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I am trying to organize our projects in a way that is useful for project owners and their teams.

Our team is currently using multiple different platforms to oversee projects. The project owners use one platform, and programmers/QA use Jira. I'm trying to get Jira to the point where it's easy to keep tabs on projects from a high level, allowing them to delegate quickly, and identify bottlenecks/blockers based on what department's task(s) are blocked.

A big, BIG goal is having screens where people can filter for items assigned to them, and have a moderate level of detail available in the search screen's results (% complete, status, labels, etc.)

The hierarchy I'm imagining is pretty basic: 

1. Project (the actual project, always assigned to the project owner)

2. Epic - these will be departments; art department, QA, programming, etc. They will be assigned to the leads within each department.

3. Tasks - within each Epic (department), there will be tasks assigned to various people in each department

4. Sub-Tasks - within each Task, assigned appropriately within each dept.

This setup is pretty easy. I am running into difficulty in a few places: 

Problem 1: Creating search result views that will show varying levels of detail based on what level you're looking at, like if the project owner saw their project was 75% done, they could instantly see which area was being held up without having to open each epic (open to ideas of how this could be done, but I would think the project's status could update based on what was going on with the Epics - See Problem 2).

Problem 2: Completion dependencies - I have Epic A, with Tasks 1 and 2, and Tasks 1 and 2 have Sub-Tasks a, b, c, and d (each has their own set)

Task 2 is 100% complete.

Task 1's Sub-Tasks a, b, and c are complete. Sub-Task d is not complete, so Task 1 should show 75% complete.

(Stay with me...)

With Task 2 at 100% complete, and Task 1 at 75% complete, the Epic should show 88% complete. Right now, Epics do not reflect the completion of the sub-issues.

I can't figure out a way to configure a quick screen where a project owner could see this (back to Problem 1)

Any help would be phenomenal. Thanks!


2 answers

Hi @Sara Tiberio

Is each sub-task and task the same size? If you're running a more standard Agile environment - i.e flexible stories, flexible scope - I would consider if those percentages will work in your favour - as Sub-task D could be as large Sub-task's A, B and C put together.

The other thing to consider is what if the scope increases? I've found using percentages previously can cause confusion for managers if we're 90% complete and then we add 10 more issues, so it drops to 45%. I find visuals more powerful in that instance - such as burn-ups or CFDs.

To your visualisation issues - there's a few options here:

  • Consider Jira Portfolio - it's useful in instances like this to show estimates for completion, dependencies, blockers and expected releases. It'll be more of a one-shop view for your management.
  • Build Dashboards which visualise issues - you can have a dashboard which shows progress of Epics, Tasks, etc. As part of that though you could search for issues that are blocked (impediment flag) and visualise those in a list so PMs can find the exact issue quickly.
  • If you're looking for more powerful visualisations and drill-downs into your data - consider a BI Tool. That way you can extract or visualise your data in a more customised way.

But to some extent PMs will need to digest the data. Filtering for issues assigned to them / their team, showing the status of an Epic vs Tasks, completion, blockers, etc is all possible via a Dashboard or a Confluence page - but to understand the reasons or the amount of work will require more than just a visualisation.


0 votes
Jack Community Leader Sep 19, 2019

I would also suggest not using Epics in this way. I would suggest instead using Components.

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