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 Jira dashboard
This dashboard has 3 gadgets: Sprint Health, Sprint Burndown, and Issue Statistics.
Both Sprint Burndown and Sprint Health are great triggers for conversations about how the team is doing on the current sprint. They both provide visual summaries of how far you’ve progressed in the elapsed time.
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.
Issue Statistics is useful 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.
If you have Custom Charts for Jira, you might also consider swapping out the Issue Statistics gadget for a color-coded bar chart that can display the same information in a more visual form. This makes teams more likely to engage with and remember the data, which is exactly what you want from a daily stand-up.
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 teams stay focused on their main objectives and tasks and not get side-tracked.
Also, if you happen to be a Scrum Master for multiple teams, or have resources shared across multiple teams, you could change the layout of this dashboard and have three columns, each with the same gadgets: Sprint Burndown, Sprint Health, and Issue Statistics (or a Custom Charts bar chart!).
Team-level progress dashboard
A daily standup dashboard is designed to focus the team’s attention on specific things at the time of the standup. But a broader overview of progress towards the larger goals (the epics) and the smaller goals (the sprints) is great for keeping teams motivated outside of the standups.
In the dashboard below, we’ve used Custom Charts for Jira to make a 2D Stacked Bar Chart displaying story points completed per sprint by each assignee. This will help the team understand their capacity; if, for example, Becky was completing an average of 9 story points per sprint while Kevin was completing 2, there may need to be a different allocation of work in the next sprint to keep the workload balanced.
The 1D Bar Chart with issues in each epic by status gives the team an idea of how things are progressing across the organization, since epics are made up of stories that can be completed by different teams. The Table Chart shows blocked issues by priority so that the team can swarm on any bottlenecks that are holding them, and potentially other teams, up. The Custom Charts Issue List shows a list of Done issues so that managers and other teams, such as marketing and sales, can see what features have been completed.
Jira Dashboard for retrospective meetings
The best dashboards are ones that are 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 track 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 items. 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, to break down categories of data
- Pie Chart, for a quick visual overview of your issues by status, assignee, issue type etc.
- Jira Roadmap, which shows a list of versions due for release and the number of issues resolved/unresolved in each version.
Use these gadgets to look for patterns, then drill down into what you find with a more focused dashboard.
Of course, adding multiple 2D Filter Statistics gadgets like the one above isn’t going to make for a very visual or easy-to-navigate dashboard. Custom Charts for Jira users could replace their 2D Filter Statistics gadgets with multiple 2D Stacked Bar Charts instead, which are much more likely to grab attention.
A particularly useful chart if you’re investigating impediments would be a scope creep chart, as this could reveal straight away why progress on the current sprint has slowed. To report on scope creep, you can create a filter based on a ScriptRunner Jira Query Language (JQL) function, and use that filter in the native Filter Results gadget. For those who aren’t confident making saved filters using JQL, Adaptavist’s ScriptRunner is great because it offers dozens of out-of-the-box JQL searches that you can simply copy and paste.
Find out more about how to use ScriptRunner with Custom Charts.
Again, if you have Custom Charts for Jira and want something more visual, swap the Filter Results gadget for the Custom Charts Pie Chart below. Native Jira doesn’t let you make pie charts based on story points, but with Custom Charts you can calculate the sum or average of any number field in your instance, e.g. story points, expenditure, and time.
Program-level dashboards in Jira
A program-level dashboard is designed to give you an overview of multiple related projects. Sometimes projects are dependent on issues from other projects and sometimes a project manager just wants to see the bigger picture.
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 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.
The dashboard below combines Projectrak gadgets with Custom Charts for Jira reports tracking issues and projects across sprints, versions, and departments. The Average Time Spent bar chart, in particular, is a quick visual indicator of how much work is being done per project.
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 three to six 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.
For even more dashboard examples and ideas (including replicating Jira dashboards in Confluence), have a read of our Quick and Easy Jira Reporting Cookbook. And if you’d like our help building your first dashboard, book a demo with our team.
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.