You can find more information about the Analytics module in the dedicated article.
1. Introduction to the WIP Run Chart
The WIP Run Chart displays data plotted over time and it helps find trends or patterns in the process.
The WIP Run Chart in Kanbanize helps you visualize how much work in progress your team is having overtime in the selected workflow (s).
- The "x" axis is a representation of the timeline
- The "y" axis is the actual number of the work items. This could be tasks, projects, or anything that you measure on the selected workflow.
2. How to set up the WIP Run Chart?
From the left side of the panel, you can control which data you can see on the chart within a predetermined time frame. First, you select the workflows that you want to analyze. The chart takes into consideration all cards from the selected workflows. Note that you can add single or multiple workflows.
Second, you need to select at least one of the following fields: "Created At", "Start Date" or "End Date" and configure their value.
Note: you can't run the analysis without selecting at least one of the 3 fields. You can also select more than one of them for a more precise configuration of the data.
In addition, you can apply extra filters (Add cards filter). For example, you may want to see only cards with high priority or cards that are of a certain type.
Hover on any of the blue dotes to see additional information for all "work in progress" items per day.
Additionally, if you hover on any of the Card IDs in the box, you will get details for the respective work item. If you click the card ID the system will open the card in a new tab.
The analytics use one calendar day as the lowest possible time unit.
For example: The card was created 30 minutes ago and was moved to "In progress". The system shows 1 day for this card.
The card was created late yesterday at 23:00 P.M. and you take a look at the chart in the morning at 9:00 A.M. (i.e. around 10 hours after the creation). The system will show 2 days as the card has been created yesterday and is still being worked on today.
The Calendar time unit is used for analytics due to the fact that most of the modern Kanban systems are driven by client requests. As such, clients expect exact delivery dates or ranges that are calendar-based. They do not care about holidays, working hours, man-days, cycle, and lead times.
In case that you need precise cycle and log times for internal reporting, use the Advanced search capabilities with the different chart views and widgets.
3. What's this chart telling us?
The run chart for the work in progress is similar to the throughput run chart and they might be interpreted together.
One of the main Kanban principles is limiting the work in progress to restrict the maximum amount of work items in different stages. The WIP limits encourage the culture of "done" and improve performance (throughput). Implementing WIP limits in your Kanban system ensures that your team will keep an optimal pace of work without exceeding its own capacity.
The WIP run chart visualizes whether teams are accumulating more "work in progress" items overtime or not. Having a WIP trend that is going down is a good indicator in case you have the same throughput in your system. Lower WIP means lower cycle time, which means that your team is getting faster.
On the other side, it might be a signal that the team isn't pulling new work. There are plenty of reasons that might cause this: team members on vacation, holidays, tasks in progress that are too complex and need more time to be completed, etc.
In case that the WIP trend is going up, you need to make sure that the big number of work items that are in progress is matching the team capacity and team members are not overburdened.
Make sure that there aren't any blockers and people do not switch the work context.
4. Controls for this chart - customize your view
You can use the controls to add some additional properties to the Throughput Run chart as well as to apply additional filters. Please, check the short video below.
- Throughput trend - show average interval to easily follow trends and patterns. You can apply the percentiles in order to get the probabilistic view.
- Cursor - you can use the cursor options to display dates, daily WIP, or both of the current position of your mouse pointer.
- Layout - show/hide data control that allows you to zoom in and out of a specific interval within the selected time frame.
- Item Filter - allows you to further refine the data that you want to be displayed on the Heat Map.
- Workflow Stages - deselect the columns in your workflow that you do not want to be included in the chart.