Old Street Solutions https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com Atlassian App Vendor Wed, 07 Apr 2021 09:28:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7 https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/cropped-1547755673568-32x32.png Old Street Solutions https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com 32 32 Creating Jira Dashboards for specific purposes https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/creating-jira-dashboards-for-specific-purposes Tue, 06 Apr 2021 14:31:58 +0000 https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=27395 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 ... Read More

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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.

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Which Jira Gadgets are Best for Information Radiators? https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/which-jira-gadgets-are-best-for-information-radiators Tue, 06 Apr 2021 12:02:04 +0000 https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=27380 So you know what an information radiator is, how it boosts Scrum team transparency and productivity, and how to create one in Jira (known as ... Read More

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So you know what an information radiator is, how it boosts Scrum team transparency and productivity, and how to create one in Jira (known as a Jira Wallboard). 

Now we’ll reveal which Jira Dashboard gadgets we think work best on a Jira Wallboard, i.e. the gadgets most likely to inspire and motivate your team. 

(Please note that not all Jira Dashboard gadgets are compatible with Jira Wallboards.)

Gadget 1: Agile Wallboard

This gadget displays the team task board and is a beautiful way of highlighting the flow of work. You can see items from the current sprint together with their status and assignee, giving you an overall picture of the sprint contents. It’s a really useful gadget to look at during your daily stand-up, as you can point to specific tasks during the meeting. 

Gadget 2: Pie Chart

Who doesn’t love a pie chart? This gadget displays issues from a project or issue filter, e.g. issue status, assignee or issue type, in a pie chart format. It helps you to know exactly how much work each team member has and how quickly they are able to complete it. As pie charts offer a very visual and immediate picture of what’s going on, this gadget is a great choice for Jira Wallboards. You can also use it during meetings; hovering the mouse over a piece of the pie gives you the issues as a percentage and clicking on a segment takes you to those issues for further detail.

There are a few limitations to the built-in pie chart gadget, e.g. the colors and ordering can’t be changed, and there are strict limits on the number of slices for most statistic types. You can purchase additional gadgets through the Atlassian Marketplace to resolve these limitations, such as Custom Charts for Jira. This allows you to create a pie chart with 250+ segments if necessary, and change the colors and ordering as per your requirements. 

Gadget 3: Days Remaining in Sprint

Days Remaining in Sprint Gadget

This simple gadget does exactly what it says on the tin; it gives you how many working days you have before the next release is due in a particular sprint. It’s uniquely suited to wallboards because a quick glance gives passers-by the information they need to stay on track. (That said, not everyone viewing the wallboard will have the team context.) 

Gadget 4: Agile Sprint Health

Sprint Health Gadget

The Agile Sprint Health gadget displays a color-coded bar graph that lets you see a concise visual summary of the issues in a specified sprint. It shows your overall progress based on the time elapsed, work completed, and work remaining. The blue, yellow and green colors represent different issues in different statuses. Usually, blue is “To Do”, yellow is “In Progress” and green is “Done”. During meetings you can click any part of the bar to view the issues in the corresponding statuses.

The work completed percentage is based on the estimation statistic used for your board. So, if you have 50 story points in a sprint and 10 are resolved, then the “work complete” will be 20% (10 out of 50 story points). 

In addition, the gadget counts the flagged issues, along with any blockers stopping or slowing down your delivery, in your “To Do” and “In Progress” items. And when work items are removed from an active sprint, they are noted as “Scope Change”. The gadget can also be configured to display the members of the Scrum team.

Gadget 5: Sprint Burndown

Sprint Burndown Gadget

This gadget displays a series of line graphs showing the burndown for a particular sprint. The grey line is the ‘guideline’ based on the total estimated issues at the start of the sprint and the red ‘remaining values’ line is the actual work done (which ideally should fall below the grey line). The grey columns show non-working days, and flat red and grey lines indicate when no work is done on the sprint. 

The sprint burndown is a popular gadget that lets passers-by see how the team is performing and whether the sprint is on track or not. 

Gadget 6: Bamboo Charts

Bamboo Charts Gadget

Bamboo is a continuous integration and deployment tool that combines automated builds, tests, and releases in a single workflow, and connects with Jira Software. If you have Bamboo, then the Bamboo Charts gadget is a great choice for a wallboard. It displays various charts and plan statistics from a particular Bamboo server, showing everyone the status and health of the build and thereby giving visibility to the most important metric your team maintains.  

Note: your Jira administrator must have configured the Bamboo plugin on your Jira server if you want to add this gadget to your wallboard. Also, you may get a message that looks like this when you add the gadget:  

“The website you have placed this gadget on is unauthorized. Please contact your system administrator to have it approved.”

Fixing this problem involves doing a bit of configuration on your Bamboo site so that Jira can pull information from it. First, your Jira administrator will need to define your Jira site as an OAuth consumer in Bamboo. Second, you will be required to perform a one-off authentication in Jira, after which the gadget should display correctly.

Conclusion

These are the gadgets we think would make a powerful information radiator, showing the essential metrics for an ongoing Scrum project and keeping your team’s (and passing stakeholders’) attention focused. You can try other gadgets to see which ones display your data well on a wallboard. You can also experiment with custom styling and slideshows. Your Scrum Master should find ways of testing which gadgets are most effective at motivating the team and adapt your wallboards accordingly—which is fortunately very easy in Jira!  

Do you agree with our selection? Which gadgets do you ‘radiate’ on Jira Wallboards?

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Why Are Jira Dashboards So Useful? https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/useful-jira-dashboards https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/useful-jira-dashboards#respond Thu, 01 Apr 2021 17:03:33 +0000 https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=27310 Interactive Jira Dashboards are vital to putting all the information you need in one place, especially if you want to succesfully run multiple projects in parallel.

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Jira Reporting can be a pain in the butt, but it doesn’t have to be. The problem is that many organizations do reporting in ways they’ve always been done (which happen to be complex, admin-heavy, and prone to error) and don’t see what’s actually staring them in the face: the humble Jira Dashboard.

When you log into Jira, the Jira Dashboard is the first thing you see. It’s your at-a-glance picture of what you and your teams are working on without having to click on a project, open an email or export any data here, there and everywhere. The various gadgets you can display on your dashboard allow you to view and analyze statistics related to projects, users, and versions, expressed graphically as pie charts, graphs, or any number of customizable visuals.

Frankly, Jira Dashboards are bloody great and more people should be using them. This article explains why. It also gives a list of the best gadgets to use to get the most out of your dashboard.

That Peg Don’t Fit!

If your projects are being managed based on a template the bosses got on a training course stuffed with acronyms, it’s SAFe to assume different teams are regularly forced to shove a lot of square peg data into round holes. Which is, you know, a bit OTT.

Anyone that’s worked alongside a Jira power user sees the true potential of using interactive Jira Dashboards directly in Jira. Sadly, these organizations will often then force these subject matter experts to export the reports into Excel and then Powerpoint.

These are exactly the sort of organizations that will forward round the data in an email chain cc’ing everyone. Or, if they’re hip and cool with the kids, they’ll upload the spreadsheets to a shared folder, and a master weekly report called july_reports_ulitmate_merged_final_3.pptx

Some are able to resign themselves to this minor and unnecessary evil, some complain, but few are able to challenge the growing avalanche of reports.

Unsurprisingly, admin that’s considered a time-consuming or difficult chore isn’t always promptly and fully completed. This makes the reports even less valuable as their accuracy is uncertain. Sometimes management will try and fix this by tying performance reviews to the results in the reports. Well, that fixes all the problems, doesn’t it? And definitely won’t make the reports even more resented than they already were. 🙄

As no one is now sure whether the reports are accurate or not, management will send a Slack or Whatsapp message whenever they need information for the impending meeting.

So why would busy team members update the official reports when a new data black market has emerged? Only the most acquiescent are still complying with the semi-legalized bad data wasteland.

