Creating Jira Dashboards for specific purposes

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Jira Dashboards are very flexible tools that you can assemble in minutes, if not seconds, and change on the fly. You may want to create a selection of dashboards for different purposes in order to get the most out of them. In Jira, it’s possible to have the following:

  • One dashboard for one project
  • Multiple dashboards for one project
  • One dashboard for multiple projects
  • A private dashboard for each team member, who chooses the gadgets most useful to them

You may already have an idea of what information you want to track and which gadgets to include. If not, this article will give you some ideas in the form of example dashboards to use at particular times for particular reasons. 

Remember, the best dashboards are the ones that are properly tuned to your team and your stakeholders. So feel free to tweak the dashboards recommended below to your requirements.

Daily stand-up dashboard (one team)

This dashboard includes the Sprint Health Gadget, the Sprint Burndown Gadget, and the Version Report

Jira Version Reports

Both the Sprint Burndown and the Sprint Health Gadget are great triggers for conversations about how the team is doing on the current sprint. They both provide very visual summaries of how far you’ve progressed in the elapsed time. The Sprint Burndown will tell you if you’re on track to deliver based on how close you are to the completion guideline (the grey line). Sprint Health gives you clear percentages beneath a color-coded bar chart of “To Do”, “In Progress”, and “Done” items. Sprint Health also lets you know what your scope changes are, together with any blockers and flagged issues. These are a great heads up for your Scrum Master when it comes to roadblock removal. 

And if your team is working towards a specific version, then a Version Report will help the team to visualize—on a daily basis—whether they are still on track to complete the version on the day they expected to. 

Jira practitioners suggest starting with as few as three gadgets per dashboard and having no more than six. This dashboard has only three, which is useful for daily stand-ups because it helps keep teams focused on their main objectives and tasks and not get side-tracked.

Daily stand-up dashboard (multiple teams)

If you happen to be a Scrum Master for multiple teams, or have resources shared across multiple teams, you could change the layout of the one-team dashboard and have three columns, each with the same gadgets: Sprint Burndown, Sprint Health and Version Report. 

Here, you might want to change out the Version Report for Issue Statistics. This is because in Sprint Health you have “To Do”, “In Progress”, and “Done”, but you might not know, for example, whether something in progress is in development or in quality assurance (QA). Issue Statistics tells you the nature and specifics of what’s in your workflow, prompting more granular discussions about what’s happening during the stand-up.

Jira Issue Statistics

Dashboard for retrospective meetings

The best dashboards are ones that are very focused and just have a few things on them, specific to what you’re looking to track. In general terms, the less gadgets the better. This applies to retrospective meetings as well, where focused discussions based on specific gadgets will help you track your progress at the next retro, i.e. what your team has decided to start fixing.

However, a focused approach only works if you know what to focus on. There are times when you can come out of a retro—or any other kind of meeting—and have no idea what’s happening. You know there’s something that needs to be fixed, a blocker or bottleneck somewhere, but you don’t know where or what’s causing it. 

In those circumstances, a scattershot approach can actually help. In other words, you start tracking things that you think might be causing the problem, and start looking for patterns. When the cause starts to become clear, you can home in on more specific things. You might find that it’s just a data quality issue, e.g. people aren’t updating tickets. Alternatively, you might find that you have some real bottlenecks, or that your workflow in Jira is not serving your team well because it’s not representing what the flow of work really looks like.

So, your dashboard for delving deeper into retrospective items could include the following gadgets: multiple Two-Dimensional Filter Statistics for different issue filters, Pie Chart, Jira Roadmap and Version Report. Use these gadgets to look for patterns, then drill down into what you find with a more focused dashboard. 

Program-level dashboard

This dashboard is designed to give you an overview of the status of multiple projects. Here you have the Jira Roadmap, feeding off your release page. You also have the Two-Dimensional Filter Statistics as well as multiple Version Reports so that you can track delivery for multiple teams or multiple versions.

However, native Jira’s ability to store project information is limited, so if a program-level dashboard is important to you, consider downloading the Projectrak app from the Atlassian Marketplace. Projectrak’s five dashboard gadgets enable you to monitor and interact visually with specific project attributes, get statistical data, filter by up to 14 different custom fields, and make comparative time analyses across a multitude of projects.

You can also integrate Projectrak with Custom Charts for Jira to create meaningful, visual and acutely targeted customized charts and graphs out of the enhanced project data. Read more about this integration.

Projectrak Dashboard

Conclusion

There’s no such thing as the optimum dashboard for this purpose or that team. That’s because dashboards must be tuned to specific needs, which will vary from team to team, project to project. To that end, you may need to keep tweaking your dashboard and swapping one gadget for another until you’re conveying the necessary data to your team in the most useful way. 

The main thing to do is keep your dashboards focused and uncomplicated, using two or three Jira gadgets for transparency in areas that currently need inspection, adaptation, and monitoring. Only go for the scattershot approach, with lots of gadgets, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.

Christopher is a self-confessed nerd who’d probably take the cake on Mastermind if Star Trek: Voyager was his specialist subject. He writes fiction about time travel, conspiracies and aliens; loves roller coasters, hiking and Christmas; and hates carpet, rom-coms and anything with chilli in it. He’s written extensively for technology companies and Atlassian partners and specializes in translating complicated technical concepts, specs and jargon into readable, benefits-driven copy that casual readers will understand.