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Aligning Objects in Grids

Hi All,

I've just started using Whiteboards with a new team in a few team meetings, and the reception has been really positive.

Historically I have used something called "Whiteboards for Confluence" from AppFire (shown below). I try not to compare the two tools, given the big head start that AppFire has, but there is one element to their experience that has been really useful for us, which as far as I can tell is not present here.

One of the activities I use whiteboards for most commonly is user story mapping. In this activity we are organizing stickies into columns and sim lanes. Whiteboards for Confluence has a "power tool" called a "card table" that is structured container for stickies that organizes them into columns and horizontal swimlanes. There are a few features of this card tale that are extremely helpful:

  1. Alignment - Stickies automatically "snap" into perfect alignment vertically and horizontally. This saves us from fidgeting with the stickies to get them lined up neatly. You'd be surprised how much attention that can divert from the actual conversation.
  2. Column Reordering - Moving the topmost sticky in a column to the right or left brings all the stickies below it along with it. This is incredibly useful for high level resequencing. 
  3. Multiple named swimlanes - One can add multiple swimlanes and give them names. This is tremendously helpful for prioritization/release planning.

I suspect these are features that could be in a "section", but as far as I can tell they do not yet exist. It seems silly in a way, but if I'm being honest the snapping into alignment feature is probably the most important. There are workarounds for the others. 

Is there a way for us to handle this with the current product, and if not are features like these on the roadmap?




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Jonno Katahanas
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jun 06, 2023

This is a super solid use case that we definitely want to better support in the future. Over time, we want to provide better experiences for agile ceremonies / workflows like this.

One thing you mentioned was on the alignment front. We have alignment guides that should help you align to other elements near by (See below screenshot). Is this different to what you're suggesting? Are there parts of our alignment guides that don't work as expected that you'd like to see improvement on?


The alignment guides are helpful, but if we zoom out a bit we run into issues placing items with precision. This can be frustrating, and of course the other features mentioned go a long ways towards smoothing this process out. I hope you will have a good look at the card tables in Whiteboards for Confluence as a precedent. I'd be happy to show them, and our use case, to someone on your team if you'd like. 

Studying the way that your tool is used by Agile teams (be they Scrum, XP, SAFe or otherwise) would be a great idea. The Agile principles promote collaboration across the team and with external stakeholders and places a high value on face-to-face communication. Nowadays many teams are distributed, including mine, and I've found that virtual whiteboards are a great place to create togetherness and shared experience in our work (especially when they can be related to documentation and work tracking, as your tool can be with Confluence and Jira). 

FYI - User story mapping is not an Agile event (they are not referred to as "ceremonies" or "rituals" anymore). It is a technique that is commonly used by Agile/Scrum teams, but it is not a formal part of the definition of Agile or Scrum. 

Jonno Katahanas
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jun 09, 2023

The team would love to chat to understand your agile use cases better!

Adding in @Christina Ristevski who's the Product Manager driving a lot of whiteboards moving forwards. 

If you're happy to give up some time to chat, you can drop something that works for you into her calendar here.

Sorry if there's limited timezone overlap. Let us know if an issue & we'll work something out.

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