Work tree (top down view from epic)


The Work Tree (Top-Down View from Epic) report provides an overview of progress on all work items in a selected PI, as well as an expandable hierarchy of progress at each work item level. Release train engineers and portfolio managers can use this report to track progress of all work items in a PI. You can generate this report by selecting one or more target PIs and programs.

WT_TopDown_Main.png

Use and configure the report

The Work Tree report shows work filtered by one or more programs or portfolios, and one or more program increments. If you have not selected a program increment in the Configuration bar at the top of the page, a Program Increment dropdown displays. 

WT_TopDown_PIDrop.png

You can use the work item expandable hierarchy without a selection in this dropdown. Select a PI in order to display dashboard for a program/portfolio and PI combination.

You can also change the type of Work Tree report you’re viewing through the Tree View dropdown:

WT_TreeView.png

Dashboard and expandable list

When one or more PIs are selected through the Configuration bar or the page’s dropdown, a dashboard displays for each PI. Click the plus sign to the left of a dashboard to access the expandable hierarchy of work items.

WT_TopDown_Dashes.png

Each program selected displays as a section below the dashboard. Click the plus sign to the left of a program section to expand the list of work items. Epics will display as the top-level item in this view, as well as stand-alone features. You can then select plus signs on the left of each work item row to see child work items.

WT_TopDown_Expands.png

In the Work Tree, epics are ordered based on their program by PI rank. All child items are ordered based on the rank under their parent and this order matches the order set in the backlog. For example, capabilities and features are ordered here as they are under an epic in the backlog.

The Orphan Stories section displays any stories assigned to the PI that are not parented by a feature. When expanding the Orphan Stories section, the story progress meter changes and shows the overall progress of stories in the section.

Extra configurations

You can use the Extra Configs button in the top-right corner to filter the work items displayed on the page by fields such as Theme, Epic, or Category. 

Switch on the Include all contributing work toggle to include all contributing work items (including those outside your Configuration bar selection) in story progress bars and calculations. 

Work_Tree_Top_Down_from_Epic_Extra_Configs.png

Switch on the Show Health toggle to display the Health icons on epics inside the expandable hierarchy section. 

Narrow view by program and PI

Switch on the Narrow to Program and Program Increment toggle to restrict counts in the dashboard and work items in the expandable hierarchy sections to only those where all items in a hierarchy are directly assigned to the selected program(s) and PI(s). This allows you to review only work items that are planned in your programs and PI, and check for misalignments between parent and child work items. 

To better understand how this toggle behaves, consider the following work item hierarchy as the only items inside a sample program increment, PI Green:

  • Epic A: PI Green
    • Feature A: PI Green
      • Story A: Sprint Green 1 (belongs to PI Green) - 2 points
      • Story Y: Sprint Blue 1 (does not belong to PI Green) - 8 points
    • Feature Z: PI Blue
      • Story Z: Sprint Green 1 (belongs to PI Green) - 5 points
  • Epic B: PI Blue
    • Feature B: PI Green
      • Story B: Sprint Green 1 (belongs to PI Green) - 13 points
Toggle off Toggle on

Included in the dashboard counts:

  • Epic A
  • Feature A 
  • Story A 
  • Story Y
  • Story Z
  • 15 points (Story A, Story Y, Story Z)

Included in the dashboard counts:

  • Epic A
  • Feature A 
  • Story A 
  • Story Z
  • 7 points (Story A and Story Z)

Displayed in the expandable hierarchy:

  • Epic A
  • Feature A
  • Feature Z - with question mark icon, indicating it is misaligned
  • Story A
  • Story Y - with question mark icon, indicating it is misaligned
  • Story Z

Displayed in the expandable hierarchy:

  • Epic A
  • Feature A
  • Story A

Note: Story Z is not displayed due to its parent feature not being in the PI, but the story's points are included in the Points column for Epic A.

Note how both Feature B and Story B are not included in the dashboard or expandable hierarchy in either scenario. This is because the top-down view looks for valid epics first, and then includes data from child work items. Updating Epic B's PI assignment to include PI Green would include the epic, feature, and story in the report. 

Enter Health status

You can enter notes about an epic's perceived health by selecting the Health icons WT_HealthIcons.png from an epic's row in the expandable hierarchy section. This will open a window where you can select from Red, Yellow, or Green color options and enter explanations for status for multiple health categories.

WT_HealthModal.png

After you select Save & Close, the icons in the row will update their colors according to your selections. These icons also display on Status Reports that support epics. 

Chart reset and legend

Select the Reset Charts button in the upper-right corner of the report to reset your view. This will clear all selections made in the Program Increment dropdown and restore any hidden entries in Dashboard sections.

WT_ResetCharts.png

Select the Legend icon to see descriptions for the color displayed as a dot on the icon next to each work item inside the expandable hierarchy section. 

WT_Legend.png

Capture

Data on this report can also be shared by creating a screenshot using the Capture button from the top-right corner of the page. This will create an image in a new browser tab. 