Eventually, the digital transformation consultants will come in and suggest migrating to a whole new platform for collaboration. This takes an enormous amount of time and some key information will inevitably get lost in the move. Meanwhile, the people who most zealously embraced the old process will be the ones most punished for their compliance.

Perhaps the digital transformation consultants will suggest a big data platform with loads more features and automations to make reporting super-efficient. The problem then is that, only the developers know how to use these powerful features properly. Now everybody else is back where they started. With square pegs and round holes. Data silos will persist, and more inaccuracies will seep through.

The cycle begins again.

None of this is necessary. There’s no need to do a ton of admin exporting data to this tool and that tool. And there’s no need to implement a whole new platform either. Why? Because everything the average Jira user needs is already there in Jira Dashboards. Organizations just need to pull themselves out of their silos and realize that the best tools for Jira reporting are already there at their users’ fingertips.

Jira Dashboards Keep Data Closer To Home

If everyone’s exporting their data to reporting tools they don’t use day to day or, worse, don’t understand, then they’re not going to care about the data going into them. But the closer the report is to the work that’s actually being done, the less that gets lost in translation, and the more immediate the response to feedback. Better data in means better reports out and improved data-driven decisions being made.

Jira Dashboards enable this. Out-of-the-box Jira gadgets, together with add-ons from the Atlassian Marketplace, give users the reports they need right on their home screen. They allow reporting to take place in a centralized hub that everyone’s already using. And they’re real-time reports, too, whereas the moment you export data to another system, that data’s out of date.

The visual interface for creating and using gadgets in Jira Dashboards is great and easy to use collaboratively. There are also add-ons such as Custom Charts for Jira Reporting that make it even easier to build the reports you want.

All this eliminates the risk of inaccurate data seeping through the export process because there is no export process. And if everyone’s using their dashboard to create their reports, there are no data silos either.

Let’s get back to basics, basically. For most Jira users, that’s all they need. Because they’re not data scientists, and they don’t want to be.

How To Make Useful Jira Dashboards

In principle, Jira Dashboards are more useful than any other reporting tool out there for the overwhelming majority of Jira users. In practice, Jira Dashboards are only as useful as users make them. They need to be set up with the right gadgets displaying the right information at the right time, and it’s entirely possible to make a hash of it.

For example, there’s a limit of 20 gadgets per dashboard page (which raise the dashboard gadget limit). But no one would tell you to stick 20 on there unless you don’t quite know what to focus on and need to take a scattershot approach in order to locate a bottleneck somewhere. In general terms, we’d recommend 6 max. It is much better to have multiple smaller dashboards with a specific use case for each rather than one giant dashboard trying to show everything. Dashboards are all about keeping things simple. So keep them simple.

In order to choose the gadgets you want to display, you first need to define who the audience is and what information they should see. It might be that you want to show the progress of a particular team in a particular sprint, or maybe a multi-project overview of the whole company. Both can be built, but it is good to decide before you start which one it’s going to be!

Once you’ve decided what gadgets you want on your dashboards, you can use them in your daily stand-ups and in retro meetings. Individual users can create personal dashboards with the work assigned to them so they can keep track. And you can even turn your dashboard into a Jira Wallboard (aka an information radiator), displaying the issues you want to keep at the forefront of team members’ minds on a big wall-mounted TV screen in your office. (This article about Jira Dashboards has more on Jira Wallboards and an alternative for the remote working age to replace them).

The rest of this article will explore some gadget options for your Jira Dashboards, starting with those that come out of the box with Jira. We’ll then explore some apps from the Atlassian Marketplace that can make your Jira Dashboards even more useful.

If you’re a Jira beginner and you need help with the basics of creating a dashboard in Jira, this article will help.

Standard Jira Dashboard Gadgets

Filter Results

This gadget gives you easy access to the results of commonly used filters. If you find that you are constantly trawling through menus, dropdowns, and individual filter screens to find the filters you use all the time, Filter Results gives you immediate visibility of them.

Issue Statistics

This gives you a breakdown of issues on a particular project, so you can track workloads, flag bottlenecks in the system, and identify where you should allocate resources. 

Road Map

This lists versions due for release and displays progress bars for each, showing resolved versus unresolved issues. This lets you visualize how you’re doing on each release.

Created vs Resolved Chart

This lets you see whether the overall workload is being addressed or if issues are being created faster than they are being completed. It’s one of the few actual Jira reports that gets imported over into gadgets. (Another is the Sprint Burndown.)

Two-Dimensional Filter Statistics

This shows the data for a particular issue filter in a configurable table format. It lets you zoom in on key areas of interest. For example, you can select a filter to retrieve all closed issues on a certain project or display the workloads of individual team members. 

Sprint Health

This gives you a snapshot of your sprint dynamics, telling you what’s in your ‘to-do’ category, your ‘in-progress’ category, and your ‘done’ category. It also tells you what percentage of time has elapsed and what percentage of work is complete. It prompts discussions about general progress, scope changes, any flagged issues, and roadblocks.

Useful Jira Dashboard Add-ons

Out-of-the-box Jira gadgets are a bit limited, which is why there’s a plethora of options on the Atlassian Marketplace for making your Jira Dashboard more automated and interactive, as well as easier to use and more targeted to the audience’s needs.

Check out the following add-ons as they may be just what you need to enhance your Jira reporting. With the right apps, building a live, user-friendly dashboard within Jira with all of the information you need is a relatively straightforward task for most of your team.

David Berclaz from Apwide has helped compile us the following list. Let us know if we’ve missed any, as we’re happy to keep this list growing!

Idalko’s Jira Pivot Gadget

Idalko’s Jira Pivot Gadget provides spreadsheets and business intelligence functionality, allowing you to take a multi-dimensional view of your data and aggregate or drill down into any information you like. 

Supported dimensions include basic issue fields, all custom fields that can be enumerated, and table grid data.

Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence

With Custom Charts for Jira, you can build fully customized and highly visual Jira reports and charts directly on your Jira Dashboard. With Custom Charts for Confluence, you can create the same customized reports inside a Confluence page. The customization options are broad, but more importantly, Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence are intuitive and easy to use, with no training required. Find out more about how Custom Charts for Jira helps enhance your Jira reporting.

Jira Project Tracking With Profields

Deiser’s Projectrak extends and improves project reporting in Jira and lets you do it right inside Jira Dashboards. With Projectrak, you can create and configure up to 14 different custom fields to store all the information necessary for a project. Then you can add up to five Projectrak gadgets to the dashboard which are based on this data, providing your team members with constantly updated project information.

In addition, Projectrak integrates with Custom Charts for Jira so that the enhanced project information can be translated into meaningful charts on the dashboard. That way, findings can be communicated in a more visual and targeted way. Read more about this integration.

Profields for Jira Dashboards

Golive Release Environment Hub for Jira

If you need a simple way to publish your release plan, a single source of truth for all activities taking place in your test environments, or a project-level timeline, we’d strongly recommend you check out Golive from Apwide. It’s the best way to display and manage information on releases, test environments, and deployments, and is available on Jira Dashboards in gadget form (or even on Confluence pages).

Find out more about the Golive Release Environment Hub.

Apwide's golive Test environment management dashboards for Jira

Conclusion

Jira Dashboards enable you to walk into a status meeting knowing whether things are on track before anyone says a word. They let you come back off holiday and get a quick project update without having to trawl through emails. They also let you know the moment something goes wrong, like when a growing bug fix pile overtakes current velocity, as well as identify potential bottlenecks ahead of time.

As most users aren’t Jira experts and don’t want or need to be exposed to all of its powerful but complex features, Jira Dashboards are essential for helping the programmers and the business teams find the information they’re looking for quickly. The dashboard is the first thing users see and it’s the place where they expect to be able to find all the relevant information for their role, such as a list of issues assigned to them or the progress of the team on a version. The goal of your Jira Dashboard is to incite emotion or action. Providing the right information in the right way is the key to making sure that happens.

