Top 5 Reports from Jira and Bitbucket to Get the Most of Your Sprint Retrospective

August 25, 2020
#Bitbucket#How To#Confluence Tutorial#Confluence#Reporting#Jira
10 min

In the previous post How Project Managers and Scrum Masters Use Confluence for Project Monitoring, we showed how management professionals use Confluence to build a dashboard based on data from Jira and Bitbucket for project monitoring. In the present article, we move on to the second part of the dashboard. It contains reports showing what went well during the sprint and what needs to be worked on. The dashboard provides you with the visualized data for analysis during the sprint retrospective when the team can inspect itself and plan the improvements to be enacted in the following sprints. 

Analyze what’s been done: Pull Request Activities charts

The Pull Request Activities chart shows the number of pull requests by state and comes in two variants: pull requests grouped by a repository or by a user. 

By looking at these charts, you can identify if there were any problems in teams working in the same repos, see how much each person managed to do, and use these insights in future sprint planning. For example, if you see there were a lot of declined pull requests during the sprint, there could be some problems in the teams’ arrangements, so this is a perfect occasion to discuss and resolve them.

The Pull Request Activities chart shows the number of open, merged, and declined pull requests in a particular repository.
Grouped like this, the Pull Request Activities chart shows the number of pull requests made by a particular user around the whole project.

One more point to consider is the number of open pull requests at the end of the sprint — you need to count them in if you want to predict whether you’ll be able to complete work on time in the next sprint.

Follow the instructions to build these charts.

Learn, plan and improve: Pull Requests Gantt chart

The following chart can give your team an understanding of how long the pull requests take to resolve. It can help you predict using historical Git data if your team can finish the tasks by the end of the sprint.

The Pull Requests Gantt chart helps you see the tendencies in pull request resolution time for each user. 

To make realistic predictions, you need to look at the average age of PRs created by the author. If a developer is junior or new to a particular repository or project, they tend to make more mistakes, or they are subjected to more thorough reviews and testing, which potentially delays their PRs, which you need to consider in your planning. Your ideal models will be the users with sets of “colorful bricks” of almost the same size, as they will probably tend to follow the accepted practice.

One more thing that you can pay attention to is the case when a pull request or a few are closed by the very end of the sprint. It could be a sign that the author was hurrying to meet the deadline, which might be the result of review delays or just carelessness, so keep that in mind.

Check out the guide to learn how to build this chart.

Find out who did what: Activity graph

Activity Graph is made to help you know what everybody was doing during the sprint in terms of commits, pull requests, Jira issues, and meetings.

The Activity graph helps you visually compare the distribution of the workload.

The idea behind it is that predictions based on engineering metrics are great, but even a few calls or meetings can slow down the processes. In research by Harvard Business Review, 65% of senior managers said that meetings keep their teams from completing their work. That’s why you need to look at who does what, identify bottlenecks, and manage the processes so that there are no obstacles nor reasons for delays. You can determine who is spreading themselves too thin and find those who are not actively involved. It’s evident that if you expect active development from your engineers and they are stuck in a series of meetings, it won’t work. 

Using these metrics, you can understand why the team is moving with such speed and how the changes in the processes affect the team dynamics.

Learn how to build Radar (Spider) chart type.

Count it up: Velocity graph

And the last, but not the least thing when we look back on the finished iteration, is calculating velocity. 

The Velocity graph shows the ratio of story points committed vs. story points completed during the sprint.

When we plan a new sprint, we should consider the information about story points performance in the previous sprints. This way, we can observe the trends, make some conclusions, and change the planning approach if needed. For example, we can calculate the average number of story points completed within one sprint (velocity) and stick to this value in the following sprints. And after that, as more data about finished sprints is accumulated, you can plan much more accurately.

See a full guide on how to work with this graph.

Put it all together

The graphs and charts illustrated in this and the previous article make up the multifunctional dashboard for project management, aimed to give you reporting insights based on data from Jira and Bitbucket, which we presented in the Project Management Dashboards in Confluence webinar.

