Analyze release progress and quality

Use an assortment of tools to track the release progress and quality.

View epic and feature timelines

The Grid Timeline view displays features and epics in a Gantt chart. Visual representation of the item phases helps you analyze the current release by identifying:

  • Long phases that may imply delays or bottlenecks.
  • Phase slowdown in relation to its average phase time.
  • Repeated phases that may imply rework.
  • Waste time that may imply waiting, unnecessary motions, overprocessing, or any other waste defined by your process team.

The Grid Timeline view is available in the epic and feature grids. To view the timeline in a Gantt chart, on the Features or Epics tabs, select Grid Timeline View . For details, see View types.

In this section:

Timeline bars

In the Grid Timeline view, the bars represent features or epics in different phases between the New and Done metaphases. The New and Done metaphases are not represented in the timeline.

Tip: Hover over a section of the bar, marked with a certain color, to view an item's details, such as a phase the color represents, the phase start and end date, waste time, as well as the item's phase time.

Timeline bars are constructed as follows:

Bars Details
Color

The bar colors represent an item's different phases between the New and Done metaphases. The colors depend on an item's workflow configuration, and may be different for feature and epic phases.

If an item's phase is repeated, the phase bar is marked with diagonal stripes additionally to the phase color.

Tip: Check the legend in the lower-right corner for phase-specific color representations.

Red line for waste

Available in: ValueEdge and ALM Octane 16.0.400 and later

If waste tracking for features and epics is configured, the waste time is represented by a red line under the item bars whose phases are associated with waste. For details, see Measure waste.

Slow phase

Available in: ValueEdge

The Slow phase  icon on the timeline bar indicates that an item's phase has lasted more than expected.

The phase slowdown value is based on the average phase time for work items that were done in previous releases. For example, if an item remains in the same phase for more than 100% of the phase average time, ALM Octane will display a Slow phase icon in the timeline.

Note:

  • Your admin can change the default threshold by modifying the PHASE_SLOW_DOWN_THRESHOLD_PERCENT parameter. For details, see Configuration parameters.
  • The phase slowdown is not calculated if the analytics does not have enough data to provide the insights.

Hover over the section of the bar marked as Slow phase to view the percentage of phase slowdown above the average item's phase time.

Position and length

The bars' position represents the following:

Start point: The date on which an item moved into a starting phase of the In Progress metaphase, for example phase Functional Design.

End point: The date on which an item moved into a starting phase of the Done metaphase.

The bar's length is determined by the time an item spent in all the phases between the New and Done metaphases.

Note: The timeline displays the calendar start and end dates, while the Cycle time and Waste fields exclude the non-working days.

The legend

The timeline legend provides colors that represent an item's phases between the New and Done metaphases, and includes the red line that represents waste.

The legend colors reflect phases configured for the item workflow, and may be different for features and epics.

Note: In the features timeline, the legend relates to features only. If features are grouped by epics:

  • Hover over an epic's bar in the timeline to view the epic's phase or other details.
  • Expand an epic to view the bars for its features in the timeline.

Milestones and the current date

Milestones and the current date are displayed as vertical lines along the timeline.

Vertical line type Represents
Vertical blue line The current date.
Dotted vertical line

Milestone.

The milestone types are distinguished by the diamonds at the top of the lines:

  • A solid diamond represents a release milestone.
  • Overlapping solid diamonds represent multiple milestones with the same date.
  • An outlined diamond represents a shared milestone.

Hover over the lines to display the milestone details.

Note: By default, the features and epics timeline displays only items that are related to a specific release. To show all the items, click Show also indirect features at the bottom right of the pane. To revert to the original view, click Show only direct features. For details, see Relations and dependencies.

Timeline actions

You can perform the following actions in the timeline area:

Action Method
Zoom in or out of timescale

Timescale slider or Ctrl + mouse wheel

Display item details, such as phase, start and end date, cycle time, and waste (if configured) Hover over the timeline bar
Display milestone details Hover over a milestone line

If you are using a touchpad:

Action Method
Zoom in or out of timescale Ctrl + two-finger scroll
Scroll along the timeline Shift + two-finger scroll

Timeline limitation

The timeline view is not supported on the Safari browser.