Sure, it’s not always possible to get your dashboard right first time. It may not be clear to your audience why the data you’ve included is relevant, in which case, take their feedback and change it. It may take a few iterations to get your dashboard properly tuned to your team and stakeholders. Hey, that’s what agility’s all about.

Using Jira Dashboards is far superior to the square-peg-round-hole situation we talked about earlier. The data’s more reliable, it’s real time, it’s accessible, and it doesn’t take a Jira genius to configure. Most importantly, it’s right there and has been all along. It’s just that some organizations are still stuck in their silos, using older reporting tools, either out of habit or resistance to change.

But in the current climate, how much longer can organizations afford to eschew the super-quick and direct route in favor of going round and round the houses?

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Everything You Need to Know about Jira Dashboards https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/about-jira-dashboards Thu, 01 Apr 2021 16:40:00 +0000 https://oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=25895 Introduction A successfully growing organization will have an expanding volume of projects and programs, many of which will be launched in parallel. Jira Dashboards have ... Read More

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Contents

Introduction

A successfully growing organization will have an expanding volume of projects and programs, many of which will be launched in parallel. Jira Dashboards have been designed to provide a quick overview of everything teams working in Jira need to know at a glance. They make available, in one place and in real time, all the most relevant and useful information about these projects, thereby keeping teams focused, motivated and efficient.

Setting up your Jira dashboards properly is crucial to getting the most out of the tool, and everyone on the same page. The following is a guide to making useful Jira Dashboards for those new or relatively new to Jira Software. It also offers tips and tricks for how to get the most out of them.

What are Jira Dashboards?

When you first log in to Jira, there are several choices for what you’d like to display as the home page. Some people want to go straight to the Kanban view, but otherwise, the Jira Dashboard will be the first thing you see.

Every “window” on that page is called a Jira Dashboard Gadget. These gadgets provide dynamic and very visual summaries of Jira project and issue data. Jira comes with a set of standard, pre-installed gadgets out of the box. You can also download more gadgets from the Atlassian Marketplace. (More on that later.)

If you’d like to know how Jira Dashboards improve visibility and accuracy of data, eliminate silos, and save you a ton of admin time, have a read of our Why Are Jira Dashboards So Useful? article.

The Default Jira Dashboard

The default dashboard, called the system dashboard, is the screen Jira users will see the first time they log in. It comes loaded with gadgets from Jira’s pre-installed selection and is limited to only one dashboard page. 

Jira administrators can add, remove, reorder and in some cases configure the gadgets displayed on the default dashboard. The layout, such as the number of columns, can also be changed. You can do this by clicking Administration > System and then User Interface > System Dashboard to open the Configure System Dashboard page.

How Many Gadgets Should You Have on a Jira Dashboard?

There is a limit of 20 gadgets on a single dashboard page, which means that’s all you can display on the default dashboard. If you need to, you can raise the 20-gadget limit by editing the jira-config.properties file in the Advanced Settings page of Jira’s administration area. Just set jira.dashboard.max.gadgets to your preferred value and restart Jira.

That said, we recommend a maximum of 6 gadgets per dashboard for ease of use and clarity. It is much better to have multiple smaller dashboards with a specific use case for each rather than one giant dashboard trying to show everything. Dashboards are great for showing data summaries and reports “at a glance” so keeping them simple helps to achieve that goal.

The Top Three Most Useful Jira Dashboard Gadgets

Out of the box, Jira has a wide range of dashboard gadgets to choose from, so where do you start?

The three most useful gadgets we think any dashboard can benefit from are:

  • Pie Charts
  • Two Dimensional Filter Statistics
  • Filter Results

Pie Charts for Jira

A pie chart is a common report type that everyone will already be familiar with, and that familiarity is a good thing. Getting people to understand your data in a few seconds is key to a valuable report and a sign of a useful dashboard. The built-in Pie Chart Gadget is simple and effective at showing your team’s issues as a percentage.

Jira Pie Chart

There are some limitations to this built-in gadget (e.g. the colors and ordering can’t be changed). Additional gadgets such as Custom Charts for Jira can be added from the Atlassian Marketplace to resolve these limitations; we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Two Dimensional Filter Statistics for Jira

A question that will continually arise when creating reports in Jira: “How do I compare one statistic to another?” or more commonly “How do I create a pivot table?”. The built-in solution is the Two Dimensional Filter Statistics gadget. This gadget allows you to compare two different statistics (e.g. Status and App Hosting in the example screenshot) to gain greater insight into your data.

Jira Two-Dimensional Filter Statistics

This isn’t just a nice way to display data, it’s also an interactive table that you can click on to drill down to see the underlying issues.

Filter Results for Jira

Finally, the most commonly used Jira Dashboard gadget is also one of the simplest. Jira is built around the idea of creating filters to search for the data you need. The Filter Results gadget allows you to select a saved filter and display the results directly on a dashboard.

Ok, so what?

While a single gadget on a dashboard would be functionally no different to viewing the filter in the standard Jira issue search screen, the power of dashboards is to have multiple gadgets displaying complimentary information.

For example, you could have a pie chart gadget showing all the issues in the project “Support” by status and also a Filter Results gadget listing out only the highest priority issues.

Jira Filter High Priority Results

More Examples of Jira Dashboard Gadgets

Built-In Jira Dashboard Gadgets

In addition to Pie Charts, Two Dimensional Filter Statistics, and Filter Results, Jira comes with a number of other built-in gadgets that can be used to provide your teams with an overview of your data right away.

Jira Created vs Resolved Gadget

Created Vs. Resolved Jira Chart Gadget

The Created vs Resolved Gadget is a perfect example of an “indicator at a glance”. If more issues are being created than are being resolved over a given period the chart will display the area between the two lines as red. If more are being resolved then the area will be green. Simple.

Jira Issue Statistics Gadget

Jira Issue Statistics Count and Percentage

This is a simple summary of your issues. This gadget is comparable to a horizontal bar chart and shows the selected metric (in this image the assignee) as comparable percentages. Tracking the relative workload of individual users can quickly highlight problems and bottlenecks in your processes and help to keep the whole project running smoothly.

Jira Sprint Burndown Gadget

Jira Agile Sprint Burdonw Gadget

Like the Created vs Resolved Chart, the Sprint Burndown is a Jira Report that’s already available at the individual project level. However, adding it to a Jira Dashboard as a gadget allows you to view multiple sprints together. This can show which agile teams are on track and give an indication of the overall health of the projects.

Jira Sprint Health Gadget

For an even clearer indication of the sprint health, use the Sprint Health Gadget to show what’s in your ‘to-do’ category, what’s in your ‘in-progress’ category, and what’s in your ‘done’ category. This gadget also tells you what percentage of time has elapsed and what percentage of work is complete. It makes for a great conversation starter; you can how see you’re doing, what the scope changes are, if any issues have been flagged, etc. And it acts as a heads-up for your Scrum master when it comes to removing roadblocks.

Jira Agile Sprint Health Gadget Scrum Report

Jira Dashboard Gadgets Available on the Atlassian Marketplace

While the built-in apps provide the basic functionality to get most teams started, you will often be left wanting more. The Atlassian Marketplace has many reporting apps to choose from, each providing slightly different functionality that should be reviewed to assess the best tool for your company and your team.

The following example of a Jira Dashboard built for a support team makes use of additional gadgets provided by the Custom Charts for Jira Reports app.

Jira Dashboard for Support Teams JSD Custom Charts

For much more complex big data reporting, there are other tools available, such as EazyBI (below). This can create incredibly detailed reports, but it requires learning a custom scripting language.

eazyBI Jira Reporting Dashboard

Idalko’s Pivot Gadget (below) gives spreadsheet functionality to your Jira Dashboards. You can aggregate and drill down to view your data in two-dimensions in a table grid.