If you would like to build similar charts and graphs on your own, try the Table Filter and Charts for Confluence and Awesome Graphs for Bitbucket apps for free.

How Project Managers and Scrum Masters Use Confluence for Project Monitoring

July 28, 2020
#Confluence Tutorial#Confluence#Jira#Reporting#Analytics#Bitbucket#How To
10 min

In the Project Management Dashboards in Confluence webinar, we talked about the tools that project managers and scrum masters use, and that help them make data-driven decisions based on the data from Jira and Bitbucket. We showed how you could enhance Confluence’s default functionality to create easy-to-understand reports for management and stakeholders with all the technical and business metrics visualized on Confluence pages.

Here we bring this information back together and provide you with the guides on how to build a dashboard where you can ensure that projects remain on track and see the actual progress compared to the project objectives stated in the plans.

Visualize the backlog: open vs resolved issues graph

As new tasks, features, and bugs are added continuously during the project implementation, the visualization of the dynamics in the project backlog helps spot the bottlenecks in the processes timely. Using it, you’ll be able to find inefficiencies and support the teams, whose backlogs contain more work to do than they could possibly perform.

The Created vs Resolved Issues report shows the difference between the number of created and resolved issues over a given period and whether the overall backlog is moving towards resolution.

Open vs Resolved Issues graph

This chart is built using the Jira Issues macro, which pulls the data from Jira according to a JQL or a link to a filter. 

Check out a full guide on how to build the graph.

See the advancement in the project: Gantt chart

Gantt chart is a tool that visualizes the development process, helps to schedule your work and track the progress. In a nutshell, it is a timeline that’s used to illustrate how the project will run. You can see:

  • what tasks are included in a project or a sprint
  • start and end dates of a project or a sprint
  • tasks duration — project schedule, i.e., start and end dates
  • who works on a particular task.
Gantt chart

Using this chart, you can visualize all the tasks and phases of the project to optimize task planning and distribution, so you can predict when you will deliver the product. By visualizing the dependencies and parallel processes, you’ll also be able to find critical points, such as when the tasks depending on each other are planned at the same time slot.

We have prepared detailed instructions on how to build this kind of chart and recommend you look through the 5 Tips to Become a Gantt Chart Expert Using Atlassian Confluence article to get the most out of it.

Track the sprint progress: burndown chart

A burndown chart is often used in Agile project management to visualize the amount of work completed during the sprint compared to the total work, so a team can keep track of the time remaining to complete that work.

Burndown chart

Based on the data exported from Jira, this chart displays the total amount of work in story points that a team should complete during the sprint. An orange line is the amount of work left. A purple line displays how the sprint should run in the ideal world where the efforts are distributed equally. 

The tasks burn down as they are marked as completed and on the last day of a sprint, no significant tasks should remain. If you see that your teams tend to fail to complete the tasks in time, you need to investigate the reasons for this issue and reduce the workload.

Learn how to build this chart.

Make the development process transparent: engineering metrics

While monitoring the progress of the project, it’s necessary to see the actual change over time. Here we offer you the chart that will show the dynamics of contributions in terms of commits made by users over the chosen period. You can build a similar chart showing the pull requests dynamics and other charts based on the data from Bitbucket by feeding in the corresponding CSV file, which you can get via the Awesome Graphs for Bitbucket’s Export to CSV feature.

Using these, you’ll be able to see the trends in pull requests and commits and find out if your team is committing more code now than before.

Commits Dynamics chart

During the daily meetings, teams try to spot the difficulties that appear in the processes, and these charts can bring more transparency to them. For example, if you keep your tasks between a day or two and see that one of the developers hasn’t committed in a few days, maybe it’s time to talk and find out what difficulties they might have.

Follow the guide to build these charts.

There’s more coming

The graphs and charts described in this article will help you gain more visibility into the current state of the processes and make project monitoring easier. Using the Awesome Graphs for Bitbucket app as a data provider, and the Table Filter and Charts for Confluence app to aggregate and visualize the data from Bitbucket and Jira, you will get the functionality comparable to BI platforms in Confluence.

