The first thing you should do when using Kitemaker is to import your Trello boards and GitHub issues. Kitemaker works a bit differently than most other tools, but starting from what you have and iterating is usually the best way to improve your development process.
Learn hotkeys and use the Kitemaker Command (press
ctrl/cmd+k). Doing so will make you faster and more efficient. Don't worry about learning everything. Simply look for the hotkeys for operations that you repeatedly do. Kitemaker works perfectly fine with the mouse, and hovering with the pointer will give you a tip of the hotkeys.
Invite your team. You can do this either when adding members to a work item (simply enter an e-mail address) or find "Manage organization members" in the Kitemaker Command.
The work item board
This is where you get an overview of ongoing work within the team. Work items are initiatives, features, bets, bugs that you are working on. Each item should be a user delivery and avoid having single tasks on the board. Make the board about visualizing the process and not individuals. Press
c to create new work items, press
# to add labels, and add and remove members using
The work item screen
The work item screen is where team members spend most of their time. This is where you have the descriptions and discussions of what you are building. We observed that teams typically spread these across documents, Slack chats, and meetings. That is where we actually discuss why we're doing something and what we plan to do. So, in Kitemaker, we made this the primary focus.
To edit the collaborative document, press the
d key. It is a rich document editor, supporting Markdown. You can also press
/ on an empty line to format text blocks and add math expressions, images, files, Figma designs, and much more. You can also simply drag and drop files or paste a Figma link directly.
r to make a comment, and press
enter to open a discussion thread. Comments are just as rich as the description, allowing you to add all the same elements.
You can add meta-data on work items by clicking the + sign on the top middle-right. All of them have hotkeys, which you can use either on this screen or when a work item has the focus in a list or a board. Commonly used hotkeys are:
@to add and remove members.
#to add and remove labels.
!to add and remove the work item from a theme.
- You can also set effort and impact by using
i, respectively, that can be used to sort work items.
Note: If you have integrations set up, you will also see mentions of the work item in the activity feed. Press
cmd/ctrl+i to copy the id of a work item to the clipboard. It works both when viewing a work item or when a work item has the focus in a list or a board.
Kitemaker works better with integrations. To set up integrations use the Kitemaker Command and search for 'Manage integrations'.
With Kitemaker's GitHub integration, you can mention a Kitemaker work item by its ID (e.g., ABC-123) in any commit message or pull request description. Kitemaker will automatically create a link between the commit/PR and the work item in Kitemaker.
Additionally, you can automatically change the status of work items using automation. To get started with automation, find 'Manage Automation' in the Kitemaker Command. Once you have that set up, if you put "fixes" or "closes" before your work item ID in your commit message, Kitemaker will automatically move work items to the correct status columns.
With Kitemaker's Slack integration, you can mention any Kitemaker work item by its ID (e.g., ABC-123) in any channel where the @Kitemaker user has been invited. Kitemaker will automatically link the Slack conversation and the work item.
The Slack integration also has many more features like creating work items, searching work items, and more. Just type '/km help' in Slack to figure out everything it can do.
Kitemaker's Discord integration works just like the Slack one! Just mention work items by their ID or type '!km help' to see what else the integration is capable of.
Missing an integration for a tool your team uses? Let us know at email@example.com.
The roadmap gives you a way to express your team's higher level plans. A theme is a bet or initiative that you are either working on or are planning to work on. Each theme has a collaborative document and activity feed like work items. It also allows you to add and remove work items. The themes in the 'Now' column will be visible on top of the work item board.
The Now-Next-Later roadmap is quite common in Product Management. It's generic, and easy to set up, in addition that it helps you to structure an easy to grasp roadmap. Here is a great talk about roadmaps and how you can build them.
Here are some great articles to get inspired on how to work with your product team:
- Our blog contains articles about the choices and technology made when designing and building Kitemaker
- Product teams vs feature teams by Marty Cagan
- 12 signs you are working in a feature factory by John Cutler
- Journey to product teams (Infographic) by John Cutler (for Amplitude)
- Spotify Rhythm by Henrik Kniberg
- Design and development at Figma by Sho Kuwamoto (on Twitter)