Pivot Gadget supports the following fields:

  • Issue fields (e.g. priority, project, date created, date updated)
  • All custom number fields

Furthermore, the gadget has many extra features including, but not limited, to issue count and time tracking.

iDalko pivot Jira gadget

Other popular gadgets available via Atlassian Marketplace include the Gauge Gadget (below), which allows quick visualizations of issues on very simple displays.

Jira Gauge Gadget Critical Jira Issues

Creating Dashboards in Jira

1. Create a Jira Dashboard

It’s easy to create a new dashboard from anywhere in Jira.

In Jira Cloud, just go to Dashboards > Create dashboard. 

How to Create a Jira Dashboard

In Jira Server & Data Center, click Dashboards > Manage Dashboards. Then click Create new dashboard in the top right of the page. 

How to Create a Jira Server Dashboard

Give your dashboard a name and description so your team knows when to use it. Fill out the remaining fields, then click save

2. Choose Your Jira Dashboard Layout

Now click Edit layout to determine how you want your gadgets to display. The options are pretty simple with only five to choose from. Once you have chosen your layout, the width of each gadget is fixed, but the height is variable.

Edit Jira Dashboard Layout

3. Add Gadgets

You’ll now have an empty dashboard in front of you. Jira Dashboards are fully customizable, with each gadget being a modular window, with various options to choose which information you’d like to display, and how you want it presented. There are many gadgets available straight out of the box, and even more on the Atlassian Marketplace.

To get started, click Add gadget and choose from the available gadgets to populate your dashboard. Custom dashboards are not limited to one dashboard page. 

Add Jira Gadget to Jira Dashboard

It can take a few seconds for all of the available gadgets to appear. Click Load all gadgets to ensure the full list is loaded.

Load more Jira Gadgets

Ideally, the most important and heavily used gadgets should be visible as soon as the dashboard loads. Depending on the type of reports being displayed it can be helpful to experiment with different layout options to see which works best for each use case. As mentioned earlier, a rule of thumb is to aim for no more than 6 gadgets on a single dashboard.

You can create a different dashboard for each project you’re working on, or even multiple dashboards for a single project. However, less is quite often more, and setting up more dashboards than you need can create clutter and confusion. 

Note: some of the gadgets require filters. This means that if you share your dashboard with people who aren’t able to view the results of your filter, it means they’re not going to see any data on the dashboard. So if you want them to see any of the gadgets that have filter results, make sure the filter is turned on for those people.

Top Tip

You can save time creating a dashboard from scratch by copying an existing dashboard and simply changing a few of the gadgets. Just click Copy dashboard from the More menu (…) on the top right of any dashboard.

Copy Jira Dashboard

Making Jira Information Radiators

What is an Information Radiator?

An information radiator, also known as a Big Visual Chart (BVC), is a large display of key team and project information located in a spot in a shared workspace where the team can see it constantly.

Back in the day, information radiators or BVCs were hand-drawn or printed displays. These days they’re big wall-mounted TV screens showing continuously and automatically updated electronic graphs and charts. They give you a central and consistent way of displaying key project indicators so that whatever’s going on around you, you always have immediate access to critical data. Plus, passers-by and visitors, e.g. stakeholders/customers, get to see how the team is doing.

The goal of an information radiator is to keep your team focused and productive, promote transparency and accountability among the team members, and show off their success to other staff and visitors.

What’s Great About Jira Information Radiators?

In Jira, you can turn any dashboard into an information radiator, known as a Jira Wallboard.

The benefits of Jira Wallboards are numerous. By displaying your sprint burndown, sprint health, sprint days remaining and other key metrics, they help keep issues at the forefront of team members’ minds. More importantly, they encourage communication and regular feedback to make sure everybody stays on task, and on track.

Jira Wallboards are also about transparency. They demonstrate that the team has nothing to hide from visitors, or the rest of the business, or itself. In other words, the team acknowledges and confronts problems. This fosters responsibility and accountability among team members. Wallboards help teams focus on results and deepen whole team ownership of those results, as well as the difficulties they may encounter along the way. A secondary benefit is that your Jira Wallboard might provoke conversation when an outsider visits, and this can yield useful ideas.

How To Create Information Radiators in Jira

Here’s how to display an entire dashboard (although bear in mind that not all dashboard gadgets are wallboard-compatible).

  1. Plug your computer into a TV monitor.
  2. Go to Dashboards > View all dashboards.
  3. Choose your dashboard from the sidebar.
  4. Click the More menu (…) and select View as wallboard from the dropdown.

Alternatively, you may want to display one dashboard gadget at a time in rotation, to focus your team’s attention on that gadget. Here’s how.

  1. Follow the steps above but when clicking the More menu, select Set up wallboard slideshow.
  2. Select which dashboards you want to be part of the slideshow.
  3. Check the box if you want the gadgets to display in a random order.
  4. Choose how you want each gadget to transition into the next.
  5. Select how long you want each gadget to display.
  6. Click done.
  7. Click the More menu and select View wallboard slideshow.

Information radiators are a fun and expressive way of sharing your team’s progress and success with a wider audience, and of motivating and empowering team members. In the long run, they can change the culture of an organization by making it more open and collaborative.

Scrum masters should elicit feedback from their team to find out if the information being displayed on a Jira Wallboard is relevant. If it’s not, it can be adapted easily enough. In a future blog, we’ll let you in on the gadgets we think are the best for ‘radiating’.

Are Jira Wallboards Still Relevant in the Remote Working Age?

Since Covid hit, many previously co-located teams are now working from home. Obviously, Jira Wallboards are designed for co-located teams in shared physical spaces. Although they will become relevant again as more and more people head back to the office post-Covid, what about the teams that stay fully distributed? It’s clear that we’re entering a new era of remote working, so the issue is how to make sure key information is ‘radiated’ to all those working from home.

Our Communication and Culture in the Remote Age article talks about this in more detail, and briefly touches on a new feature we’re working on that will allow for the embedding of an interactive shared dashboard in company webpages or emails.

Jira Dashboards – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it Possible to Create Multiple Jira dashboards?

Yes, every user on Jira can create their own dashboards.

By default, dashboards are created as “Private” so are only visible to the dashboard owner (the user who created the dashboard).

To be able to share dashboards with other users and groups the dashboard owner must have the “Share dashboards and filters” global permission.

As discussed above, it’s important to only create dashboards that you need, so consider if multiple dashboards are required, or if an existing dashboard can be used/ repurposed.

2. How Do I Use the Jira System Dashboard?

The System Dashboard is the shared (public) Jira Dashboard that is the default landing page for your Jira instance.

It is therefore good practice to keep the System Dashboard as generic as possible as well as adding helpful links to guide users to where they need to go. Any filters used on the system dashboard should be shared with the correct people to ensure that they don’t see broken gadgets.

3. Who Can Edit a Jira Dashboard?

At the time of writing this there are two different answers.

For Jira Server and Data Center, since Jira version 7.12.0 it has been possible to have multiple editors of a single dashboard.

For Jira Cloud, only the dashboard owner is able to edit gadgets. This limitation is known by Atlassian and there is an open feature request to allow multiple dashboard owners that is gathering interest. To change the ownership of a dashboard (e.g. if the current owner has left the company) you must be a Jira administrator.

4. What Jira Dashboards Mistakes Should I Avoid?

The most common mistakes when creating dashboards are around permissions.

If you create a dashboard that looks great for you, very often when you will share it with someone their first reply will be “I can’t access that” or “All the gadgets are empty”.

This is most likely caused by the dashboard itself not being accessible to others and the individual filters being restricted. These cases are explained in a specific FAQ below.

Another common mistake occurs when copying a dashboard. When a dashboard is copied it will keep all the configuration of the original, including the saved filters used on each gadget. This means that, after a dashboard is copied, you will need to update all the saved filters to reflect the new projects or data you want to be displayed.