In the next article in the series, we’ll tell you how to build the dashboard, which can be used by any agile team for a sprint retrospective.

Watch the webinar’s recording on our YouTube channel while waiting for our next post and tell us what you think in the comment section.

How to Power up Page Properties Report in Atlassian Confluence

July 17, 2020
#How To#Confluence Tutorial#Confluence#Document management#Reporting
2 min

We’ve recorded this presentation for the online Team Up Forum hosted by k15t and Scandio.

Discover how to power up the Page Properties Report macro with the help of two apps:

You can easily filter and aggregate information on Confluence pages. Moreover, you can create your set of statuses and change them in the page view mode on the fly.

Discover our comprehensive list of apps to boost your project planning capabilities here!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post below. Don’t forget to subscribe to email notifications about new articles in our blog.

Bitbucket Statistics Dashboards for Project Management in Confluence

May 26, 2020
#Reporting#Analytics#How To#Confluence#Bitbucket
9 min

In the blog post Handy Jira Dashboards for Project Management in Confluence, we told you how to use the data from Jira to create dashboards for agile project management on your Confluence pages. 

Using Confluence as the place for dashboards allows you to achieve better end-to-end visibility: it enables merging and aggregating data from different sources and makes it easily accessible to Leadership. Furthermore, you can export the reports in PDF, Word, JPG, or print them out and email them to external users, attach them to the quarterly report, or distribute them to managers and stakeholders.

Today we want to show how you can enhance your reports built with Table Filter and Charts for Confluence by adding engineering metrics from Bitbucket using the Awesome Graphs for Bitbucket app and build dashboards for PMs and stakeholders in Confluence. These metrics make up a comprehensive view of the processes and help managers make informed decisions.

Commits by User Chart

This chart is aimed to show you which developer worked on which project and their level of activity in terms of the number of commits so that you can identify the top contributors for each repository. You can also find the most active repositories in the whole instance, particularly for a specific project. This data can help you decide which repositories to target first with particular process improvement.

Hint: add the Table Filter macro before the Chart from Table to select repositories for comparison.

Check out a full guide on how to build this chart.

Commits Dynamics Chart

There may be cases when the snapshot is not enough, and it’s necessary for planning to see the actual change in progress. To examine trends over time, you can build the chart that will show the dynamics of contributions made by users over the chosen period. Using this, you can then compare the periods and answer questions like “Are we committing more code now than before?”.

Hint: you can change the grouping to daily, weekly, or monthly by changing the Date period aggregation in the Pivot Table macro settings.

Follow our guide to build this chart.

Lines of Code Chart

Another way to get a better understanding of the amount of work done across the projects and measure the activity and efficiency of the teams is to look at the number of lines of code added and deleted. On this chart, you can see the visualized statistics of the user’s activity in terms of lines of code on the project level.

Hint: use the Chart from Table macro’s feature “Chart as image” to save the chart as JPG and email it or use it in PowerPoint presentations.

Read the step-by-step instructions to build this chart.

Pull Requests Activities Charts

To complete the picture, you can use the two following graphs showing the Pull Request activities of the developers, i.e., the number of Open, Merged, and Declined Pull Requests on the project level basis.

The first chart provides you with an organizational view and allows you to visualize the statistics across multiple or all of the repositories, grouping the Pull Requests by their state. 

You can then drill down for more detailed data and build the chart to discern the output and productivity of each particular user:

Hint: You can also build the chart to see the dynamics in Pull Request activities by following the instructions from Commits Dynamics Chart, but with the Pull Requests source file.

Learn how to build these charts.

Enhance your reports

Using the charts described in this article, you can analyze engineers’ activity and productivity, evaluate the capacity to work, and make data-driven decisions to improve engineering efficiency. 

All of the charts on this page were built with the help of Table Filter and Charts for Confluence as the means of aggregation and visualization and the Awesome Graphs for Bitbucket app serving as a data provider.

The combination of these apps is capable of building much more complex structures that would allow you to aggregate all the information in a single dynamic chart, where you could choose and change the components on the go to get different visualizations each time in a few clicks.