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JetBrains YouTrack 4 Advocates Agile

As wary as the industry naturally gets when a vendor decides to label a new product iteration as a major release, it appears that JetBrains' latest update to its issue tracking and Agile project management system may be of some substance. The keyboard-oriented YouTrack tool has been updated with a "completely new" independent Agile project management module.

Now at version 4.0 release, YouTrack still features its signature search queries, command syntax, and customizable workflows; but now Scrum teams will have the option to plan and manage their work during a series of consecutive sprints, while teams that follow the "Kanban process" can manage and measure their work flow on the board.

NOTE: Kanban is Japanese for "signal card"; in physical systems the card is associated with a single piece of work to indicate where that work is in the overall process. In software delivery, due to its virtual nature, each Kanban represents a single piece of work (a nuance). Either way, the number of Kanban available is equivalent to the agreed-to capacity of a system/process.

So it appears that Agile project management in YouTrack is flexible enough to adapt to mature Scrum or Kanban workflows. In fact, says JetBrains, it is the case that "all teams" can now get the best of both worlds, by blending their favorite practices from either process.

Other key features include backlog management, burndown and cumulative flow charts, multiple projects on one board — plus there is also custom notification templates and custom reordering of issues.

"YouTrack doesn't impose any specific Agile process on you, but helps you follow the core methodology guidelines and adapt them to your workflow," said Vadim Gurov, YouTrack team lead. "If you're new to Agile, you can organize and visualize your process and get introduced to the main principles of each process. If you're an expert, you can easily adapt YouTrack to your workflow and mix-and-match the best practices of each process."

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