5. How Can I Share My Jira Dashboard and Filters?

There are a number of options when choosing who to share Jira Dashboards and filters with:

Private (default option)

  • Only accessible by the owner

Group

  • Accessible to anyone in the selected group
  • On Jira Cloud you can only share dashboards and filters with groups of which your user is a member

Public

  • Anyone on the internet can view the dashboard or filter
  • This only allows anonymous users to see the underlying issues if the projects containing the issues also have Public set on the browse projects and issue permission schemes

My organization (Cloud only)

  • Organizations are a site level management system created by Atlassian specifically for Cloud
  • The documentation can be found here.

Any logged-in user (Server and Data Center only)

  • Any user that is able to login to the Jira instance can access the dashboards or filters
  • This only allows logged-in users to see the underlying issues if the projects containing the issues also have “Any logged-in user” set on the browse projects and issue permission schemes

6. Are Jira Dashboard and Scrum/Kanban Boards Different?

Jira Dashboards provide an overview of data across different time ranges and multiple projects.

A Scrum / Kanban is used by teams on a daily basis to progress their issues through workflows. They tend to be project-specific and are focused on only the current work being completed.

Each has a specific function and they are best used in tandem to empower your team.

Conclusion

Jira Dashboards have existed since the very earliest days of Jira. They are a hugely powerful tool to allow users at all levels of an organization to view data quickly, simply, and reliably.

It’s very easy to create lots of issues and quickly fill Jira with valuable information, but being able to actually use that information to make decisions is paramount. Jira Dashboards allow the democratization of data by empowering users at all levels of a company to visualize their progress.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution with dashboards; they are a versatile tool for a huge variety of use cases, only a small handful of which have been covered here.

The most important point to emphasize is that you should have a good understanding of what you are trying to achieve before you start. Dashboards are an organic and dynamic reporting feature that should be constantly reviewed, adapted, and updated.

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Projectrak Jira Project Tracking and Reporting https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/projectrak-jira-project-report Tue, 30 Mar 2021 23:50:23 +0000 https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=27281 Profields Jira Project Tracking stores crucial data, which presented visually allows better insights for the whole team. Here's how you report on Jira Projects better.

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Natively, Jira lacks the capability to store project-specific information. Details such as the budget, start and completion dates, tech stack used, and even information on the project stakeholders are crucial for project managers who handle multiple projects at once. Having this data accessible and presented in a visual way allows not only the project manager, but the whole team, to give better insights and make calculated decisions easily.

Unfortunately, storing and displaying this information is not possible in Jira by default. That is why the team at Deiser built Projectrak (formerly Profields), available on the Atlassian Marketplace. This Jira add-on leverages and improves Jira’s information-tracking capabilities to not only cover information on the issue level but on the project level as well.

Projectrak Jira Project Tracking Allows You To:

  • Create and configure custom fields that support up to 14 different field types to store all the necessary information needed for a project. 
  • Display all the project information in a single customizable view which will allow you to make informed decisions regarding a project.
  • Search and filter your projects using basic filters or using Project Query Language (PQL) for complex queries. Using these features will help you categorize and manage your project organization.
  • Add Projectrak gadgets to your project dashboard based on the data saved using Projectrak. This will provide team members with constantly updated project information. 
  • Perform bulk operations on your projects such as modifying the project status of a group of projects. This will save you a lot of time instead of performing the update manually.
  • Implement permissions to control the amount of information that your team may access.

Additionally, Projectrak allows you to use Groovy (JavaScript library) to personalize the behavior of the fields (e.g. adding the values of two fields). You can also integrate Automation for Jira with Projectrak to automate your actions based on the values of your project properties. Furthermore, the information stored using Projectrak can be used together with Custom Charts for Jira to generate charts for data visualization. This blog will explore some of these features in detail.

Custom Jira Project Fields

Out of the box, the only project details saved in Jira when creating a new project are the project name and project key. Projectrak fixes this limitation by allowing users to save as much project-specific information as you need.

You can store this information using any of the field types supported by Projectrak: Text, Number, Duration, List, Date Picker, User Picker, Project Picker, Cumulative Field, and Status. You may then associate these field types with particular layouts.

Creating a Project Status field

If you navigate to the Fields Manager tab, you will be able to see the list of the custom Jira project fields that you have created. You will also be able to see their descriptions, type, and the layouts they are associated with.

List of Jira project fields

Jira Project Layouts

Projectrak for Jira allows its users to easily create and reuse layouts to display the project information all in one place. This gives you the freedom to categorize related information in the layout as you see fit. For example, you may wish to keep all Jira project tracking information in one section, and the default information in another, but have both in the same view. This will keep your layout organized, so that your team members may find the information they need in one glance.

Projectrak Layout

Jira Project Search and Filtering

Projectrak provides a Project Navigator view, which lists all the projects in your portfolio. It serves the same purpose as the Jira Issue Navigator, but for projects.

Whereas the native Jira projects list lets you filter projects by name or key, the Project Navigator expands this by allowing you to search and filter your projects against all the field types you have created. For example, you may want to filter for projects where the Status field is set to “In Progress”, or you may want to see the list of projects where the Tech Stack used includes the Django framework.

You may also perform advanced searches using Project Query Language (PQL), which works similarly to Jira Query Language (JQL). Using PQL allows you to make structured queries to search for projects. A simple PQL query consists of a Projectrak custom field, such as Project Status, followed by an operator, followed by one or more values. As an example, the query Project Status = “Done” will find all projects whose Project Status is set to Done.

Jira Project Permissions for Projectrak

Projectrak provides a permission system which gives team members access to create, modify or view project details depending on their role in the project. The role of the Projectrak Administrator limits the user to only create fields and layouts, and associate projects with layouts.

Meanwhile, the role of the Jira Project Administrator is to view and change field values, which includes performing bulk updates on the field values. Furthermore, the Jira Project Administrator also has the permission to associate projects with layouts. Finally, the Project User role allows the user to only view the project field values.

Administration Tab for Projectrak Permissions

Projectrak Integration with Custom Charts for Jira

What good is storing all the data of your projects if you can’t make use of it? Data is best conveyed through visuals, and charts allow data to tell a story. Projectrak integrates with Custom Charts for Jira to help translate project information into meaningful charts viewable from Jira Dashboards. This allows you to communicate your findings visually to the team so that they can easily identify patterns and trends and gain newfound project insights.

To integrate Projectrak and Custom Charts, you will have to first install the Custom Charts add-on from the Atlassian Marketplace. Once you’ve done that, navigate to your preferred dashboard (or create one) by clicking on the Dashboards menu. Once in your dashboard, click “Add gadget”, then search for the term “Custom Charts” and select it.

By default, Custom Charts for Jira lets you create dynamic and easy-to-read charts based on your Jira issues. The Projectrak integration lets you create them based on your projects instead. All you do is click on the dropdown next to the “Count” field and click “Projects” instead of “Issues” (as in the image below).


The dropdown next to “Chart By” has a list of values and will include the custom fields you’ve created using Projectrak. One of the custom fields is “Project Status”. When using Projectrak with Custom Charts, “Project Status” is a premade custom field that automatically maps into a Jira issue custom field, as seen below.

Don’t forget to select a Source and a Chart Type to generate your charts. You can further customize the appearance of the charts such as by changing the colors, ordering and positioning of the components. Save your configuration and the charts will be available to view and share on your Jira Dashboards.

Conclusion   

Projectrak Jira Project Tracking is the perfect plugin to store project-specific information in Jira. Deiser are constantly adding new features with every released version and will continue to do so to help their users. Furthermore, when combined with Custom Charts for Jira, Projectrak will allow you to take full advantage of all the Jira project information you saved by creating neat and customizable charts to easily convey project information to your team.

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Communication and Culture in the Remote Working Age https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/communication-remote-working Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:44:00 +0000 https://oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=25907 This blog looks at best practices for remote workers to improve communication within teams and clients, along with the tools, data, and reports that will make it easier.

