Christer Husstøl appointed as VP of Business Development

We are excited to announce our newest member of the Upwave family, Christer Husstøl, joining as our new VP of Business Development. His expertise within project management and sales will be a huge asset when scaling Upwave globally .

Christer is an avid reader who is passionate about traveling and sailing, in addition to project management, technology and startups. He holds a degree in Management from the BI Norwegian Business School. His background includes both supply chain and project management within the oil industry, as well as sales and business development for the hydro power sector.

The combination of his experience and his interest in the use and implementation of task management tools will be very useful in helping Upwave drive further growth.

 

Interested in finding out more about Christer? Then visit his linkedin page – here.

 

How to Export and Import Data from Trello

In this article we will show you how to export your Trello boards as JSON-files, and how to import these files to another tool.

Export a board from Trello

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Step 1: Go to the board menu and click on “more”

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Step 2: Select “Print and export”

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Step 3: Select “Export as JSON”

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JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation and is a lightweight data-interchange format. The Trello board will be displayed in your internet browser in JSON-format looking something like this.

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Step 5: Download the JSON-file

To download the JSON-file, just right-click on the page, select “Save as” (or “Archive page as”) and choose format “File source”.

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Since you’re looking at how to export your boards from Trello, you might want to know how to import your boards somewhere else. Let’s go through how you can import your Trello boards to another tool.

Import a board from Trello to Upwave

If you’re looking for a visually pleasing and powerful alternative to Trello, where you can easily import all your Trello boards and continue working on them, Upwave might be just what you need. Now that you’ve exported your Trello board as a JSON-file, just follow these simple steps to get that board into Upwave.

Step 1: Create an Upwave account

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Go to www.upwave.io and sign up – and don’t worry, you don’t have to commit to anything! The 14-day free trial lets you try and see if the tools is right for you, no credit card needed.

Step 2: Select (or create) the team you want to import your board to

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Step 3: Click on the three dots next to the team name and select “Board import”

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Step 4: Select the JSON-file you downloaded and click “Start import”

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Trello does not include user information in their export. Therefore, when you import your board to Upwave, you get the option to add name and email address for your Trello board members, inviting them to your Upwave board. This ensures that comments and assigned cards will be mapped to the right person.

Voilá – your board is now imported!

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PS: Upload your own background to make it even more visual!

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What gets imported?

  • Cards (including cover photos)
  • Subtasks
  • Due dates
  • Members (by manually linking names of Trello users to Upwave members)
  • Comments
  • Attachments
  • Labels (turns into color categories)

Do you need to export and import multiple boards from Trello?

If you have a Trello Business or Enterprise account, you can export all your Trello boards and data in a single export. Contact us directly and we will help you select, import and organize your data into Upwave.

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Introduction to Kanban

The Kanban method was originally invented as a part of the famous Toyota Production System in the 1940s. In the 2000s, Kanban was adopted into software development when Microsoft’s software development team wanted a better system for fixing bugs in their product. Today, Kanban helps teams manage both daily tasks, big projects, bug tracking, editorial workflows, hiring processes, marketing scheduling, UX design and much more. 

What Is Kanban?

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Kanban is a popular framework for managing your workflow in a visual way. The underlying concept of Kanban is that all work starts as «To-do» and ends up as «Done».

The word Kanban (かんばん) is Japanese and means «Visible card» or «Signal card». In manufacturing, a fixed number of cards was set in circulation based on capacity. Each card was then attached to a physical work item. When this piece of work was finished, the card was detached and recycled, freeing up capacity for starting a new work item from the queue. In other words, work is pulled from the queue and into the system only when there is free capacity, which is known as a pull-system.

In software development and knowledge work,  the cards are the actual work items, and they’re not used a a signal card attached to physical items. The cards are usually placed on a Kanban board, with different columns representing the different stages of the work. This lets you visualize your entire workflow. The signal to move a card from “To do” to “In progress” incurs when the visual quantity of work in progress is less than a set capacity.

Advantages of using Kanban

  1. Visual boards provides more information than just text
  2. Kanban is intuitive and easy to use
  3. Can be adapted to fit almost any process
  4. Increase productivity and reduce workload stress
  5. Improve team communication and collaboration
  6. Eliminate bottlenecks and optimize everyone’s capacity

 

How To Get Started with Kanban

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In his book, “Kanban – Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business”, David Anderson identified five key properties for a successful implementation of Kanban:

1. Visualize Your Workflow:
A workflow is a representation of the different stages in your work work from start to finish. A typical workflow is “To do”, “In progress” and “Completed”. Some people prefer to have several stages between “To do” and “Completed”, for example plan, test and deploy. This visualization helps you see the big picture, enabling better desicion-making and increased effectiveness.

2. Limit Work In Progress(WIP):
A WIP-limit is the amount of tasks you can handle at once. Start with a number that is realistic, and adjust as you go. If your WIP-limit is 3, you should never have more than 3 tasks in the “in progress”-column.  Limiting work in progress enables you to focus on the tasks at hand and increases your efficiency.

