news2018-01-16

Now available: the Sprint Focus Report

Sprint Focus Report

New: the Sprint Focus Report – shows you how focused your work has been.

Big news, everyone! The Sprint Focus Report is here! I built this thing for myself to get more and better insights into our work. I’ll show you what it does and how it can help you and your team!

What is the goal of the Sprint Focus Report?

It is suppoesd to help you see how focused your and your team’s sprints have been. If and how much you have been working on the right issues.

What does the Sprint Focus Report do?

The report is a simple table. In rows you see the closed sprints (by default it’s the last 10 closed sprints). Their name and when the started. After that it’s the velocity of each sprint and – here’s the important part – how much of that velocity you spent on every epic, more specifically its stories. Followed by the number of epics you worked on in the¬† sprint.

An example: your velocity was 20 story points (100%) and you achieved 16 story points (80%) by working on stories of two epics. That means on average you concentrated on each epic for 40%.

The higher the percentage on average and the lower the number of epics, the better and more focused was your sprint: even if 90% of your velocity comes from epics, it’s still bad if you spread it across 10 epics. On the other hand, if “only” 70% of your velocity comes from work on epics (i.e. their stories) it’s still good, if it was only one epic you worked on.

So much for the first half of the table … let’s move on to the colorful blocks in the secand half

This is now a list of all epics you worked on with detailed information. The first column (white) tells you how much of your velocity comes from stories, that don’t belong to any epic. It lists a percentage (of the sprint’s velocity) and a total number of story points for perspective.

Following that, there are columns for every epic – in the respective epic color, as set in JIRA. They show you the actual percentage and the total number of story points.

Let’s look at a particular sprint: Sprint 11 “Billy”

Detail view of sprint 11 "Billy"

Detail view of sprint 11 “Billy”

You can see the Sprint Focus Report lists a total velocity of 28 story points. Here we made 82% of our velocity with two epics – on average 41% per epic. The next column is the one listing info about non epic issues. Here you can see that 18% of our velocity comes from stories, that don’t belong to any epic (in total 5 stoy points). After that you can see red-ish(?) column, stating that 61% (17 story points) of our velocity come from working on the “picture upload” epic. 21% (6 stoy points) come from the “settings page” epic.

By the way, you can click any of those colored tiles – it’ll lead you to a jira search, that shows you exactly which issues make up the numbers you see in each tile.

This is a great starting point. Now you can see if you focused on one topic or if you spread your attention too far across too many things. And you can quickly find out what these things were. Then you can evaluate if it was really necessary to work on multiple epics at once, if it paid off. Or if you should maybe avoid this when faced with the same situation again.

Why do the colors sometimes look lighter / darker?

The colors are taken from JIRA – those are the epic colors you can set in your agile board. The Sprint Focus Report uses them as the base color. Depending on the share the story points from that epic have of the sprint’s total velocity, the Sprint Focus Report sets the opacity of the respective tile. E.g. if the share was 61%, the opacity is set to 70% (i.e. 0.7).

That way you can assess the situation quicker. Recognize centers of attention, because a fully opaque tile stands out between almost transparent ones and on the dark background. Identify areas of distraction – rows with multiple, almost transparent tiles.

The opacity goes all the way up, as soon as you hover over the tile with your mouse. This helps making reading / analyzing easier.

Why do I need the Sprint Focus Report?

The Sprint Focus Report can help you and your team see if your work is directed towards an objective (here: an epic) or if you work on too many things at once. And thus not finishing anything. It can show you this information in a very easy to undertsand way. A way that, at the same time, offers starting points to drill down and dig deeper, in order to understand what is happening:

You can:

  • see what stories of an epic you finished in a sprint, by clicking on the tile in question
  • have a look at the epic itself, to see how many more stories there are and what the epic’s goal is, by clicking on the columns head – the epic title
  • check how many more sprints you need to finish the epic – clicking on the 📊 icon in the lower right corner of the epic title
  • inspect the sprint by looking at the various other reports JIRA offers, by clicking the sprint name.

Find out what’s happening, learn from it!

How do I make the Sprint Focus Report work?

Just go to your JIRA agile board – important: must be a scrum board – and click the CardJIRA icon. Choose “Sprint Focus Report” from the menu:

The new CardJIRA menu.

The new CardJIRA menu: choose “sprint focus report” to see how focused your work is.

A new page opens immediately but it takes some time until the report appears – there’s lots of data to generate and to calculate to create this report.

Sometimes you need to reload the agile board (scrum) before you can generate the Sprint Focus Report.

And, as always: all the data is generated on your machine, there’s nothing stored or sent anywhere.

Start exploring, start learning, start improving!