In order for agile teams and product owners to efficiently deliver high quality software, frequently within a short timescale, it is important to track time against stories and tasks. When product owners are contributing to multiple projects and teams are adjusting time estimates throughout the project, learning more about the product and development speed, product owners need an overview with an accurate picture of the project workflow to drive optimisation. While some feel time tracking is a way to watch individuals performance there are key advantages when tracking time within agile project management:
1. Identify non-essential activities
Time is a limited resource so finding the time spent on non-essential activities and making sure these low priority tasks are estimated and assigned correctly so time is not wasted. On the other hand making sure high priority tasks are being resolved as quickly as possible.
2. Define and clarify your goals
By measuring progress, performance, estimates and strategic planning it allows individual teams to work towards business goals and objectives. Focusing on goals and success criteria for each product requirement can help planning and organisation transparency.
3. Tune and improve task estimates
Agile teams need to add estimations that accurately reflect each task or stories complexity. By tracking time against stories, teams can build up a historical reference points to drive more accurate estimations in the future.
4. Spot early warning signs
Project workflow and sprint delivery times are important factors for product owners and business executives. By tracking time against a projects workflow stages agile teams can spot early signs of bottlenecks monitoring cycle times and assessing how long tasks are waiting "in progress" or "QA" and why. This informs how long work is waiting for customers.
5. Manage Budgets
With accurate time tracking against tasks and stories it can be leveraged to convert time spent to costs and project these into the future to help manage budgets.
Operations tools such as JIRA or JIRA Service Desk often contain the most up to date and accurate picture of your organisation and as a core workflow and resource management product JIRA is plugged directly into how your team works. When combined with ServiceClarity this data can be leveraged to provide key insights and to drive optimisation.
Key metrics for agile project time tracking
- % Time on User Stories
- % Time on High Priority Stories
- % Time on High Priority Bugs
- % Time on Unplanned Activities
- Cycle times
- Work in progress
- Average lead time
- % of Senior Developer Time on High Priority Stories
- Remaining Story Points
- % Reopened Tickets
ServiceClarity for JIRA can provide business insights, higher efficiency, quality improvements and an improved workflow when analysing time tracking.
Use ServiceClarity to make sure that high priority tasks are being resolved as quickly as possible. Spot early warning signs of bottlenecks by monitoring cycle times, answering questions like: “How long is work waiting for customers?”, “How long are tasks waiting for QA?”. Use ServiceClarity burndown and throughput KPIs to track if work is arriving faster than your team can cope. ServiceClarity with JIRA can calculate your work in progress (WIP) as well as your work throughput and average lead time helping you to plan ahead, to refine predicted delivery dates and react to changing circumstances.
Signup to our 7-day ServiceClarity for JIRA free trial and start analysing your time today.