Activity

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The Activity screen helps you answer the question: "Is your execution effective and does it support key priorities?" If your team cannot focus and make progress on the most critical things, you cannot drive the desired business outcomes. Analyze the throughput of product work by features and initiatives.

Using this screen, you can:

  • Close the gap between the work being done versus value being delivered.

  • Understand which work is making the most progress and which work is growing in scope.

  • Understand which work is stale and has been in progress for too long.

  • Understand the major contributors to each epic.

Insights gained

By examining the activity here, you can gain insights into a variety of efficiency-related behaviors of the team, such as:

  • Which major work items did the team focus on delivering? Is that aligned to the key priorities of stakeholders?

  • Are the high-level work items (which are represented by Epics here) reasonably self-describing and understandable to outside stakeholders? Are they well-aligned to expected deliverables and business outcomes?

  • Have any of these initiatives been in progress for a long time? or is the scope continuing to grow?

  • Is there too much work in progress (which will slow you down)? Is the overall progress on active initiatives trending up overtime? Is there any opportunity to rally additional team members to help on getting the most important things done faster?

  • Of the remaining work, how much is already in progress?

  • How much effort did the team spend on work that was not part of a prioritized initiative? Where did those work items come from? Where they planned or unplanned? Is there a way to help defend or reduce the amount of unplanned work here?

Requirements

To use Activity, you must have:

To also exclude closed issues without associated pull requests, a CloudBees Software Delivery Management admin needs to:

UI elements

The Activity screen has five main UI elements.

activity ui elements
Figure 1. UI elements
Table 1. UI elements
Number Element Use

1

Filters the data displayed in the bar graphs by time intervals, Jira projects, or issue type or work category.

2

Check box to exclude closed issues without associated pull requests.

Reduces the displayed data set by excluding closed issues that do not have associated have pull requests. Requires a GitHub integration.

3

This table summarizes where the team has spent the most effort by describing issues closed, scope increases, work started, overall progress, and contributors.

4

This table summarizes the epics where no new progress has been made.

Effort and time spent

You can measure the effort spent against what you have identified as the highest priority work categories. This screen quantifies the effort, represented as bars in the table, that the team is spending on these categories. The longer the bar, the more effort is expended. This effort is measured by the number of tickets closed.

Team refers to the group of people working together to deliver a product.

Activities are ordered by the amount of time spent: those with the most time on are listed on the top. The bottom of the screen shows the activities that have started but have not progressed. Selecting the blue bar displays a list of issues associated with the selected epic.

Understanding the data

The Activity has two sections:

What is the team focused on

Shows which epics moved forward in the selected time frame

Epics without recent progress

Shows what was started previously but no progress made in the timeframe selected. This allows you to identify epics or efforts that were started in the past but not completed yet.

Each row represents one epic, with the exception that captures unassigned issues. The issues closed are within the time frame that you select.

activity column headings
Figure 2. Activity column headings

The first table is sorted by the Issues closed column, which ranks the epic with the largest number of closed issues first.

Column title What it shows How it is calculated Why it is important Actions to take

Issues closed

The number of issues closed in the given time frame selected in the time range sorted by most effort to least effort (ticket count). You can view the list of issues by clicking on the bar.

The number of issues resolved, or moved to a Done stated in Jira, during this period of time.

It answers the question of "Which effort or initiatives did your team spend the most and least effort on?"

You can evaluate where work effort is spent and determine whether these efforts align with goals and priorities.

Epic

Shows the actual epics and links back to the epic issue in Jira. Hovering over a row in this column displays a summary of statues of the remaining issues.

No calculations.

Connects effort reported in Issues closed with the actual Jira issue epic.

Select the Jira issue to view a list of issues associated with the epic.

Scope increases

Indicates the number of new issues that have been opened in the selected time range.

Issues are included if their creation date falls after the time range date starts.

Shows whether the ticket scope is relatively stable or growing.

You can identity and investigate underlying causes of scope creep that slows down the delivery of the epic.

Work started

Indicates the age of the epic or initiative.

Work started is calculated from when the first issue in the epic changes status to In progress.

Indicates the health of an epic. It provides insights into how long it has taken the team to get work through the pipeline. If the number of days is very high, it may indicate that an epic is more a work category, like bug fixes.

Evaluate the epic and determine how to shorten the epic time. High work started times may indicate that a team has too much context switching, the epic is too large and needs refinement, or other factors to investigate.

Overall progress

Shows total completed issues for the epic, the number of remaining issues, and how this percentage differs from where you started. This percentage shows the momentum and gains in overall progress.

The number of issues completed divided by the total number of issues in an epic. Provides the current percent complete and a comparison to the percent complete when the time range started.

Overall progress provides insights into an epic’s traction and momentum.

If the insight into momentum and traction does not meet expectations, then look for ways to increase it. For example, you can use this information to drive conversations to uncover how to refocus the team on getting this done.

Contributors

The number of people who have contributed during the selected time range who have closed tickets.

The set of contributors who were assignees to issues that were completed during the time range.

Indicates the number of people who are closing issues on an epic.

Look for disconnects between priority and timeline versus the number of people contributing. Adjust resource allocation as needed.

Changing views by filtering

You can modify the data that is displayed and how it is filtered.

Data filters
Figure 3. Activity time data filters
Table 2. Cycle time data filters
Number Filter What it shows

1

Time range

Lets you change the view from a week to a year. Default value is 7 days.

2

Jira projects

Lets you filter data from all or selected projects. Default selection is all projects.

3

Work categories

Lets you filter data by Work categories you define. Default selection is all categories.

Using the time range selector, you can compare changes in over different periods of time. Selecting 7 days shows you the change investment over the last 10 weeks. Selecting 30 days shows investment changes over about the last 10 months or so.

Changing the timeframe using time ranges

The Time range drop-down provides four range options, representing a week, a month, three months (a quarter), and a year. The selected time range changes the period of time represented. The default value is 7 days.

To change the time intervals:

  1. Select the drop-down under Time range.

  2. Select an option: 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, or 365 days.

Associating and filtering by Jira projects

By default, the screen displays data from all Jira projects associated with a product. You can limit which Jira projects to include by selecting individual projects from the Jira projects drop-down.

To filter by Jira projects:

  1. Select the drop-down under Jira projects.

  2. Select the check box next to the Jira projects you wish to display.

  3. (Optional) Select the blue bar in a row of the Issues closed column to explore specific issues.

You can associate additional projects from Manage Jira projects.

A CloudBees Software Delivery Management admin can associate additional projects from Manage Jira projects.

Refine views by customizing work categories

By default, the screen displays all data associated with one or more work categories. You can refine the amount of data shown to a specific work category using the Work Category filter.

Work categories are based upon Jira labels. For example, you may have Jira labels that match specific types of work, such as design, documentation, or security. You can associate one or more labels with a work category and associate those categories with one or more products.

Issues inherit the work category labeling through the epics. If one issue belongs to a work category in an epic, then that epic is included but only shows the issues that are assigned that work category.

For more information, refer to Work categories.

To change the view using work categories:

  1. Select the Work categories drop-down.

  2. Select the check box next to one or more categories.

Viewing issues behind the epics

You can navigate directly to an epic to view the Jira issue linked in the epic. The hover provides some insight into how much of the remaining work is in what state. The percentage in the Overall progress column shows the percentage closed.

You can file these by work category, if you define the work categories.

Tips

  • Issues should always belong to an epic.

  • If things are spanning more than six months, change the time range to quarters (90 days) to view the data in shorter time ranges.