Do you think giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft manage a staff of thousands of people and release their highly complex products on time? Most of them use the same Agile Scrum and Kanban methodologies and use platforms that extend and enhance their capabilities. Atlassian Jira, in particular, has incredibly powerful and flexible tools to organize any team working on any project and get a progress report that takes into account any of the parameters you are interested in. Today, we will tell you exactly what kinds and features of reports there are.
Agile and Jira
Let's go over the basics. Agile is a set of principles that make product development easier, faster, and more efficient. These principles form the basis of various Agile methodologies, the main ones being Scrum and Kanban. And Agile methodology in Jira is the foundation, and Scrum and Kanban boards are available by default and very flexible to your needs. Also, you have an incredible number of different Agile reports available out of the box, which you can also customize and augment with your own.
If you are already familiar with the principles of Agile and the methods of Scrum and Kanban, then feel free to read on. However, if this is something entirely new for you, we recommend you to read our articles on this topic, where we tell in detail what Agile is for project management and how to implement it. However, we will refresh your memory and briefly repeat it here, not interrupting your reading.
Jira Scrum and Kanban Boards
You can implement Agile principles thanks to the Scrum and Kanban boards in Jira.
The Scrum method involves completing a specific set of tasks in specific periods called Sprints. The forming of a task list for each sprint is thoroughly planned. The team's work and execution of tasks are constantly monitored and evaluated throughout it. And at the end of the sprint, a comprehensive assessment of its progress is made, allowing you to make valuable conclusions and plan more accurately for each next sprint. The entire sprint process is displayed on the Scrum board, which is initially divided into three columns To Do, In Progress, and Done, on which task cards move as they are completed.
This method allows you to deliver software with a certain regularity and is well suited if you need to make a product release on a certain date. There is even a separate Jira Scrum Board Release tool for this, which we will talk about below.
The Kanban method doesn't use a clear timeline, as it doesn't even have sprints. The Kanban method assumes continuous development. The list of tasks is constantly updated, and their execution is always in progress. Kanban columns have only a limited number of tasks to avoid getting stuck. If tasks are not prioritized and completed as timely as possible, it can stagnate the entire team, and the team always sees at what stage or task there is stagnation.
This is a very productive method for an already released product that needs to be constantly improved and supplemented. After all, such tasks often come not from the owner's wants as when the product was created, but from various consumer needs and feedback about the product.
Now, let's take a closer look at what Jira reports are. It's worth noting right away that some of them are most useful for product owners or managers and are available for use in any case. And some are most needed directly by the development team and are available only when using either Scrum or Kanban boards.
In general, they are divided into these basic types:
- Jira Agile Reports
- Jira Issue Analysis Reports
- Jira Forecast & Management Reports
- Jira Custom Reports
Jira Agile Kanban Reports
If you are using Kanban Board, you have two reports available.
The Cumulative Flow Diagram
This diagram is one of the main Kanban tools, but it can also be used for Scrum. It helps evaluate the movement of tasks by columns and find bottlenecks in particular stages of development.
Each layer of the diagram is marked by a different color and shows one of the columns. The layer's height reflects the number of tasks coming into each column. An ideal diagram looks like parallel layers going up smoothly, except for the completed tasks column, which may go up a bit more actively than the others.
The Control Chart
This tool can also be used for both Kanban and Scrum. Its meaning is to evaluate team performance in specific tasks or stages of development.
For this purpose, the time allocated to the task and its actual execution time are taken into account. Thanks to this, it is possible to evaluate the team's performance over the past time, predict it with multiple filters, and view the details of each task's execution details. All of these tasks are presented as points and arranged on a timeline, from which you can get a lot of useful data.
Jira Agile Scrum Reports
The Scrum board offers a lot more reporting because more options for capturing metrics relative to an exact time. But today, we will talk only about Agile Reports because even each of them may deserve a whole separate article. So let's break it down in order.
Well, we have a horizontal axis reflecting the time of the sprint and a vertical axis reflecting the number of tasks or the estimated time to complete them. As you complete the tasks, you have a line that shows the actual progress of the sprint. It should be as consistent as possible, with the ideal straight line going from top to bottom toward the end of the sprint. If the actual line does not match the ideal line, then depending on the nature of the mismatch, you can conclude what the problems are in the sprint.
We have an article where we discussed the Burndown Chart, what charts you see most often, what they mean, and how you can deal with it. We highly recommend that you read it separately. However, among other things, we will tell you about this type of report here as well.
A bit like the previous report. It also has an ideal gray line and an actual red line. But whereas the previous report shows the ratio of completed and remaining tasks in the sprint and predicts their completion during the sprint. This report is based on an estimate of the tasks at the beginning of the sprint and shows them actually completed, carried over, supplemented.
