During last year’s holiday season, we held yet another successful Innovation Sprint here at Tempo HQ. During our innovation sprints, we dedicate two weeks of our time to searching for new ideas and solutions, and our developers get the opportunity to work on something completely different to their usual projects.
The goal is for team members to come up with ideas that may bring value to us at Tempo, and might end up being further developed going forward. This can be new features or products, feature redesigns, automation of something that we get tired of doing manually, or something that might benefit Tempo and our team members generally. Let’s take a look at some of the ideas that our developers cooked up during the holiday season.
New Tempo Timesheets Real-Time Time-Tracker
Team: Árni Reynir and Árni Fannar
These brilliant folks came up with a fantastic solution to improve the time tracker in our Tempo Timesheets product. In developing this, their aim was to make it even easier for users to track time, allowing multiple tracking of issues simultaneously, and easy switching between issues that they track their time on. And that’s exactly what they did! Below, you can see a prototype of the improved time tracker in its early stages:
The new and improved time tracker, tracking two issues.
New worklog created by the time tracker
Although this idea is only in its early stages of development, our team members are really interested in developing this idea further, so we’ll likely see an improved time tracker in Tempo Timesheets in the upcoming releases.
Re-examining the charts in Tempo Books
Team: Ester, Guðleifur, Þórunn, and Þröstur
All of the team members in this group are currently developing our Tempo Books add-on for JIRA. Since this is their primary passion, we weren’t surprised to see that they decided to use this Innovation Sprint to focus their efforts on improving aspects of Tempo Books.
This team has been having problems with the NVD3 charts in Tempo Books, which have been buggy. The team decided to try to find useful resources for NVD3 that might help them to deal with the difficult bugs they’ve been experiencing in the library.
The team eventually ended up looking at various charting libraries and decided compare them with pros and cons. The following charting libraries were looked at:
After evaluating the charting libraries, the team agreed that Highcharts best suited them and they decided to implement it in Tempo Books, and will be using these in-product going forward. Problem solved!
Improve Tempo terminal CLI
In the last Innovation sprint, Axel, one of our Tempo Timesheets developers, created a Tempo terminal CLI. Eric was so impressed by Axel’s project, that he wanted to create a similar innovation with additional functionality.
Eric’s idea was to extend Taskwarrior to have Tempo usability. Taskwarrior is an open-source, cross platform time and task management tool which uses command-line interface rather than a typical graphical user interface.
One of the benefits that this innovation idea might help with is that developers can log work directly from the command line. Taskwarrior updates every 15 minutes with assigned issues to Eric, so he’s always notified regularly when he’s been assigned a new JIRA issue.
Eric demoed his idea and it worked almost without a hitch. He plans to log all of his future work through his new innovation, and encouraged other Tempo team members to try it out as well.
Tempo Planner Improvements
Two groups worked on improvements for our Tempo Planner add-on for JIRA.
Sonja focused on improving various parts of Tempo Planner, which she thought needed improvement in the product. The improvements were mostly to the Program Kanban view and included adding spinners, making epics rankable, adding empty state messages, and more.
Some of the Tempo interfaces require progress indicators, so it’s important that users know when an interface is in a volatile processing state or not, so that they can standby until the interface is ready. Sonja demoed all of the above mentioned features in our Innovation demo, and passed with flying colours. Great job, Sonja!
Team: Árni Freyr, Björn Orri, Jón Þór, and Lúðvík
This group tackled big parts of the Tempo Planner Iteration Timeline, and mainly focused on improving its performance. They also agreed that the view in the Team backlog was too crowded, and decided to move the iteration timeline to a new view. The guys demoed these improvements for us, and our team members were pleased with the results.
Höður, one of our top Tempo Cloud developers, focused his efforts on creating feature flags in our Tempo products.
Feature flags mean that a user has the ability to turn features (sub-sections) of your application on or off at a moment’s notice without deploying new code. This can come in handy, for example, if users want to reduce the database queries if the load is too high.
Feature flags can also drastically improve performance for demanding users who want to experience top performance.
Höður did a great job and created various feature flags for some of the high-level features in our Team Backlog in Tempo Planner. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this feature in the upcoming releases.
At Tempo, we really strive to offer our team members the opportunity to grow in their positions, develop their great ideas, and have some fun while doing it. If you’re a world class thinker and are interested in joining our team, feel free to contact us!