3. Manage the Flow of Work:
By flow, we mean the movement of work items between the various stages of your process. The flow should be fast, smooth and predictable. The goal is to maximize value delivery, minimize risks and avoiding delays. Identifying and addressing bottlenecks and blockers are therefore important aspects of managing flow.

4. Make Process Policies Explicit:
It’s key that there is a common understanding of how works gets done in the various stages of the process. This makes it easier to discuss issues and come to an agreement on what needs improving. Examples of policies include: the definition of done, capacity allocation and WIP-limits.

5. Improve Collaboratively:
When everyone focus on the workflow, ideas about improvement will start popping up, especially if the WIP-limit is reached. It forces the team to focus on resolving issues regarding bottlenecks and blockers that impede the flow of work.

 

Digitize your Kanban Board with an Online Tool

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Screenshot from Upwave

In our modern day world, where employees are scattered in different locations, we need digital solutions for collaboration. There are a lot of tools based on the Kanban method, that lets you create the workflow that fits your need, collaborate on cards in real-time, and drag and drop cards between columns to represent progress. One of these tools is Upwave, which lets you create beautiful Kanban boards customized with your favorite colors and background images.  Get started for free with our 14 day trial!

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Get an instant overview of progress with the new Upwave dashboard and team page

We have now launched a new dashboard, which will enable all users to easily monitor how their teams and projects are progressing.

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With the new dashboard, you get an overview of:

  • Card completion rate
  • Cards overdue
  • When boards were last updated
  • Board members
  • What team a board belongs to

 

Workspace dashboard
The dashboard will be available at the workspace level, see attached screenshot below.

New dashboard_screenshot

Team page
In addition, you will get a similar team page, where you get progress overviews at the team level. With this update, it will be easy to pick up your work and see where action may be required.

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Navigation
The navigation has been moved to the top and made consistent throughout the platform.

New dashboard_gifRead more about navigation on our helpdesk.

What’s next
As bigger teams and enterprises are using Upwave, we are working on ways to help them monitor performance, and take action. This update is a continuation of our strategy where we want to support their needs, without sacrificing usability.

Our short term product roadmap will further build on this and includes:

  • New team calendar
  • Team reports – get portfolio overview of progress across boards in a team
  • Team analytics – graphic overview of a team’s progress and activity

 

As always, we welcome feedback and improvement suggestions!

 

Symetri Collaboration becomes a strategic investor in Upwave Technologies

The industry-leading Nordic IT supplier Symetri Collaboration has become a strategic investor in Upwave Technologies as of December 2018.

“This is very exciting for Upwave’s development. In Symetri Collaboration and their parent company Addnode Group, we have a partner who can contribute with valuable expertise in marketing and technology. We also gain access to their distribution channels in the European market”, says Kjetil Moløkken-Østvold, CEO of Upwave Technologies.

Symetri Collaboration is the market leader in Norway in delivering collaboration solutions for construction projects. Symetri has been in the market since 2001 and has extensive industry experience and knowledge, with large customers such as Veidekke, Statsbygg, Statens Vegvesen and a number of other significant actors within the private and public sector.

“With this investment, we get an exciting and strategically important technology partner in Upwave, who can help us offer even more user-friendly solutions at a faster pace. With its rapid growth, solid professional expertise and technological know-how, we are confident that this will benefit our customers. Through integration and joint product development, we will together offer the market better, more user-friendly and
comprehensive collaboration solutions”, says Steinar Svinø, CEO of Symetri Collaboration.

This investment will strengthen our technological cooperation and increase
both companies’ position in the collaboration space and we look forward to delivering new and improved solutions to our customers in 2019 and beyond.

 

Upwave Introduces Time Tracking and Estimation

You can now track time on your tasks and set time estimates directly in Upwave!

 

Manage your time with Upwave

Easily track the time you spend on a task by using the automatic timer feature inside a card or by creating manual time entries. Set time estimates to make sure you stay on track. Several people can add time entries on the same task, which makes it perfect for collaborative work.

Time Tracking

 Turn your data into insightful reports

Time is the most precious resource we have, but we still waste a great deal of it. To spend time more wisely, you need to know where your time is going. Easily generate timesheets at project-, task- or user-level. Share your reports by exporting them as PDF- or csv-files.

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Start tracking and spend your time more wisely!

Sign up for a free 14-day trial at here!

Upwave announces it has joined the Google Cloud Technology Partner Program

Oslo, Norway, July 19th, 2018 — Upwave Technologies AS, producer of the project- and process management platform Upwave, today announces that it has joined the Google Cloud Technology Partner Program.

Joining the Google Cloud Technology Partner Program will allow Upwave to innovate faster, and deliver an improved and more seamless collaboration experience to their customers. Upwave is looking forward to continuing its relationship with Google Cloud, and to better serve customers who are using G Suite and Upwave in combination.

