Visualizing the Workflow Funnel: The Paradox of a Busy Yet Unproductive Team

The paradox of a busy but unproductive team is a common problem in project management. Despite being constantly busy, the team doesn't seem to be making much progress toward its goals. This can frustrate team members and project managers and significantly impact project success. This article will examine how visualizing the workflow funnel with the Time in Status app can help identify and solve this problem.

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Understanding the Workflow Funnel

A workflow funnel is a visual representation of the progression of tasks through different stages or statuses in your project's workflow. It provides a snapshot of the distribution of tasks across different statuses, from the initial "To Do" stage to the final "Done" stage. Visualizing the workflow funnel can give you valuable insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of your project's workflow.

For example, here's the usual diagram of issue transitions between statuses - the workflow structure - in Jira.

When you model it, making it convenient and logical is crucial. You should familiarize the entire team with its features and ensure they understand them. Transition conditions and statuses should be clear and precisely defined. 

If you don't organize the workflow properly, it's out of the question to adequately assess the team's performance, understand whether you have allocated resources correctly, etc. Therefore, pay great attention to this stage. 

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Identifying Time-Consuming Tasks

The Time in Status report in the Time in Status app lets you see how much time tasks are spent in each status. If you find that the team is spending a lot of time on tasks that are not directly contributing to project goals, it could be a sign that they are busy but not productive. By identifying these time-consuming tasks, you can take steps to streamline your workflow and improve team productivity.

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Monitoring Individual Performance

Using the Pivot table view, you can generate a report for each Assignee with the sum of hours in status and the number of tasks for a certain period of time (you can add other calculations - average, median, etc.). It allows you to monitor the performance of individual team members. If some team members are spending a lot of time on tasks but not making much progress, this suggests they are struggling with their workload or need additional support. By monitoring individual performance, you can identify areas where team members may require additional training or support.

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Analyzing Workflow Efficiency

The Average Time report in the Time in Status app provides insights into the average duration spent in different statuses. It calculates the average time spent in each status category, allowing users to identify patterns, bottlenecks, or areas for improvement in their workflow.

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Tracking Progress Over Time

The Status Entrance Date report shows when a Jira issue changed its status. The report will give you insight and illustrate the lifecycle of an individual issue. This information can help track your work's progress and identify any delays or bottlenecks in your workflow. You'll be able to see when the issue moved through different stages and understand whether the team is working dynamically and smoothly. Completing one task determines when the next task will go live or the project will be released. Therefore, having insights not only into Time in Status calculation is beneficial. It is also essential to understand the dates when the statuses change and to model the funnel workflow for yourself on a smaller time scale, for example, every week. 

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The Time in Status per Date report shows you the amount of time spent in different statuses over a certain period (daily, weekly, quarterly, etc.). You can assess how time spent in different statuses changes by performing a comparative analysis for several periods. If you see significant differences, you can analyze the scope of tasks for such an abnormal period and get insights into the correctness of resource allocation, whether the task estimate was correct, etc.
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The paradox of a busy yet unproductive team can be a challenging issue to address. However, by visualizing the workflow funnel using the Time in Status app in Jira, you can gain valuable insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of your project's workflow. By identifying time-consuming tasks, monitoring individual performance, analyzing workflow efficiency, tracking progress over time, and identifying bottlenecks, you can take steps to improve team productivity and achieve your project goals.

 

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Vronik April 3, 2024

Wow, very interesting and I have seen a new plugin that I did not know about, thank you very much for sharing and the information

Iryna Komarnitska_SaaSJet_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
April 3, 2024

Hi @Vronik ,

Thank you very much! I'm glad you found it interesting.

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