If you and your team use Jira Software projects and boards to manage your work, some great options to keep track of your progress come built into the platform. However, if you want a view that spans multiple projects, or includes work that other teams are doing in Jira Service Management or Jira Work Management, you’ve probably already realized that you need to be taking advantage of dashboards.
Those with Scrum or Kanban boards can view some reports based on their work, but you can’t pull multiple projects or related external work into your board reporting. This can be particularly challenging when you are looking to report on program-level work, or if some of your work isn’t included in your board.
This article explains why Jira dashboards are the way forwards, and how Custom Charts for Jira can make those dashboards pop.
Get deeper insights with Jira dashboards
We’ve covered board reporting before, so we won’t dig into it too much here. For the most part, Jira board reports are a very helpful part of your overall reporting if you are an agile team running Scrum or Kanban. However, if you aren’t running sprints or need to keep track of more than one team at once, you’re going to need to find some creative ways to slice and dice that information.
One of the biggest benefits of Jira dashboards is that you can report on data across projects and boards. This means that, for example, if you are part of a software team that has separate people handling deployment and release processes, you can view all of that information in one place, even if they’re not working in your sprints.
Here are a few reports to supplement your board reporting and provide an expanded view of your team’s progress.
Story Point (or any estimate) reporting
If you are using agile estimation, then you know that understanding how many issues are in a sprint is much less important than how many story points are in a sprint. For example, Sprint 1 and Sprint 2 in the image above could both have 5 issues, but one has a significantly larger amount of work involved.
Your board reports will be able to provide some insights in the form of Jira Velocity Charts and Jira Sprint Reports, but you can’t customize these or visualize the information in any way other than the default. With marketplace apps like Custom Charts for Jira, you can create dashboard reports that don’t just look at the number of issues included but can also look at your estimates. This is true if you estimate by time, too, using the out-of-the-box original/remaining estimates or custom number fields. Looking at a two-dimensional chart that shows story points by assignee, like the one above, can give you a high-level understanding of your team’s capacity.
If you’re looking for some more insights on the breakdown of your board, Custom Charts for Jira lets you build a stacked bar chart like the one above. These are a great way to visualize the work a little differently. On top of being able to see things like how many tickets each team member has in each status, you can switch the count to look at story points or original estimates, just like you can with the two-dimensional filter statistics chart.
Stacked bar charts let you see if any specific team members are overloaded, or if your team has too much work actively in progress. This type of view can help teams gain a better understanding of the flow of work and where there may be bottlenecks in the process. Insights that are valuable to both agile and non-agile teams but are absolutely essential to Kanban teams.
There isn’t really a great way to see this information in Jira natively (although the Jira Cumulative Flow Diagram can provide some good bottleneck identification).
Epic and Version Charts
Epic and Version Burndown Charts are great tools for understanding your progress toward a goal. However, if you want to look at historical information, they are a little less valuable. In Custom Charts for Jira, you can pair our 2D line graph with our Simple Search gadget, which allows you to dynamically filter charts on your dashboard, as shown above. You could also, for example, use Simple Search to filter down to only new features, so you could see how often we are releasing new features, as opposed to user experience (UX) enhancements.
This information can also be sliced to see how many issues of each status are in each fix version, filtered down to only unreleased versions, etc. The possibilities for release reporting are very powerful, and in fact we use charts like this to manage the releases for Custom Charts itself.
We’re not going to lie. We LOVE Jira dashboards and will sing their praises till the cows come home. That’s exactly why we built Custom Charts for Jira for them. Sure, there are some very valuable reports in Jira Software that software teams need which can’t (yet) be replicated as gadgets on a dashboard, such as the Cumulative Flow Diagram and the Velocity Chart. That’s why, for the moment, you still need board reporting.
That said, there are a lot of reports you can build on a dashboard, and even more with Custom Charts. And you can customize your Custom Charts reports so that they’re more targeted, and visualize them in more engaging and memorable ways.
In time, we hope that all the board reports will be available through the Jira dashboard. Currently only a handful are, but Jira dashboards are just better, frankly. And more dynamic. And we love them. Did we mention that we love them?
Morgan is a Seattle born and raised lover of rain and software, particularly software that isn’t a pain in the bum (like some Atlassian tools can be). This is why she’s a Custom Charts for Jira superfan and jumped at the chance to contribute to the solution herself. She specializes in Agile, Scaled Agile, and ITIL in the Atlassian app space, loves a cross-country road trip, and is on a mission to find the cutest coffee shop in every town she visits.