10X: Work In Process by State

About this report

With the Work in Process by State report, you can track how much work is in process for a given PI(s). The purpose of the Work in Process report is to enable users to view and report on work in process in any given PI. When too many items are worked on simultaneously, quality suffers, the system bottlenecks, and throughput ultimately suffers. Release train engineers can benefit from reviewing this report every two weeks/at the sprint boundaries. 

All themes, epics, capabilities, features, and stories are organized by swim lanes.

This report has two views:

  • State view: the columns within each swim lane represent the default system-define statuses for each work item (for example, epic statuses include not started, in process, and accepted). 
  • Value Stream View: the columns within each swim lane represent the user-defined Value Stream steps for each work item; this requires configuration in the Value Stream module.

This report can be filtered by PI, program, team, and release vehicle. Use the view drop-down menu to select the look of each work item icon.

Right-click any work item, except themes, to move it around the map to different columns, or to view the item itself. Click a theme, an epic, a capability, a feature, or a story to highlight its relationship with the other work items on the page.

View the legend/key to see what different letters and signs represent. Also, you can show or hide themes, epics, capabilities, features, and stories by clicking the necessary item. Work items marked as minimally marketable are shown with an exclamation point. Point to any work item on the page to see short information about the item, an explanation of text coloration, and acceptance criteria.

At the top of each swim lane, you can view their statistics—percent in process and percent done.

Lean Metrics

With Lean Metrics, you can view the key metrics for Work in Process over the span of the PI—just click the Lean Metrics button in the upper-right of the page. From the drop-down menu, you can select a work item type: epics, capabilities, features, or stories. The following lean metric graphs display:

Work in Process: Line graph showing the number of items in process during the defined time period.

Cumulative Flow: Stacked line graph showing the number of items in an In Progress state, layered against the number of items in an Accepted state during the defined time period. 

Lead Time: Line graph displaying the rolling history of the average time it takes work items in the PI to be accepted. A work item’s lead time is calculated as the time that passes between the date it is created, and the date it is moved to an Accepted state, plus 1 day.

Example: An epic is created on July 7th, and marked as Accepted on July 9th.
July 7 - July 9 = 2 days +1 = 3 day Lead Time. 

Cycle Time: Line graph showing the average difference, in days, between the date the work items went into the In Progress state and the date they were moved to an Accepted state. 

Prerequisites

  1. PI must exist in the system and be tied to a program.
  2. Themes can exist and be tied to a PI. 
  3. Epics can exist and be tied to a theme and PI. 
  4. Capabilities can exist and be tied to an epic and PI.
  5. Features can exist and be tied to an epic or capability and PI. 
  6. Stories can exist and be tied to a feature and PI. 
  7. Value streams must be created to use the Value Stream view. 

How are report values calculated? 

No actual calculations/algorithms are used in the report. All status information is pulled from the corresponding work item page/panel. For example, epic statuses are pulled from the Epics page.

work_in_process_by_state.png

How to interpret this report

The ideal dashboard has very little lag between story and feature percent in process. It is not unusual for epics to lag behind even further, because epics span PIs. Pay particular attention to features, to make sure they are not trailing the stories in process; when feature process is too far behind story process, 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 Jira Align, in the Backlog module, you can the Rank Stories by Features option to get a baseline prioritization for stories.

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