How to review branch code by Agile Workbench work item?
My team is using the branch code review feature, and we find it valuable. However, we do have a challenge, and we can't seem to find a solution anywhere in pega.com or the Designer Studio help:
"How can we focus on the rules for a specific work item?"
Suppose my team is working on several stories in a sprint. The number of rules to review quickly grows large. Each story may involve only a few rules. In order to review the rules for a story, we have to manually track which rules are part of which story. Surely we are missing something? Agile Workbench enables us to associate rule changes with work items, so we assume there must be a way to review rule changes by work item.
During branch code review, how can we filter/limit the rules to review by an Agile Workbench work item?
This seems like such an obvious feature that we think we are missing something, but it's hard to say for sure because
- the help topics for Agile Workbench and Branch Code Review do not mention each other
Outside of code review, where can we see rules grouped by work item?
Leaving branch code review aside for a moment, I have yet to find anywhere in Pega where I can see the rules associated with a work item. Once again, I'm sure we must be missing something... When we create or check in a rule, we associate the change with a work item, but where can we report on that association? Where can we observe the rules associated with a work item? We have not found any way to observe that association, even in the work items themselves!
It's great having branch code review, and we are very interested in learning more!
Update: after using them for a few weeks, I find that the Feature/Sub-Feature/User Story (and defect) capabilities in Agile Workbench are valuable. I would recommend them to other users. Pega allows N-levels of sub-features. By adding layers of sub-features, you can get as specific as you like, or need.
I didn't realize this when I first looked at Agile Workbench; I thought that I had only one or two levels of Feature specialization to work with. With that limitation in mind, I failed to see the potential of Features. I ignored them and in doing so, I think I missed most of the value of Agile Workbench.
I do find that there is one capability still missing. Pega, please consider enabling code review, similar to branch code reviews:
- of all the associated rules of a feature (or subfeature)
- within a branch, a code review limited to a feature or subfeature
By bringing them together, I think that would magnify the value of both branching and Agile Workbench.
I would also encourage you to emphasize a particular point in the documentation about branching. For several sprints, my team began a branch at the start of the sprint and merged at the end of the sprint. This worked passably well for 1-2 developers and short sprints. Beyond that, we had 50+ rules changed and code reviews became unwieldy. If the documentation doesn't already include this point, I would suggest making the point that teams should limit the scope of pending changes in branches and code reviews by:
- merging several times per sprint, and
- using several branches for a team. Experiment to find the sweet spot that works for you, such as using a separate branch for each group of related stories under an epic, or for each developer
The current documentation about the DevOps pipeline recommends the use of a "Team layer" application. Using several branches, it is best to have several team layer applications, so that one branch does not override another.