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remote working tools and tips

Remote working is fast becoming the business model that’s here to stay and it could result in a permanent shift in the software development space. After all, remote working has many benefits that later adopters are only now realizing: lower office costs, no commuting time, less traffic, less pollution, the ability to live closer to family…

The longer this pandemic lingers, the more companies will adapt to remote working. If they make it work, and work well, they’ll be less likely to return to the old ways. This blog looks at best practices for remote workers to improve communication within teams and clients, along with the tools, data, and reports that will make it easier.

Distributed teams in software development were on the up before 2020. Demand for skilled software engineers surged, and remote engineers filled the talent scarcity. Many teams had one or more members that were 100% remote.

Then the plague hit, teams became fully distributed overnight, and co-located members, who previously met in person, shifted to a remote model. April 2020 saw more than 60% of the UK’s adult population become remote workers.

Employers have looked to gig economy workers and readily adopted project management software and workplace communication tools to provide flexibility, productivity, and accountability to aid working from home.

Companies that once lagged now find themselves forced to welcome new business strategies displaying critical alignment between communication and collaboration technology, in order to survive – whether at home, in the office, or a combination of both.

Contrary to expectations, research in the US has shown increases in productivity since this shift. Whether these gains are sustainable depends on a team’s success in overcoming the hurdles to making a distributed teams work as well as, or better than, a co-located one.

Adopting a Successful Remote Work Team Culture

First, What Tools?

If you haven’t already, the first step on the journey to remote work is to integrate your Jira with a chat platform.

Jira integrates with Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Slack.

Since the rollout of the Microsoft Teams update, the chat software competes on an equal playing field to Slack and Google Chat. They all exhibit a simple chat room-style interface, where users can access a simplified search bar to gain information. And that’s with each platform working with a host of different third-party apps.

Personally, I’d recommend reading this blog by Zapier to decide which team chat platforms would work best for your organization.

Next, Shift to a Remote Culture

Atlassian identifies that by establishing clear boundaries, team members are able to clearly state their availability and their priorities. They list over-communicating as a key driver in making the process work.

Content management systems such as Confluence are one way to keep communication and contact regular but non-intrusive. Here members can search for updates or use channel-based messaging platforms.

The need for close communication is especially important when working remotely, so make extra time for video meetings to share working experiences. This will replace the water cooler conversations you’re no longer able to have.

Establish clear expectations for contact and working hours.

Staying connected whilst working remotely is an important replacement for the office socials. Building a solid rapport and understanding will help when escalating challenging issues beyond the boards of blockers.

Trello’s blog lists five team-building activities designed to encourage effective screen mate interaction. Transformation isn’t easy, and most organizations don’t have time to gradually improve with a DIY approach. Support from a partner such as Polontech can really help with a successful digitalization for your teams.

Improve Remote Communication with Clients

Often overlooked (but crucial to product management) is the need to improve remote communication with clients.

Be aware that, whilst it may be useful for all nine team members to be present on a call, it can be a daunting prospect for a client to be involved in a ‘watch party’. Often, sharing a recording of the meeting would have been more than sufficient to get input from many of the team members.

There’s an opportunity to share compelling, concise, and visually engaging presentations, by using previous video/audio clips and charts, edited to show real product value and foster peer interaction.

Whilst these steps are by no means exhaustive, they present a great starting point in how to adapt to the disruption that has changed the way we work.

A Mutual Understanding of Status and Progress

Stand-up with Scrum: Conducting regular stand-ups should become a part of everyday plans, whereby team members are encouraged to share any progress or blockers that may be affecting deliverables. Now, whilst this may feel as though it should fall into the remit of communication, Jira has a plugin designed to do exactly this.

Scrum stand-up is essential to agile development as it it enables the workforce to share reports, linking in any issues. Atlassian cites this operation as reinforcing the ‘WE’, which is crucial to sharing success, encouraging team contribution, and strengthening morale.

By using Jira boards, users can filter through projects, raise queries, and assign issues, with written stand-up visible on:

  • Project screen – entire team stand-up for the project
  • Issue screen – stand-up reports linked with the issue
  • User profile – user’s stand-up reports

Notably, Jira plugins provide the essential flexibility for remote workers, with users able to share information as soon as team members appear online with emoji-enabled asynchronous stand-ups.

With co-located teams, information radiators are used. Also known as Big Visual Charts (BVCs), these displays of key team and project status information are up on the wall in the office, giving team members updates as they pass or wait for the kettle to boil. It’s this information that enables them to make trade-offs that often determine the success of a sprint.

In Jira, you can turn any dashboard into a wallboard, which is configured for display on a wall-mounted TV and acts as an information radiator for a co-located team. In a previous article, we talked about how a Jira Wallboard can benefit teams: keeping team members on task, encouraging communication and regular feedback, fostering transparency and accountability, etc. But as distributed teams lack a shared physical space to have a Jira Wallboard, are these benefits transferrable to the new remote working normal?

The issue is in making sure that a person working from home can see the information with very little effort. If they have to dig around multiple websites or emails or click through half a dozen projects to find the information, well, they won’t.

What companies need is a way of displaying the information in a place that everyone has access to and are spending a lot of their time using. For example, the front page of Jira or the company intranet, or better yet, in the collaboration hubs they’re using all day every day, such as Slack. The information needs to come to the team rather than them having to go look for it, just like a traditional BVC.

Replacing Jira Wallboards with a Jira Dashboard iFrame

We’ve been thinking about how to push the key messages displayed on Jira Dashboards to team members working remotely, and are currently developing a Jira Dashboard iFrame as an alternative to the Jira Wallboard.

iFrames allow you to embed documents, videos and, interactive media—like a Facebook widget—within a page, effectively displaying a secondary webpage on your main page. Our Jira Dashboard iFrame would embed an interactive dashboard that uses our Custom Charts for Jira app. You could embed it in a webpage such as your company intranet home screen, or in emails. In Slack, the iFrame would appear as an image with a link, since Slack doesn’t allow interactive iFrames in their chat windows. But this image would still ‘radiate’ the required information. In fact, the Custom Charts could be used to run a daily standup meeting directly from Slack, without needing to switch to Jira.

I’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts…

Because of how valuable Jira Reports are, there is an increasing demand for access to them outside of Jira, so that their data is more readily available. A Jira Dashboard iFrame would accomplish this, continuously pushing key messages to team members in places where they will see them without having to go looking. Therefore, it could become an ideal information radiator for the remote working age.

What do you think? If you had a Jira Dashboard iFrame, would you use it as an information radiator? Where would you put it? In Slack, on your company’s intranet pages, or somewhere else?

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How to Create Jira Reports and Charts in Confluence https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/how-to-create-jira-reports-and-charts-in-confluence Mon, 29 Mar 2021 21:16:00 +0000 https://oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=25882 Popular Macros for Reporting on Jira in Confluence: Add a Jira Issue or Filter Macro to Confluence Pages Use the Jira report blueprint to create ... Read More

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Popular Macros for Reporting on Jira in Confluence:
  1. Add a Jira Issue or Filter Macro to Confluence Pages
  2. Use the Jira report blueprint to create a change log or status report
  3. Use the Jira chart macro to display data as a chart, including pie charts, created vs resolved, and two-dimensional charts
  4. Use Jira gadgets to display detailed Jira reports and charts on pages
  5. Use Jira Charts for Confluence add-ons to customize and add features to your charts

Introduction

Whether you’re sharing the progress of a sprint with the marketing department, senior management, or the whole company, you’ll probably want to share it in Confluence. If Jira is the collaboration tool for software teams, Confluence is the best place to share updates with everyone not using Jira day-to-day.

The following is a handy guide to the different options, tools, tricks, and best practice for Atlassian’s Jira and Confluence reporting integrations. We’ll start with the simplest of integrations and reports, and gradually get more complex. There are some significant differences between Confluence Data Center (DC) and Cloud functionality. In this blog we’ll be using Confluence Cloud for the screenshots, and adding notes to any differences found on Confluence Server/ DC.