«Our relationship with Google Cloud is a big step for Upwave as it gives us the opportunity to bring a suite of capabilities to our customers in an easy and scalable way», said Kjetil Moløkken-Østvold, CEO of Upwave. «The Google Cloud Technology Partner Program gives us access to an engaged network of technology partners to learn from and create with, helping us innovate faster and scale smarter».

Contact information: Kjetil Moløkken-Østvold, CEO. kjetil@upwave.io, +47-90140187.

 

About Upwave Technologies

Upwave is a cloud-based platform for collaborating on projects, innovation processes, and daily tasks. Launched in early 2016, Upwave has customers in over 30 countries across the globe. Primary customer industries are public sector entities, non-profits, and creative consultancies.

The main philosophy behind Upwave is that we believe that you get more done with the right amount of features and less clutter. Upwave seeks to increase productivity, collaboration and employee engagement, and integrates well with other B2B SaaS products.

Upwave is based in Oslo, Norway.

Use SWOT to Identify Opportunities and Mitigate Risks

The SWOT-matrix is a strategic planning tool used to understand and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in an organization.

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Strengths: Which characteristics of the business or project gives it an advantage over others?

Weaknesses: Which characteristics of the business or project places it at a disadvantage relative to others?

Opportunities: Which elements in the environment could the business or project exploit to its advantage?

Threats: Which elements in the environment could cause trouble for the business or project?

 

Why use the SWOT-matrix?

Using the SWOT-matrix has many advantages:

  • Intuitive way to map internal characteristics of your business and external elements in your environment that may affect your business
  • Lets you visualize how you can use your strenghts to exploit opportunities or reduce risks
  • Easy way to structure your brainstorming and encourage conversation in your team

 

How to Create Your SWOT-matrix in Upwave

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The easiest way to utilize the SWOT-matrix is to use an online tool, like Upwave, where you can update the canvas in real-time and collaborate with your collageus. To get started with SWOT in Upwave, go to templates and choose “SWOT”. To add a card, just click inside the box where you want to add it. Try to keep the text short and concise. Use different colors for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Get started with your SWOT-matrix

Identify Customer Problems Worth Solving with Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas was created by Ash Maurya (leanstack.com) and is an adaptation of Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder. Lean Canvas is optimized for the Lean Startup methodology, and the emphasis is on finding customer problems that are worth solving.

Lean canvas_illustration
Illustration of Lean Canvas created based on the original from www.leanstack.com

The 9 building blocks in Lean Canvas are as follows:

1. Problem: What are your customer’s problems and how are they solved today?

2. Customer segments: Who are your target customers and what are their characteristics?

3. Unique value proposition: Why are you different and worth paying attention to?

4. Solution: What are the possible solutions for each problem?

5. Unfair advantage: What advantage do you have that can not be easily copied or bought?

6. Revenue streams: What are your sources of revenue?

7. Cost structure: What are your fixed and variable costs?

8. Key metrics: What are the key numbers that tell you how your business is doing?

9. Channels: What is your path to customers?

 

How to Create Your Lean Canvas in Upwave

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The easiest way to utilize Lean Canvas is to use an online tool, like Upwave, where you can update the canvas in real-time with your collageus. To get started with Lean Canvas in Upwave, go to templates and choose “Lean Canvas”. To add a card, just click inside the box where you want to add it. Try to keep the text short and concise. Use colors to create links between different aspects of your business model.

Start by filling out problem (What are your customer’s problems and how are they solved today?), customer segments (Who are your target customers and what are their characteristics?) and then unique value proposition (Why are you different and worth paying attention to?). Then continue with solution (What are the possible solutions for each problem?), unfair advantage (What advantage do you have that can not be easily copied or bought?) and revenue streams (how much money are you going to make?).

Now that you’ve covered the problem, your solution, why you are different and how you’re gonna make money, it’s time to look at costs, metrics and channels. Start by filling out cost structure (What are your fixed and variable costs?) and key metrics (What are the key numbers that tell you how your business is doing?), and finish with channels (how are you going to reach your customers?). You now have a one page visualization of your business model!

Get started with your Lean Canvas

Connect Upwave to 1000+ other apps with Zapier

Upwave now integrates with Zapier, which lets you automatically create cards in Upwave whenever there’s a trigger in any of the 1000+ connected apps.

Automated connections called Zaps, are set up in minutes with no coding. You can automate your day-to-day tasks and build workflows between apps that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Each Zap has one app as the Trigger, where your information comes from and which causes one or more Actions in other apps, where your data gets sent based on your set-up.

To learn more, read our guide which explains step-by-step how to create a Zap from scratch. Or jump straight into the action and try out one of the popular premade Zaps below.

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To connect Upwave with thousands of other apps, including Gmail, GitHub, and Slack, head to Upwave’s Zapier integration page.