Don’t Miss Delivery Dates with Jira Version Reports

Jira Version Reports

Many people don’t know about Jira Version Reports, and even if they do, they might not have realized just how valuable they are (or how to make them valuable). And yet, Jira Version Reports (sometimes called Jira Fix Version Reports) are fantastic for tracking a Scrum team’s progress on a version and understanding what the delivery timeline is likely to look like. They’re particularly useful for product owners, project or program managers, and stakeholders.

This article reveals how the Jira Version Report provides excellent visibility of your delivery timeline so that you can manage risk, identify uncertainty, and find ways of staying on track. It also includes tips for how to get the best out of the report.

What is the Jira Version Report?

The Jira Version Report shows your team’s progress towards the completion of a version. It also gives you a predicted release date based on your team’s average rate of progress (their velocity) since starting the version, and the amount of estimated work that remains. 

The grey area

The grey area shows the scope of estimated issues to be remedied, and any change in the size of the grey area indicates that the scope of the work has changed.

The blue line

The blue line shows the progress made by demonstrating how many story points are being completed over a set period of time. The slope of the line is based on the team’s average daily velocity.

Where the blue line hits the top of the grey area gives you the predicted release date, i.e. the date on which you can expect all the issues in the version to have been fixed/completed. This is based on your average daily velocity and the amount of estimated work remaining.

The shaded blue areas

The shaded areas straddling the blue line give you the predicted release date range, aka the best-to-worst case scenario for the release date. The shaded area to the left of the blue line gives you the earliest date by which you might expect completion of the version (the optimistic date). The area to the right of the blue line gives you the latest date by which you might expect completion of the version (the pessimistic date). 

The red line

The red line shows you what percentage of issues are unestimated. Since the predicted release date and date range are based in part on the estimated work remaining, ideally you want most of your issues to be estimated. That would make the red line low. If the red line is low, it means you can have a decent amount of confidence in the predicted dates. But if the red line is high, meaning lots of your issues are unestimated, then the date range might paint a less accurate or realistic picture of what’s happening. 

Keep on Top of Estimates and Keep Jira Statuses Up-to-Date

The Jira Version Report requires the use of the fix version field and, if you want to get real value from the report, most of the issues to be remedied need to be estimated. In other words, that red line of unestimated issues should be low. The more of the fix version you have estimated the better because this will allow you to have more confidence in the predicted release dates.  

You want to make sure you keep your current statuses up to date, too, as this is what’s driving the daily velocity and the slope of your blue line. So, if a piece of work is done, put it in ‘Done’. Teams that are somewhat lax about moving things through the workflow are going to find the Jira Version Report less valuable. 

What’s great about the Jira Version Report?

The Jira Version Report gives you an instant view of potential release dates as well as any changes in scope on a particular version. It gives you a better sense of the risk in your delivery timeline, which a lot of reports don’t. It also lets you know what your uncertainty is and allows you to measure it. Specifically, as you get more and more issues estimated and your team’s velocity towards the fix version stabilizes, the blue shaded range will start to narrow, indicating an increase in certainty about the release date. 

Most importantly, the Jira Version Report is great for prompting conversations about your delivery timeline early rather than late, when you’re about to miss your delivery date. It’s always better to know in June if you’re going to miss your August delivery date than in August. It means you can decide at that point whether there’s still a way to stay on track, e.g. by decreasing scope or by increasing your team capacity. Equally, your conversations might be about the fact that you’re set to deliver early and whether to add scope.

In conclusion, the Jira Version Report is a super-useful tool for predicting when a release will be ready, for checking how a team is progressing, and for triggering discussions about how to make that progress more fruitful.

How to Use Reports in Jira – the Basics

Reports-for-Jira-Basics

Reports in Jira help everyone analyze the progress of a project, track issues, and manage time and sprints. Provided you are using Jira to manage your projects, reporting is something you will do every day. However, for someone using Jira for the first time, things can get a little complicated. Finding your way around with reports can be painstakingly challenging and time-consuming. 

Jira simplifies projects by streamlining team activities, and highlighting useful snapshots around dashboards. Through Jira, teams perform tasks in sprints or scrums. Most importantly, reporting on progress helps teams to continuously evaluate performance. The ability to zoom in and drill down on important issues is the key to using Jira productively. This post will guide you on how to use reports in Jira but first, let’s explore why the basics of Jira project reporting is crucial. 

There are different types of issues and projects that Jira administrators can create, assign, and manage within Jira. They include Kanban software development, project management, task management, process management, Scrum software development, and basic software development.

Types of Reports in Jira

Jira helps manage projects but also is an issue tracking tool, so creating reports forms an integral part of everything you do with it. The more Jira projects/issues you create, the more reports you will need. 

In Jira, there are four main types of reports:

1.) Jira Agile Boards

2.) Forecast & management

3.) Issue analysis

4.) The others.

Between these four, there are all kinds of reports to be made:

  • Time tracking reports.
  • Scrum project reports.
  • Kanban project reports. 
  • Pie Chart Reports.
  • Created vs. resolved issue reports.
  • Version workload reports.
  • Version time tracking reports.

Using Reports in Jira – the Basics

These reports help project managers allocate and analyze the utilization of sources assigned to teams. For example, budget allocation and usage tracking within Jira ensure productivity and effective resource utilization.  So the first step to using reports in Jira is learning how to generate one.

Steps to Generating and Accessing Reports in Jira

To generate a report in Jira, navigate to your Kanban, or Scrum board. Next, click ‘reports’ to view the last one you created. If you want to view all or a different report, click ‘switch reports’. Note that in the first instance, you can only view reports from agile development projects.  Upon clicking ‘switch reports’ on the agile board, you will see reports such as a burndown chart, control chart, