Track Your Aging Work In Progress
Just as the name suggests, the purpose of the Aging Work in Progress chart is to visualize how your cards are progressing towards the done section of your Kanban board. It has two main uses – to show you how your current assignments are moving forward and to give you an idea of how you were performing in similar contexts in the past. For the teams that use and discuss their flow metrics, this can be extremely useful as the topic is usually brought up during stand up meetings and regular KPI reviews.
The structure of the chart is similar to your team’s Kanban boards
The Aging Work In Progress chart is in the form of the project board that it analyzes. At the bottom of the horizontal axis, all the stages of the workflow are represented. Above each column, there is a WIP indicator that shows how many tasks are in progress in every stage and a calendar icon that indicates the basis date for which the information is displayed. The vertical axis visualizes how long each task has spent in that section, in days.
The dots scattered across the chart represent all the tasks that have been in progress since the starting date of the query and what stage they have reached on the basis date of the chart. Hovering over each of them will make a popup window appear. Inside, you can see the starting date of the assignment/s, current age, pace and card ID.
* By default, the basis date of the chart is set up to be the current date. If you are not seeing any dots, please make sure that you have removed the finished before date from the time frame of your query.
Selecting the rectangle containing the card’s ID will make the window sticky and open a new one containing more information about the card, such as title, priority assignee, etc. To dismiss it, just click anywhere on the chart. Selecting the ID number of the card will open the card itself in a new window of your browser.
You will also be able to see how many days the assignment has spent in each stage of your workflow. This is visualized both on the chart and in the popup window.
The percentile lines that run across the chart (like latitude lines) are dynamic indicators that show you how many of the tasks were completed by this number of days in the past. For example, the 95th percentile tells you that only 5% of your tasks took longer than “x” days to be completed. This will help you spot problems and outliers in your process that might become bottlenecks soon.
Get a clearer picture of the specifics with the help of the Aging Work In Progress
The attribute filter allows you to visualize a more detailed picture of the aging work in progress on your board. It can be applied both globally (for all premium analytics) or locally. You can choose to focus on the cards with various criteria like priority, assignee, size, color, custom fields, etc. A typical use case would be to filter only the tasks with high priority and see how they are aging in the "In progress" section so that you can shift your focus accordingly.
Moreover, you can include or exclude different stages of the workflow from the chart. This way, the information can be viewed from a different starting or ending point. For example, you can remove the requested section of your board, so that you can see how your cards were progressing directly from an activity stage or remove activity stages from your chart view, depending on what visualization is most relevant.
Get a clearer picture with just a single glance by changing the color of the dots that represent work items. A specially designed filter gives you the ability to distinguish between the different types of assignments based on a wide range of card attributes (card color, assignee, priority, size, etc.). A good use of this filter would be to set a different color for each team member. By doing so, you can spot who is having trouble with pulling their tasks through the workflow and give you hints on where you need to place more attention.
The done percentiles have a single purpose – to tell you how your current assignments are progressing compared to the historical data included in the Aging Work In Progress chart. They are calculated using all items that have been completed, based on the date they entered the last enabled workflow stage. Just like in the Cycle Time Scatterplot, the different percentile lines help you assess the chances of placing a card in the Done column within a given time frame. You can add or remove any of the percentile lines by deselecting or selecting them with your cursor.
The pace percentiles are here to help you measure the health of the current items that are in progress compared with past performance. They can give you an idea of how these tasks are progressing versus how cards have advanced through the different stages of your workflow in the past. Pace percentiles for a given stage are calculated using all items that have finished that stage, based on the date they enter the following stage in the workflow. The pace percentile lines are dynamic and depending on your performance they will move up and down. You should always aim to keep your tasks flowing close to the bottom of the chart in order to have more predictability.
To make the difference in pace more visible, you can use the warning colors filter. Each percentile category has a specific color. The green one at the bottom covers the best-performing tasks and is the place where you should aim to see all of your cards in progress. Position up the scale suggests either that the assignments are larger than the majority of other tasks or that there is some sort of delay that you might want to look into.
Follow the aging of your tasks through time with the help of the basis date filter. It is in the form of a slider and allows you to navigate back and forth within the pre-selected time frame without having to adjust the general filter every time. With the basis date, you can go back and see how your chart looked in the past. For example, you can replay the last month’s data and see how items have progressed and aged.
The Aging Work In Progress chart can be a powerful addition to the arsenal of measurement tools used by teams in all sorts of industries. If you are interested in seeing how it can enhance your particular flow, be sure to contact our sales team and request a free demo.
Note: This article was originally published on the Kanbanize blog