Out of the Box Jira and Confluence Integrations

! Server and Data Center: Before you can use any of these macros, your Jira and Confluence applications must be connected via Application Links.

☁ Cloud: Application links are automatically configured between Jira and Confluence, so you shouldn’t need to do anything.

Adding a Jira Issue/ Filter Macro to Confluence Pages

Adding a Jira Issue/ Filter Macro to Confluence Pages

You can display a list of issues or a single issue, based on whatever Jira Query Language (JQL) search, filter, or URL you put into the macro. You can also create a new Jira Issue from within the macro, without leaving the Confluence page. Here you’ll also have the option to select and display a recently viewed issue. Finally, there’s even the option to display a count of issues.

Display a count of Jira issues. Insert A Jira Issue/ Filter

To insert this macro, or any other macros onto a Confluence, you have a few options:

Select a macro from the quick links section

Insert a Jira macro into Confluence Pages

View all macros from the full menu

Insert Macros into Confluence Pages ⌘+⇧+A on Mac or Alt+⇧+A on PC

Top Tip: You can access the macros page directly with the keyboard shortcut ⌘+⇧+A on Mac or Alt+⇧+A on PC

If you already know the name of the macro you want to use, the easiest way to insert it is to type the curly brace { on the page, and start typing the name of the macro.

☁ Cloud: The new Cloud page editor users forward slash / to open the quick search ?

Insert Macro on Confluence Pages using brackets {}

Create a Jira Report Blueprint from a template

If you want to keep things simple, you can create a change log or a status report, without using Jira Query Language.

To create a Confluence page from a template, click create page, search for Jira, and then select Jira report.

Create a Jira Report Blueprint from a template

Creating a standard static change log couldn’t be easier, just select the Jira project you want, and give it a title.

Create a Jira project static change log in Confluence
Create a Jira Project Change Log in Confluence

As soon as you hit create, you’ll see a static list of Jira Issues displaying in the change log.

Change Log Jira Report View in Confluence

If you want to create a dynamic Jira change log, go back to the change log settings screen and Switch to advanced.

Then enter your JQL query, or paste in the URL of the Jira search (find out more about using JQL in the Jira Documentation). This creates a dynamic report page in Confluence, summarising the Jira Issues as defined by your Jira Query.

Dynamic Jira change log Report in Confluence

This dynamic Confluence macro will update automatically, whenever the relevant issues are updated.

Dynamic Jira Change Log Confluence macro update automatically

For a more detailed summary, check out the Atlassian documentation page for the Jira Issues macro.

Create a Jira Status Report in Confluence

As before, click create page, search for Jira, and select Jira report, but this time select Status report.

Create a Jira Status Report in Confluence

The Jira status report displays the progress of your chosen Jira project and the fix version in pie charts. You can chart by assignee, project, component, reporter, resolution, sprint, priority or issue type. The status report uses the Jira Chart macro, and is based on the information you enter. It’s also a dynamic chart, so your Confluence report will update whenever your Jira Issue tickets are changed.

Create a Dynamic Jira Status Chart in Confluence

To create your own charts, you can just edit a Confluence page and type:

{Jira Charts

Create {Jira Charts} in Confluence

This will give you a selection of charts to choose from:

  • Pie Chart: which we’ve covered.
  • Created vs Resolved: which compares the number of issues created with the number of issues resolved on a line graph.
  • Two Dimensional: which displays a grid of statistics. Choose from: status, fix version, assignee name, priority, component, and issue type and more.
Jira Charts Pie Charts, Jira Created vs Resolved Charts, and Jira Two-Dimensional Charts

Customizing Jira Charts in Confluence Reporting Blueprint Templates

Out of the box, the only customizations you can do to the blueprint templates are:

  • Move them around the page, or delete any chart you don’t want to be included
  • Set the width of each chart
  • Toggle the chart border on or off
  • Choose whether to display chart information
  • Change the name of some headings, and modify the instructional text

If those “customizations” seemed limited, there are a number of Macro Apps that offer many more customization options.

Custom Jira Charts for Confluence

Custom Jira Charts for Confluence offers the following customizations:

  • Choose the colors of Pie, Funnel, or Bar Charts using a color picker or hex code.
  • Rearrange the order of the segments with a click, or drag and drop in any custom order
  • Chart by assignee, project, component, reporter, resolution, sprint, priority or issue type and user-created custom fields
  • Show/hide segments you don’t want to see
  • Chart by count, average, sum, of issues, story points, time spent, or any scripted number field.

Once you’ve installed it, either type {Custom or search for “Charts” in the macro selector

Custom Jira Charts for Confluence

The Custom Jira Charts for Confluence editor

To get started and see it for yourself check out the Custom Jira Charts for Confluence Playground here. Available on Cloud, Server and Data Center.

Visit the Atlassian Marketplace for Custom Jira Charts for Confluence to find out more.

To make a Jira chart in Confluence for tasks resolved within a specific time

For this advanced report, you’ll need an app like Table Filter and Charts by Stiltsoft. First, combine their Chart from Table macro and their Pivot Table Macro.

Now you can visualise the distribution of tasks that were resolved within the dates you defined for the project.

Or you can find out the most active issue reporters for a specific project within some period of time and show their number of issues in the form of the bar chart.

Check out the video below for a demo:

This advanced combo move of macros allows a lot of customised reporting options for power users. If you know what you’re doing, you can quickly and easily apply the right filters, and choose the right data set all from within page view mode, with no need to hit the edit page button.

So as you can see, there is an abundance of options for reporting and charting of Jira Issues in Confluence, depending on your needs.

We haven’t even gotten into many excellent roadmap tools that link Jira with Confluence.

But that’s another story for another blog. For now, check out the Custom Jira Charts for Confluence playground, and see what you could do with some more customizable options in your Jira Charts Reporting.

Conclusion

In summary:

  • To insert a Jira Issue/Filter Macro, select the macro from ‘quick links’ or ‘view all macros’ or type the curly brace { if you know the name of the macro.
  • To create a change log or status report in Confluence, click create page, search for Jira, and select Jira report. Then select change log or status report.
  • There are some limited out-of-the-box customizations such as the ability to move charts around the page and toggling the chart border on and off.
  • If you want to choose colors, rearrange segments, chart by assignee, project, component etc, you’ll need Custom Charts for Confluence.
  • To make a chart for tasks resolved in a specific time, you’ll need Table Filter and Charts by Stiltsoft.

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External Share for Confluence and Jira https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/external-share-for-confluence-and-jira Thu, 18 Feb 2021 01:08:48 +0000 https://oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=25908 A Deep Dive on the Latest Options for Expanding your Collaboration with Jira and Confluence. Allow your teams to share Jira issues or Confluence pages ... Read More

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A Deep Dive on the Latest Options for Expanding your Collaboration with Jira and Confluence.

Allow your teams to share Jira issues or Confluence pages with secure external links. These link can be password protected if needed, giving external users access to view the shared issues or pages even if they don’t have an Atlassian account.

The External Share Team has been working on a lot of new features, and integrations with other apps in the Atlassian Marketplace making collaborating externally easier than ever.

Can External Users View Comments on Confluence Pages?

With External Share for Confluence, you can allow external users to view comments on your Confluence pages, as easily as you can now share Confluence pages.

Allow External Users to Add Comments

If you give them permission, External users can also add comments to your Confluence pages.

This way you can gather feedback directly in Confluence.

If you are a watcher of a page, you will be notified about any new comments created by External Users with External Share.

This is how the comments section looks like for an External Share page:

Externally Sharing Jira Issues (Jira Server & Jira Data Center)

For Jira on Premise, Externally visible comments can be restricted to the comments made by specific roles or user groups:

In this scenario, External Share for Jira will show only the non-restricted comments on Externally shared issues.

External User Comments for Jira and Confluence Cloud

In Jira, comments are added anonymously by the user ‘External Share for Jira’ or in Confluence as ‘External Share for Confluence’. Users names and emails are shown inside the content of the comment.

