Work categories

A work category is a kind of work that is always present regardless of current initiatives and project goals. Examples can include bug fixes, security patches, and technical debt. A work category can also represent work done by people in a role, such as design, documentation, or user experience; or a phases of work, such as feature research, scope discovery, planning, and delivery.

Only CloudBees Engineering Efficiency admins can create work categories.

Work categories are based on Jira issue types and labels. Let’s say that you have set up custom issue types and Jira labels to represent well-known kinds of work in your organization, such as bugs, security fixes, etc. You can define work categories in CloudBees Engineering Efficiency that will match these issues based on both your custom issue types and labels allowing you to focus on insights for specific subsets of your work.

Your organization should determine the work categories to use for all member teams. This helps create consistent views across all teams who belong to your organization.

You can use work categories to map work and customize the views displayed in screens that use work categories.

Because you can use a work category with more than one product, you can have a consistent comparison point between the different screens.

Using work categories

Here are some general tips about work categories:

  • You can use multiple issue types and labels to describe a single work category.

  • If an issue contains labels that match more than one work category, then this issue is counted against each matching work category.

  • Work categories can’t be grouped or nested.

  • Issues that belong to an epic will inherit the work category of that epic, see using inheritance across epics and issues for more details.

Using inheritance across epics and issues

Instead of adding a label to every issue contained in an epic, you can put the label on the epic itself. All issues within that epic are associated with the work category that is defined by the label associated with the epic.

For example, let’s assume you have a work category Feature defined by the label feature. If you apply the label feature to an epic, all issues in that epic are associated with the Feature work category.

When issues are grouped into epics, the Jira issues inherit the labels from the epic for the work category mapping. You can use this inheritance to streamline adding work categories by using labels associated with work categories consistently on epics.

This is important for scenarios like tracking regressions that are assigned to an epic but labeled as "defect" for example, thus not considered "feature" work.

Uncategorized work

Uncategorized work is the set of Jira issues that do not match any of the defined work categories for a product. In other words, these Jira issues either do not have a label assigned or have a label that is not associated with a work category. Because these issues do not match any work categories, they show up as uncategorized.

When you first start using work categories, the displayed metrics may show a large number of uncategorized issues.

Try to reduce the amount of uncategorized work over time by looking through the uncategorized work items to determine patterns that could lead to new work categories.

Creating and deleting work categories

Categories can be added or updated from the Settings area, accessed from User profile  Organization settings, or using Create work category or Manage categories available from any *Work categories drop-down menu.

Creating a work category

Work categories can be used by any products within an organization.

To create a basic work category:

  1. In the top right, select your organization to open the User profile menu and then select your name.

  2. In the left navigation, select Engineering efficiency  Work categories.

  3. Select Create a work category.

  4. Enter a Work category name.

  5. (Optional) Provide a description, if desired.

  6. Select one or more products from the product drop-down to associate the work category.

  7. Create a rule for Jira labels and/or issue types.

    1. Enter one or more Jira labels, separated by a comma. Select an option from the drop-down:

      1. Any (the default): Only issues having all of these labels will be associated with this work category.

      2. All: Issues having any of these labels will be associated with this work category.

      3. None: Only issues that don’t have any of these labels will be associated with this work category.

    2. Enter one or more issue types, separated by a comma. Issue types are case-sensitive. Select an option from the drop-down box to filter the list:

      1. Any (the default): Only issues of these types will be associated with this work category.

      2. None : Only issues a type other than one of these will be associated with this work category.

  8. Determine how the rule applies to the work category:

    1. Select AND so the work category must have both the label AND the issue type present.

    2. Select OR so the work category only has to have the Jira label or the issue type, but not both.

      Create work category
      Figure 1. Create work category
  9. Select Create work category.

You can also use Create a work category on the Work categories drop-down.

Deleting a work category

Removing a work category deletes its record and associations. The associated data is not deleted. You can also remove a work category from a product.

You can remove a work category using the Categories screen, which is accessible from the Settings area or by selecting Manage categories on the Work categories drop-down.

To delete a work category:

  1. In the top right, select your organization to open the User profile menu and then select your name.

  2. In the left navigation, select Engineering efficiency  Work categories.

  3. Locate the name of the work category you wish to remove.

  4. Select the red X at the far right of the work category’s row.

  5. Select the check box to confirm the deletion.

  6. Select Delete category.

Adding work categories to a product

You can use work categories with one or more products. Each work category is independent of its associated products.

To associate work categories with products:

  1. In the top right, select your organization to open the User profile menu and then select your name.

  2. In the left navigation, select Engineering efficiency  Work categories.

  3. Select the work category to modify and select Edit.

  4. Select the Products drop-down and select additional products.

  5. Select Save changes.

Removing work categories from a product

You can remove a work category from a product without deleting the work category.

To remove a work category from products:

  1. In the top right, select your organization to open the User profile menu and then select your name.

  2. In the left navigation, select Engineering efficiency  Work categories.

  3. Select the work category to modify and select Edit.

  4. Select the Products drop-down and uncheck products so they no longer use the work category.

  5. Select Save changes.