Table of Contents:
1. What is Throughput?
By definition, the throughput metric counts the number of work items completed in a given period of time on the Kanban board.
The throughput is a key metric that measures performance and shows if your process is effective. Tracking throughput helps Project Managers to maintain a stable workflow and to provide accurate delivery estimates.
The histogram is a preferred method for throughput visualization.
In the example below, a team has delivered 11, 9, 12, and 8 cards, respectively, in Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4. The average throughput is 10 cards per week.
2. The "Board Flow Metrics" widget description
The goal of the "Boards Flow Metrics" widget is to provide a high-level overview of throughput on single or multiple boards per selected period of time. By default, the widget is set to group the data by weeks.
The widget displays metrics for the work items (cards and initiatives) in all areas on your boards. Besides providing statistics for the work items that have entered and left your process, the widget shows how many of the completed and unfinished work items have met their On-time criteria.
The default On-time criteria that the widget takes into consideration is the "Deadline" property of the items. If some of the items in your workflow have already missed their deadline criteria, the widget shows that too.
The widget allows further configuration of the following time-related properties:
- Cycle time is less than "X " days. Set it up in accordance with your use case. This setting is very useful for service-level agreement monitoring and determines whether time targets for resolution are met. The additional filter allows users to monitor work items that match certain criteria.
- Planned end - set it up if you apply the Timeline workflow to your process and need Timeline Initiatives monitoring. The Timeline Initiatives are considered On-time if their Planned end date has been met.
The Widget Legend:
- In - cards and initiatives that are created or moved to the "Requested" or "In Progress" areas for the selected date range**.
- Unfinished- cards and initiatives that are in the "Requested" or "In Progress" areas for the selected date range**.
- Unfinished Overdue
- Unfinished On-time
- Out - cards and initiatives that have been moved* to "Done" or the "Ready to Archive" areas for the selected date range**.
- Out Overdue
- Out On-time
*Note that cards that have been created directly in the "Done" or "Ready to Archive" areas will not be visualized on the widget.
**For example, if you have the date range set to 'this year' and you have the 'group by' setting set to months, it can be expected for a work item to appear in both the statistics for one month and for the following ones. Let's say a card is created in January, the current month is March, and the card is still not finished (it has not been moved to Done / Ready to Archive). It would be present in the In bar for January (as this was when it was created or moved to the board/workflow), but it will also be present in the Unfinished bar for both February and March, as it is not yet completed. Whether or not it will be in the Unfinished On-time or Unfinished Overdue part of the bar will depend on the on-time criteria.
The diagram bars are clickable and display the corresponding cards in a table format.
The value of In represents all cards that have become present in the "Requested" or "In Progress" area of the board, irrespective if they come from another board or have been created on that board. The timestamp is the first moment of creation/entry. The In metric does not count discarded cards or cards that are currently located in the Backlog.
- If a card has been created directly in the "In Progress" area, the In timestamp will be the same as the creation date.
- If a card comes from another board, the In timestamp will be the time when the card has been moved to the board.
A card is counted as Out when it’s moved to the "Done" or "Аrchive" area of the selected board(s). The timestamp is the last moment of entry.
- If we assume that the widget is set to display work items for "Board A" only and, for some reason, a card is moved to a different board, then the card will be counted as Out for "Board A".
The Blue "Cycle Time" curve
The widget visualizes the average cycle time for completed cards in the selected period of time.
The blue curve, which goes from left to right, represents the average cycle time and shows the trend over time. Measuring the average cycle time is a good foundation for future project estimates.
If the line goes down, then you are reducing your cycle time, which usually results in faster delivery.
If it goes up, you should check why things are taking longer than expected and eventually spot bottlenecks in your process.
3. How to add the "Boards Flow Metrics" widget?
Open a custom dashboard page of your choice and click on Add Widget (2) to open the "Widgets" dedicated panel.
Select the "Boards Flow Metrics" widget, and a configuration wizard will be started.
Once you complete your setup, the widget becomes available on your Dashboard.
4. How to configure the "Board Flow Metrics" widget?
The following guidance will help you understand the major steps involved in the widget configuration.
STEP 1: Select the boards that are to be used by the widget. It means that the widget will display cards and initiatives from the selected boards only.
Note: Once the widget is added, the list of boards can be edited from the widget menu.
STEP 2: General Settings
(1) Date Range:
Select the period you want to draw the chart for. The available values are as follows:
- Last 90 days - this is the default value.
- This week / Last week
- This month / Last month
- This quarter / Last quarter
- This year / Last year
- Last 30, 60, 90, 180, or 360 days
(2) Group by
Select the value you want to have on the chart X-axis. The available options are as follows:
- Weeks- this is the default value.
- The whole period - this would basically display the totals for the selected date range.
(3) Y-axis data
You have the option to select between "Card Count" and "Card Size".
- "Card Count" shows the number of items in your workflow that are in/out/on-time/overdue.
- "Card size" shows the cumulative size of items that are in/out/on-time/overdue.
(4) Add cards filter
It provides filtering functionality for cards to be included in the widget.
You can set up an additional filter for the cards and initiatives. The widget will display only those work items that match your refined criteria. For example, you can monitor cards that are processed on a certain swimlane or cards that have a specific "tag "value. Click on the "Add cards filter" link to customize your widget.
(5) Configure Working Days
You can configure the working days in the widget for more precise time measurement. By default, working days are set to Monday to Sunday, but you can change this to Monday to Friday or Sunday to Thursday.
(6) On-time criteria
By default, the widget takes into consideration the "Deadline" property and affects All cards and Initiatives in the selected boards. The widget shows how many of the Unfinished and completed items have met their deadline and how many did not make it before the deadline.
Click the "All cards and Initiatives" link if you want to apply an additional filter to the work items. It means that only cards that match the refined criteria will be affected.
STEP 3: The "On-Time" criteria configuration
You can further set up the "On-time criteria" (1) and specify the items that will be impacted /"Affected cards"/ (2).
Click the "Add On-Time Criteria" link to open the corresponding configuration panel.
The configurable properties are under Regular Fields and Custom fields.
You can select one or more time criteria of a type to add to the configuration panel.
- Regular fields: Cycle time, Deadline, Planned end.
- Custom Fields: If you have applied any time-related custom fields to your process, they will become available under "Custom fields". You can set them up in accordance with your use-case.
The panel will add your selections as shown in the image below.
- The "Cycle time" is less than "X " days. The widget takes into consideration the cycle time configuration for the selected board. By default, it affects All cards and Initiatives. Click the link if you want to apply an additional filter. It means that only cards that match the refined criteria will be affected.
Tip: In this context, the "Cycle time" criteria is used for service-level agreement monitoring. For example, it is appropriate to apply the cards filter and specify the "Expedite" swimlane to make sure that the time targets for resolution are met.
- The "Deadline" property is set by default and affects All cards and Initiatives.
- The "Planned End" property affects All Timeline Initiatives. Set it up if you apply the Timeline workflow to your process and need Timeline Initiatives monitoring. The Timeline Initiatives are considered On-time if their Planned end date has been met. Click the link if you want to apply an additional filter. It means that only Timeline initiatives that match the refined criteria will be affected.