April 23rd, 2019 by inflectra
SpiraPlan 6.0 introduces templates. As discussed elsewhere, templates bring two key benefits. First, they allow greater admin control how your products (previously known as projects) are setup. Second, they mean you can have many products all managed by a single template - so change once, update many. We are staging how we roll out all of template's features.
The first of the two benefits templates bring - greater controls - is available in full in version 6.0. A number of artifacts get customizable types and priorities, and notification templates are now customizable for a template.
The second benefit - controlling multiple products from one template - is available in 6.0 but not in all use cases. For existing products, 6.0 will create a unique template for each. If you had 100 products you will have 100 templates now too. If you make product 101, when you create it, you can specify that it be managed by any of those one hundred templates, or by a new 101st template. In version 6.0, you can not change any of your existing products to be managed by one of the other existing templates. Not yet at least.
SpiraPlan 6.1 will add some enhancements to templates in three ways:
We hope that with templates, administrators of SpiraPlan will start thinking about the different ways they can improve their setup. We recommend planning this out in light of what 6.0 and 6.1 each allow. Let's explore one example of how this process could play out.
Dany is a system admin of Dragon Systems. They are a single team with three (very large) products. All three dragon products have a lot in common, with very similar workflows across their different artifacts.
Dany is very excited that version 6.0 has just been released and orders her IT advisor to upgrade their SpiraPlan. Dany's system now has three dragon products and three dragon templates. Jorah is helping Dany with the admin of one of the dragon products and, by extension, its template. He could make use of the new features in templates and start adding requirement types to that template and change task priority name and colors.
Dany however tells Jorah to wait. Her plan is that once SpiraPlan 6.1 is out she will consolidate all three dragon products so they are controlled by a single template. She can't do that yet. Meanwhile, Jorah really wants to change those requirement types for his template. Eventually, Dany agrees because those new requirement types will work for the other two project as well.
When 6.1 of SpiraPlan is released, Dany gets the system upgraded asap. Now she can move all three dragon products to one template. She uses the template Jorah changed so that his extra types will be available for all three dragon products. Once all products are using the same single template Dany deletes the two templates no longer being used. She then makes a number of changes to workflows that she had been thinking about since exploring the flexibility that templates will give her. As soon as she makes a change they are reflected in all of the dragon products. This now makes looking after all of her dragon products that much more straightforward and productive. Dany wants to keep tight control of the single dragon template so while she keeps Jorah as a product admin, she removes him from being a template admin.
Please note, just because the three dragon products share a template does not mean they are identical in all ways. Different people are members of each product, and each product will have its own components, and more. These are managed at a product level, not a template level.
What if, at some point in the future, there was a new fourth dragon product? Dany would have to make a choice. She could do a few different things: have it use the same template as everything else; start with a completely fresh template; or make a new template based off of the dragon template. She would pick this last option if she knew the fourth dragon was going to be similiar to the other three, but different in some key ways. Maybe it needed a different workflow, or completely different custom fields.
This is an illustration of the kind of planning and thinking that may be useful to those are upgrading to 6.0 and considering how to make best of use of templates. We hope that as we phase in all the template features in 6.0 and 6.1 that you can benefit from them now and plan for how to benefit from them even more in the future.