We have a gray line that shows the ideal completion based on the original task estimate. And we have a red line that shows their actual performance. So you can evaluate in detail any past sprint and how many of the tasks were not completed and were moved to the backlog or reprioritized and/or sent to another active sprint.
This report reflects one of the most important indicators, work speed. You can use it to understand how much work a team can do on average per sprint. If you take data from several sprints at once, you'll be more accurate in predicting future sprints.
We also have on the vertical axis the number of tasks or time to complete them and on the horizontal axis the sprint time. The gray columns show the initially estimated tasks, and the green columns show the actual amount of tasks completed, including those added during the sprint.
The version report shows the projected release date from version to version. This report is based on your team's average rate of progress since you started working on the version and the estimated amount of remaining work.
We also have a vertical axis showing the number of tasks and a horizontal axis showing the time. Columns of a certain height are shaded on the graph, corresponding to the number of tasks completed. The blue line shows the overall release prediction based on the speed of work and the number of tasks. There are also columns shaded in gray to the top at the beginning, middle, and end of the graph, which shows the optimistic and pessimistic release dates.
This report reflects completed, uncompleted, and unestimated tasks in an epic that can stretch over several sprints.
The vertical line shows the number of tasks, and the horizontal line shows the epic time allotted. The blue line shows evaluated tasks, and the red line shows unevaluated tasks. We also display the total number of tasks, completed and uncompleted.
Epic Burndown is a report that evaluates your epic progress by considering several sprints at once and predicting how many sprints the epic may stretch. It also considers your team's task completion rate and how your task list changes during the epic.
You can also see the number of tasks vertically and sprints horizontally on the graph. The light green section is the work completed during the sprint. The blue light section is work remaining in the epic, out of the total work estimated for the epic at the start of the sprint. The dark blue section is work that was added during the sprint but not included initially. Light green and blue sections are total work in the epic that was originally estimated at the start of the sprint. Light blue and dark blue sections are total work in the epic remaining at the end of the sprint. Bars with grey sections are predicted sprints.
The Release Burndown report shows how the team progresses toward release during the sprint. It's excellent for understanding how many more sprints are needed for release, given the evaluation of tasks and changes made to the task list during the sprint.
The light green section is work completed during the sprint. The light blue section is work that is remaining in the release, out of the total work estimated for the release at the start of the sprint. The dark blue section is work that was added during the sprint but not included initially. The light green and blue sections are total work in the release, which was originally estimated at the start of the sprint. The light blue and dark blue sections are total work in the release, remaining at the end of the sprint. Bars with grey sections are predicted sprints.
Jira agile dashboard
It may seem that all these reports are most needed for product owners and project managers. They only have convenient and quick access to these tools, but that's not true at all. Every team member can set up their workspace with the metrics vital to them, both about their work and the work of their team. And all of this can work in real-time, thanks to Jira Dashboards.
Jira Scrum Dashboard
It may seem that all these reports are most needed for product owners and project managers. They only have convenient and quick access to these tools, but that's not true at all. Every team member can set up their workspace with the metrics vital to them, both about their work and the work of their team. And all of this can work in real-time, thanks to Jira Scrum Dashboards.
The Sprint Health Gadget shows your overall sprint progress regarding days elapsed, days left, and amount of work remaining. You can see it all on the chart, giving you a clear and comprehensive understanding within a couple of seconds.
The Sprint Burndown Gadget shows a constantly updated sprint's completed and uncompleted tasks in a neat little window.
Team Velocity Gadget shows the team's speed for the selected time slot, based on plot points, initial time estimate, number of tasks, or any other specified value.
Release Burndown Gadget with Forecast & Milestones displays in a small window how far you are in time for release, taking into account a vast number of aspects. From the trivial ideal line and lines of actual work done to the choice of the building by story points, initial time estimate, time remaining and time spent, number of problems, or any other numerical custom field, and optionally, you can include subtasks in the calculation. The prediction can be determined either by an automatically calculated current command rate or by a fixed rate entered manually.
And these are just the most popular ones. In addition to the proprietary gadgets from Jira, there are entire companies that develop third-party types of reports and corresponding gadgets, and that's the beauty of Jira. The development of third-party reports and gadgets is a very interesting topic, which we will devote an article to in the future. Keep an eye on our blog, where we constantly publish the most interesting and useful articles from the world of modern technological solutions.
Now you know that in addition to the incredibly handy Scrum and Kanban boards in Jira, there are also incredibly powerful and flexible Agile reports. All your work can be not only as transparent as possible but also measurable and predictable. And that's not all that Jira is capable of, even in its standard form, because it also provides very flexible customization. The more you get to know Jira, the better you get to know your company and team, and the better you make your product. And we are happy to help you do that.