WT_Capture.png

Values displayed in the report 

Dashboard

WT_TopDown_DashboardCallouts.png

  1. Plus icon: Select this icon to display the expandable drill-down list of work items for programs selected in the Configuration bar. 
  2. PI name: Select this link to open the PI’s Details panel.
  3. Days Left: Days remaining in the program increment, calculated between the current day and the end of the PI, not including weekends.
  4. % Story Points Accepted: Percentage of story points tied to the selected PI that are accepted.
  5. Epic Progress: The percentage of epics in the PI that are accepted.
  6. Capability Progress: The percentage of capabilities related to epics in the PI that are accepted. When the Include all contributing work toggle in Extra Configs is switched on, this calculation will instead include all capabilities related to epics, regardless of PI selection.
  7. Feature Progress: The percentage of features in the PI that are accepted. When the Include all contributing work toggle in Extra Configs is switched on, this calculation will instead include all contributing features, regardless of PI selection.
  8. Story Progress: The percentage of stories in the PI that are accepted; also shows the count of stories accepted. This includes points from stories that are assigned to the selected program and are related to an epic or a capability assigned to the selected PI. If a story is not assigned to the selected program, its points are not included in the calculations unless the Include all contributing work toggle in Extra Configs is switched on.
  9. Task Progress: The percentage of tasks in the PI that are accepted; also shows the count of accepted tasks.
  10. X icon: Select this icon to hide a section inside the dashboard. You can use the Reset Charts button at the top of the report to restore the view. 

Expandable hierarchy of work items

WT_TopDown_ExpandCallouts.png

  1. Plus icon: Select to expand the item’s row and display child work items.
  2. Work item icon: Indicates the type of work item in the row. Epics, capabilities, features, and stories each have a different icon. A colored dot displays in the top-right corner of each icon, indicating status. Select the Legend button at the top of the report for a description of what each color represents.
  3. Other icons: Various icons can be displayed to the left or right of a work item’s name:
    1. Plus sign WT_Plus2Icon.png : Indicates that an epic or feature is multi-program.
    2. Hierarchy icon WT_HierarchyIcon.png : Indicates that the work item is assigned to a program different than the section being viewed.
    3. Links icon WT_LinksIcon.png : Indicates that work item links exist. The icon with a left arrow indicates the item has one or more predecessors, while an icon with a left arrow indicates the item has one or more successors. Select the work item to open its Details panel, and select the View the Predecessors and Successors button from the Links tab to view the relationships between predecessors and successors. A predecessor is a work item that must be completed before the work item it is linked to. A successor is a work item that must be completed after the work item it is linked to.
    4. Chat icon WT_ChatIcon.png : Displays only on stories. Select this icon to launch the Discussion window for a story, where you can enter a new post. 
    5. Question mark WT_QuestionIcon.gif : Displays when a work item is assigned to a different program increment than the one selected in the Configuration bar or page filters. These items are not included in counts in the dashboard section. 
    6. Tag icon WT_TagIcon.png : Displays on features when tags are present. Hover on the icon to display the tag names.
  4. Work Item Name: The name of the work item; select a name to open the item’s Details panel. If an item is blocked, the text will display in red.
  5. Health: Epic health; click the group of icons to update the health status. The column is displayed when the Show Health toggle found in Extra Configs is switched on.
  6. Points: The sum of effort points from child stories. For each epic, summary points calculated are based on all stories related to this epic or its child capabilities. If an epic's child capability is not related to the program and PI, it will still be included in the calculations. To see a count of story points that only apply to a specific program and PI, switch on the Narrow to Program and Program Increment toggle at the top of the report.
  7. Items: A count of direct child items for the work item. This count may not match the number of child items displayed when the Narrow to Program and Program Increment toggle is switched on.
  8. Program progress: A roll-up of all story points associated with the program and PI. 
  9. Work item progress: The percentage of story effort points accepted for the work item; the value is a roll-up of all points tied to the work item. Note that if a story does not have child tasks, the progress bar will show a percentage complete based on the status of the story. 

How to interpret this report

Dashboards

The ideal dashboard has very little lag between story and task progress, with features not far behind. It is not unusual for epics to lag behind even further, because epics can span across multiple PIs. Pay particular attention to features to make sure they are not trailing the stories in progress; when feature progress is too far behind story progress, it indicates a prioritization problem for your stories--most likely working on stories for too many features at once. Minimizing the feature work in process allows you to finish individual features before moving on to more stories. In the Backlog, use the Rank Stories by Features option to get a baseline prioritization for stories. A Work in Process Report is also available to help you understand where a bottleneck is impacting feature progress.

Expandable hierarchy of work items

When running a report for multiple programs at once, compare the progress bars to see which programs are lagging behind in completing work items.

Review the progress of epics, features, stories, and tasks, using the drill-down function in the report, to gain insight into which work items are lagging behind or being completed on schedule. From here, you can also access the work items directly to edit if needed, such as splitting features, prioritizing work items, or reducing scope.

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