current issue status will be automatically copied in the field "Status before information request".

redmine plugin luxury buttons issue

Now Redmine has an opportunity to create the "Reply" button, which allows answering the information request with returning the issue to the status, which was before information request and to person who sent the request.
 redmine plugin luxury buttons button

Pressing the button, the user will only need to fill in the comment. All other actions the button will make itself.

redmine plugin luxury buttons issue

Thus, with the help of plugin «Luxury Buttons», we can build a user-friendly mechanism of information request in Redmine without having to change the issue fields manually. That will get rid of many problems with accidentally incorrectly modifying of any issue field by user, that makes Redmine interface clear and easy to use.