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Recover Lost Time with Time in Status: Managing Blocked Tasks

No matter what you track with Jira issues, encountering blocks is inevitable for all. Tasks can be blocked while waiting for external teams, subcontractors, vendors, purchases, or even other tasks, thus disrupting workflow and productivity. It is the responsibility of managers, whether they are Project Managers, Department Managers, or Team Leaders, to carefully monitor and resolve these roadblocks to ensure that their teams are working efficiently. 

Efficiency and process improvement are important keywords in this respect, emphasizing the need to identify and resolve blocked tasks quickly.

Utilizing Jira's capabilities, workflows can be configured to effectively flag and manage these obstacles. 😎

What you can do with out-of-the-box Jira❓

The first step to identifying lost lime is introducing a 'Blocked' status, which serves as a 🚩 red-flag 🚩 requiring manager attention. When the task represented by an issue is blocked, the assigned user moves the issue to "Blocked" status and managers always keep an eye on Blocked issues across the board.

To minimize time lost to Blocked issues, managers would like to take action as soon as a task is blocked. Serving this purpose, managers can improve their monitoring by creating customized Jira filters to isolate and prioritize blocked issues across projects and teams. For a manager who is responsible for hypothetical Jira projects ABC and DEF, a JQL filter like "project in (ABC, DEF) and status = Blocked" will list all the Blocked issues that the manager needs to keep an eye on.


Dashboard gadgets configured with these filters will provide managers with quick and easy access to critical information. Even better, configuring filter subscriptions ensures that managers receive timely notifications, preventing potential delays or oversights.


Looking at the big picture, managers should try (maybe not always to resolve but) to respond to Blocked tasks as soon as possible. This is to ensure that your users know that the quickest way to get attention for a blockage is to move the task to Blocked status. This approach reduces the need for excessive communication channels, such as emails and phone calls, streamlining workflows and optimizing resource allocation. It also creates a collaborative environment where team members feel empowered to escalate concerns, fostering a culture of accountability and efficiency. 

A second improvement can be introducing a SelectList custom field named "Block Reason". This field will store the answer to the question: Why is this task blocked? The options for this field might be Customer, Vendor, Procurement, Hardware, Software, or whatever block reasons are appropriate for your process. Configure your workflow so that the user selects a Block Reason while moving the issue to Blocked status and make sure the Block Reason field is cleared when the issue moves away from the Blocked status. Now your managers can see blocked issues and why they are blocked.


A simple way to analyze 

In this endeavor, the focus quickly shifts to long-term improvements by calculating the total time lost to blockages, identifying root causes, and eliminating them. This is where Time in Status by OBSS steps in as a critical tool, offering a unique level of insight and analysis with ready-to-use reports. 

The best questions to ask, the best answers to get 🏆

🌟How long was each issue blocked?

Let's start simple: To see the amount of time spent on the Blocked status for each issue, the Status Duration report of Time in Status can be used. Using this report, you can sort or filter issues based on Blocked time to pinpoint the issues that lost the most time due to blockages.


🌟Who was blocked during that time?

OK, I can see blocked times but which users were blocked and for how long? For this, the Assignee Duration report of Time in Status can be used. This report will show the same Blocked times and broken down to assignees. (The report below is filtered to show only the time spent on Blocked status.)


🌟How much time did we lose in total?

Blocked time is wait time and waiting is a cost for you. To see the total cost, you'll want to see the total time lost to blockages. For this , Status Duration or Assignee Duration reports can be used in aggregation mode. By choosing Sum of All values option from the Report Options, the total time spent on Blocked statuses can be found. 


🌟What was the cause of those blockages?

Now some next-level analysis. We know how much total time we lost but what were the reasons? What were we waiting for?

For this, use the super-advanced Any Field Duration report of Time in Status with the Block Reason custom field as the History Field.


🌟How much time did I lose in total due to each block reason?

Once again, utilize the Any Field Duration report described above but this time configure it as a Sum report (by choosing Sum of All values option from the Report Options). This will provide an aggregated view of the time lost across all blocked issues.



For a deeper analysis, the Assignee field can also be added as a second History Field. This will help drill down and determine the total time each user lost for each block reason. 


🌟What is the trend of the time lost to blocks?

Here is "crème de la crème".

You've found how much time you lost in total for each block reason. But are things going for the better or the worse? You need to see the trend.

Once again, use the Any Field Duration report and configure it as Sum or Average report. However, this time, select a date field (Created Date, Updated Date etc.) as the GroupBy field. Now the report will group the issues by the selected date and display block times for each group. You can now see if things are getting better or worse, month-to-month, week-to-week, even day-to-day.

In the report below you'll see that the blockages waiting for Infrastructure are getting worse, blockages waiting for Procurement are getting better and there is not much change for Vendors.



Jira offers some out-of-the-box capabilities for tracking blockages on issues across the organization and Time in Status by OBSS shines as an essential tool for deeper analysis and process improvement. Managers can use its comprehensive reports and analytics to identify blockages, track trends, and drive process improvements effectively. 🏆

Time in Status by OBSS uses your Jira issue histories to produce its reports. It doesn't require any modification to your existing issue or workflow configuration. Time in Status reports themselves are just ready-to-go reports that can be configured with just a few clicks. 

The app is available for both Jira Data Center and Jira Cloud. It is free for up to 10 users on Cloud and it also offers a 30-day free trial for those who want to experience its benefits. 🎉

If you have more questions, you can reach OBSS support team at or you can schedule a live demo for a personalized showcase of the app.

Don't let your precious time get lost. Discover and recover lost time using Time in Status by OBSS. 💯



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