Swanly: MARS App of the Month (Jan 2022)

January 27, 2022
whiteboards for jira

MARS App Profile:

App: Swanly – Portfolio Roadmaps Timeline & Release Management

Vendor: Jexo

Primary Category: Planning

Active Instances: 875

Instances Monthly Growth: 12%

Instances 2021 Growth: 50%

Competitor: Advanced Roadmaps for Jira (Jira Software Premium), Easy Agile Roadmaps for Jira, Aha! Roadmaps for Jira, Agile User Story Map & Product Roadmap for Jira

MARS

One of our unique offerings at Blended Perspectives is our Marketplace Analytic Research Service (MARS) database of Atlassian Marketplace 3rd party apps.

While many Atlassian Partners make their own apps, we believed that we could bring greater value to our customers and the Atlassian Community as a whole by creating a quantitative and objective database covering every facet of the Atlassian Marketplace.

MARS contains a vast array of data from instances, reviews, and pricing, to platform, app growth, and version releases. This is all tied together at the top level through our meaningful app categorization in which, for every app over 500 instances, we carefully assigned our own categories based on the primary functionality of each app. We do this instead of using Marketplace app categorizations which are somewhat meaningless due to vendor self-selection. This means that MARS can give us a completely unique perspective into which apps are really excelling and driving forwards in the Marketplace.

This month our MARS App of the Month is Swanly by Jexo.

Swanly

Swanly is a cloud only project management tool which uses portfolio issue roadmaps to help users plan, report on, and manage their releases.

Access to Advanced Roadmaps in Jira Cloud is a key reason why a lot of organizations upgrade to Premium. However, smaller teams looking for something more affordable and easy to pick up may be attracted to Swanly’s sleek design and relative ease of use. Swanly achieves all of this while still maintaining impressive reporting capabilities and attention to detail.

Not every customer will be able to use Swanly as an alternative to Advanced Roadmaps. Given its relative lack of configurability, the fact that it does not allow for planning multiple scenarios, and the lack of hierarchy options, users managing large, complex projects may find it insufficient. However, for a large proportion of Jira users Swanly will be more than enough for their roadmapping and will likely be even better suited to their requirements.

This is a trend we’ve seen across a range of categories, from time management to reporting–simple still works!

Swanly’s impressive growth over 2021 (and over December 2021 in particular) speaks to this. Swanly grew by 50% over the whole of 2021 and 12% in December 2021 making it the fastest growing Planning app over December and 2nd fastest overall.

Features

Swanly allows users to manage releases with portfolio release roadmap and release list view. With the issue view, users can schedule any type of issues from any project into a simple roadmap. While from the release view users can plan Jira releases on roadmap. (including cross-project releases)

 

All deliverable stages are trackable at glance on roadmap. Furthermore, users can click on activities to see stages and track stages through a dropdown.

Once a particular issue/release is scheduled it can be viewed in the report view easily by just clicking on activity. This lets users see detailed reporting on scope, stages/phases, and useful progress insight

Reports also cover aggregated Jira time tracking, story points, and activity burndown charts all based on the scope of issue/releases

Users can customize their own templates to save time and energy in the future.

List view gives users key insights into all relevant issues.

The toolbar lets you filter by project, status, template, and expand stages.

Users can match versions across Jira projects with cross-project releases. You can then track release scope in a single report featuring your release from multiple projects. Users are also able to select multiple projects for it to be associated with or to create new ones.

Dark mode is an incredibly popular feature of Swanly (and all apps that have a dark mode) that makes a huge difference to user experience.

Use Cases

1. Digital Marketing

Visibility: The roadmap view offers visibility across all digital campaigns and the ability to track their progress in a single panel that slides from the side

Choose what you see: Instead of projects, users can group by campaign type. This means the swimlanes will represent different campaign types like SEO, new feature launch, etc…

Meeting points: Tasks are often worked on by multiple teams (e.g. Marketing, Design, and Development). All tasks that need to be completed in order to deliver the campaign are linked in the Scope section. Key information about the tasks are visible, things like task summary, assignee, priority, and status

Sharing: The report view is really useful for you to get granular information about the campaign’s progress so you can share the report with colleagues before your weekly update meeting

Lists: Users can get a list of all growth hacking campaigns the teams are working on; or a list of all campaigns that were finished. Once you’ve got your list, you can quickly access the report and share it

Efficiency: All the info teams need about their campaigns is in Swanly, which makes planning, tracking, and acting upon campaigns and marketing tasks much more simple

2. Product Development

Multiple Projects: Swanly lets users select the projects they want to work with, then plan stories for each of these projects in a single roadmap, with each project having its own swimlane

Templates: Each template has its own stages: for example, Design, Development, Testing, and UAT. Stories tagged as new features and stories tagged as improvements can be made to be different colors. If users want to only see new features they can simply use filters. Users can even go further and filter stories currently in the making, or stories that haven’t yet begun

Views: Stakeholders and customer success teams can use their favored time views (generally monthly) while dev teams can use weekly views

Issue Reports: Issue report view lets users see at which stage the story is and how much of the work remains to be done. Users can see a list of all sub-tasks that need to be delivered for specific stories

Customer Feedback: Customer feedback can be stored as issues in a separate Jira project called ‘product feedback’ then linked to relevant stories. The linked issues section is where you’ll find the links to customer feedback for an exact story in Swanly

3. Release Tracking

Users can view the release as a roadmap to understand what’s happening with pending issues. As for projects, users can access every Jira release alongside a list of all the issues assigned to that release

Timeline View: Timeline view offers a real-time understanding of the scope and status of project so users can spot issues and resolve them instantly. Users can easily see which releases are on track, and which are off, then delve into the details for each

Filter: Swanly gives users a list view that enables them to quickly navigate extensive lists of releases, filtered by project, status, or type of release

Defined Stages: Deployment stages in the release panel are useful for seeing the status of any version at a point in time, giving users a summary and breakdown of the issues in the version with the issues grouped by status so users can see if any work remains

Workflows: Workflows make for easier and quicker tracking as you create processes for the way your team functions. Having a stable Jira release management process where the length of each stage is planned helps teams deliver on time

Burndown Charts: Burndown charts in Swanly offer a clear and real-time understanding of release progress and are great for tracking remaining time or effort until release delivery

 

Summary 

Swanly has grown very well over 2021–its simplicity and versatility in planning across teams and enterprises helps explain why. For any Jira users looking for a simple yet incredibly powerful roadmapping tool, they should look no further than Swanly.

If you would like to learn more about MARS and how it can benefit you then click here or email us at hello@blendedperspectives.com. 

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