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Track progress

You can use the hover over and summary widgets to view the entity or team progress.

  • Hover over the Progress column in either the Grid or Smart List views. ALM Octane shows the progress for Epics and Features by story points, and for Backlog Items in hours.

  • Track your team's progress in the summary section of the Team Backlog module.

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Measure waste

Available in versions: 16.0.200 and later

ALM Octane helps you track waste time for features and epics, and analyze the scope of waste per work item, release, or team.

Waste tracking is based on a work item's phases or on specific conditions associated with waste. Depending on an item's phase or condition, the business rule associates the item with a specific category from the Waste category list. ALM Octane then decides whether to track waste based on the waste category.

Note: Waste time of an epic is not an aggregation of its features' waste time. In certain cases, an epic may not have waste, unlike features in that epic.

Prerequisites

To be able to track waste, ensure that your admin has defined the following:

  • Waste categories
  • Business rules that associate items with waste categories

For details, see Waste management - admin tasks.

Analyze waste

ALM Octane helps you analyze waste with the help of the following views:

Views Details
Grid view

In the Grid view for features or epics, you can add specific columns to analyze waste. For details, see Waste fields.

Timeline view

In the Gantt chart for features or epics, the waste time is displayed as a red line under the item timeline bars. If an item moves between phases that are not associated with waste categories, a break in the red line is displayed.

Dashboard widgets

In the dashboard, you can add a custom summary widget and configure it to display:

  • Work items waste time across releases
  • Work items waste time per team or category

Available in: ValueEdge

You can also use the following widgets from the Value stream management category:

  • Flow efficiency - waste time across releases
  • Waste time grouped by waste category across releases

For details, see Dashboard widgets: VSM category.

Note: In the widget, a work item can be listed under different categories if it has waste associated with those categories.

Waste fields

The following fields are available for features and epics to help you track and analyze waste. You can include the fields in the document view or add them to the grids.

Field Description
Cycle time

Displays the total time spent on an item in days. Use the data in this column to consider an item's waste time in relation to the item's overall cycle time.

An item's cycle time is calculated as follows:

  • By default, time calculation starts when an item moves to the In Progress metaphase. If the item is in the New metaphase, the time displayed is 0.
  • If an item moves back to metaphase New after being In Progress for some time, the overall time spent in the New phase is excluded from the item cycle time.
  • Non-working days are excluded from the cycle time calculation.

For details, see Determine the cycle time.

Waste category

Displays the category defined in the Waste category list. The category displayed depends on an item's current phase and whether the item meets the condition of a relevant business rule:

  • If an item's phase is associated with a certain waste category, specified in the business rule, the waste category is displayed.
  • If an item's phase is not associated with any waste category, the default category of None is displayed.

Note: The waste category is automatically updated every time an item is saved.

Waste

Displays the time an item spent in a phase associated with a current waste category, as specified in the business rule condition.

Non-working days are excluded from the waste calculation.

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Planning buckets

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Overview tab widgets

The Backlog module's Overview tab provides a set of widgets that allow you to monitor progress and quality aspects of the release.

Use the default set of widgets, or select other widgets from the Widget Gallery. You can also design your own customized widgets. For more details, see ALM Octane dashboard.

The scope of the widgets in the Overview tab is set by the context filters at the top of the page, and by the epic or feature selected in the Backlog tree.

Further filter the widget data using the Filter categories in the right pane.

The Runs in Release and Runs in Milestone filters in the right pane impact only test and test run widgets.

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Release forecast widget

You can view your release's forecasted progress by adding the Release forecast widget to your Dashboard. The widget displays a line with the forecasted progress of user stories or defects through the end of the selected release.

The widget also includes details on the release, including finished story points and expected completion. For details, see Dashboard widgets: general.

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