Major Performance Upgrade

Since our 1.0 release in February, the LeanKit team has been working hard releasing multiple major and minor releases of functionality and system capabilities. With these new capabilities has come some neccesary and unneccesary overhead to the system. Coupled with the fact that our customers are mapping more and more complex value streams and processing more and more work items, we have had many reports of poor performance when performing even common actions. We took this feedback to heart and have spent the last two and a half weeks comcentrating all efforts on optimizing the application, particulary focusing on Board related activities. We set very aggresive goals, and we feel that we have achieved some impressive performance improvements.

Part of this effort involved simplifying the html, css, and javascript that renders the cards and lanes on the board. You’ll notice some of these changes in the appearance of the lane headers and in the size and shape of the card itself. Part of the reason for changing the card shape was for simplification, but it was also part of our future plans for improving the amount of information that can be seen on the card without actually opening it. Look for more visualizations and shortcuts to information about the card to appear over the next few months, as we implement some of these ideas.

Even with these tremendous improvements, we are still seeing less than desirable performance in Internet Explorer 7. LeanKit Kanban depends on strong JavaScript, CSS, and DOM rendering performance to provide a rich, responsive experience in the browser. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer 7, still used by many of the Web’s users, has not kept up with other modern browsers in their support for web standards and performance. Compared with other browsers, the JavaScript performance is many times slower. IE7 although markedly better than the infamous IE6, still contains many CSS quirks, bugs, and layout limitations.

But we do not want to leave our customers that use IE7 behind. Therefore we have researched and tested the application running in Google Chrome Frame, a free browser plugin for Internet Explorer from Google. This option allows our IE7 customers to experience the application with all the goodness of a modern web browser including the the improved responsiveness, standards, and features that the new browsers provide

We will continue to look for ways to improve the application’s performance as we continue down our development roadmap in the months ahead. And we will continue to pay close attention to feedback from our customers. Please contact us at any time with your feedback, opinions, and suggestions.

Chris Hefley
CEO and Founder
Bandit Software, LLC

Chris Hefley

Chris Hefley is a co-founder of LeanKit. After years of coping with “broken” project management systems in software development, Chris helped build LeanKit as a way for teams to become more effective. He believes in building software and systems that make people’s lives better and transform their relationship with work. In 2011, he was nominated for the Lean Systems Society’s Brickell Key Award. Follow Chris on Twitter @indomitablehef.