Usually add-on users’ don’t have avatar icons, but we asked Atlassian if they could set up a special icon for us, and they agreed!

Comments for Jira and Confluence Server and Data Center

In the on-premise version, there is no ‘addon user’. We decided to create comments as anonymous users. Users’ names and emails are inside the comment’s content.

Sharing Jira Service Management with External Users

Things are a little bit different for Jira Service Management.

In Jira Service Management when sharing the ability for external users to “View comments” you have two options. Toggle on the option to “View public comments” or “View internal comments”:

These directly map to Jira Service Management’s “Internal note” or “Reply to customer”

  • View public comments -> Reply to customer
  • View internal comments -> Internal note

Jira Service Management comment section

Allowing External Users to Comment on Jira Service Management.

On Jira Service Management we will have 2 options:

  • “Add public comments” which maps to “Reply to customer”
  • “Add internal comments” which maps to “Internal note”

Therefore external users can add public and internal comments.

Sharing Attachments with External Users.

First, let’s see how you can share Confluence or Jira attachments using External Share:

Giving External users the option to see attachments (highlighted) makes sharing attachments very straightforward.

Jira and Confluence do have the capability to embed attachments in the description.

Images added to content automatically become attachments.

External Share will always display embedded files (images, pdf, etc) in the description. Even if ‘View attachments’ is turned off.

This means the option to toggle ‘View attachments’ only refers to the attachments section of Jira or Confluence.

Attachments on Jira issue pages

Jira Attachment Download Limits:

We work to ensure we can handle a lot of data passing through our systems.

Our system can handle files with a size of up to 8000 MB and the connection can last up to 48 hours, so you have 48 hours to download the file.

If you decide to share a direct link to a file. You should know that for security reasons, download links expire after 12 hours.

Please note that as per our Security FAQ, only the people you have given access to, will be able to access your attachments (and as such, we won’t have access).

The links structure will look like this

https://jira.external-share.com/issue/c5544950-bb12-cc9a-9f05-1234567/name.png?mediaId=YTdTVQ[…]ES09

Live Search in External Share for Confluence and Jira

We received plenty of requests for the ability to Search Externally shared Jira issues and Confluence pages.

If you haven’t already noticed the feature published on External Share for Jira and Confluence, you can check it out on our test page:

https://confluence.external-share.com/content/b7702594-c4c3-4407-a692-e978996c1019

This will perform search on the page and all child pages.

The Search button will take you to dedicated page:

https://confluence.external-share.com/content/b7702594-c4c3-4407-a692-e978996c1019/search?query=css

So you can share a link to this page, to highlight the important information.

Some known limitations:

  1. You can’t search in other spaces. For security reasons you can search only in the current page and its child pages.
  2. The “Restrict to label” option is not used, but we do have plans to support it.
  3. You can’t search comments nor attachments. It seems for now, Confluence will not provide access to this API.

If you want to try or know more about External Share and its new features, check out our app in the marketplace, for Jira and Confluence. You can also read more about Sharing Jira and Confluence with External Users here.

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Using SaaS? Get Yourself a Competitive Advantage https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/using-saas-get-yourself-competitive-advantage Thu, 11 Feb 2021 08:09:01 +0000 https://oldstreetsolutions.com/?p=25909 tldr: If you need help with software that you are using – first try to contact the company in-person or video call. Long story: Have ... Read More

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tldr:

If you need help with software that you are using – first try to contact the company in-person or video call.

Long story:

Have you ever received follow-up email after using a software product?

As a co-founder and programmer of SaaS tool that is gaining more and more traction I am involved in many customer meetings.

We also do send those emails. We invite our customers to have a video call.

There are few responses now and then. Mostly from mid/big sized companies.

We often ask for feedback, we sometimes get some.

We also use different channels to handle feedback, via JSM, or email.

How do you think we prioritize requests? From another unknown email address or somebody you talked to or met earlier?

As much I would like to be objective on prioritizing requests, I am just a human and I fail sometime in this.

I guess, the bigger the company is then, the harder it will be harder to reach the appropriate person. But it never hurts to try.

Cheers,
Krzysztof Bogdan

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Don’t Miss Delivery Dates with Jira Version Reports https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/jira-version-reports https://www.oldstreetsolutions.com/jira-version-reports#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2020 15:55:27 +0000 https://reportsforjira.com/?p=713 Jira Version Reports provide excellent visibility of your delivery timeline so that scrum teams can manage risk, identify uncertainty, and find ways of staying on track.

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Many people don’t know about Jira Version Reports, and even if they do, they might not have realized just how valuable they are (or how to make them valuable). And yet, Jira Version Reports (sometimes called Jira Fix Version Reports) are fantastic for tracking a Scrum team’s progress on a version and understanding what the delivery timeline is likely to look like. They’re particularly useful for product owners, project or program managers, and stakeholders.

This article reveals how the Jira Version Report provides excellent visibility of your delivery timeline so that you can manage risk, identify uncertainty, and find ways of staying on track. It also includes tips for how to get the best out of the report.

What is the Jira Version Report?

The Jira Version Report shows your team’s progress towards the completion of a version. It also gives you a predicted release date based on your team’s average rate of progress (their velocity) since starting the version, and the amount of estimated work that remains. 

The grey area

The grey area shows the scope of estimated issues to be remedied, and any change in the size of the grey area indicates that the scope of the work has changed.

The blue line

The blue line shows the progress made by demonstrating how many story points are being completed over a set period of time. The slope of the line is based on the team’s average daily velocity.

Where the blue line hits the top of the grey area gives you the predicted release date, i.e. the date on which you can expect all the issues in the version to have been fixed/completed. This is based on your average daily velocity and the amount of estimated work remaining.

The shaded blue areas

The shaded areas straddling the blue line give you the predicted release date range, aka the best-to-worst case scenario for the release date. The shaded area to the left of the blue line gives you the earliest date by which you might expect completion of the version (the optimistic date). The area to the right of the blue line gives you the latest date by which you might expect completion of the version (the pessimistic date). 

The red line

The red line shows you what percentage of issues are unestimated. Since the predicted release date and date range are based in part on the estimated work remaining, ideally you want most of your issues to be estimated. That would make the red line low. If the red line is low, it means you can have a decent amount of confidence in the predicted dates. But if the red line is high, meaning lots of your issues are unestimated, then the date range might paint a less accurate or realistic picture of what’s happening. 

Keep on Top of Estimates and Keep Jira Statuses Up-to-Date

The Jira Version Report requires the use of the fix version field and, if you want to get real value from the report, most of the issues to be remedied need to be estimated. In other words, that red line of unestimated issues should be low. The more of the fix version you have estimated the better because this will allow you to have more confidence in the predicted release dates.  

You want to make sure you keep your current statuses up to date, too, as this is what’s driving the daily velocity and the slope of your blue line. So, if a piece of work is done, put it in ‘Done’. Teams that are somewhat lax about moving things through the workflow are going to find the Jira Version Report less valuable. 

What’s great about the Jira Version Report?

The Jira Version Report gives you an instant view of potential release dates as well as any changes in scope on a particular version. It gives you a better sense of the risk in your delivery timeline, which a lot of reports don’t. It also lets you know what your uncertainty is and allows you to measure it. Specifically, as you get more and more issues estimated and your team’s velocity towards the fix version stabilizes, the blue shaded range will start to narrow, indicating an increase in certainty about the release date. 

Most importantly, the Jira Version Report is great for prompting conversations about your delivery timeline early rather than late, when you’re about to miss your delivery date. It’s always better to know in June if you’re going to miss your August delivery date than in August. It means you can decide at that point whether there’s still a way to stay on track, e.g. by decreasing scope or by increasing your team capacity. Equally, your conversations might be about the fact that you’re set to deliver early and whether to add scope.

In conclusion, the Jira Version Report is a super-useful tool for predicting when a release will be ready, for checking how a team is progressing, and for triggering discussions about how to make that progress more fruitful.

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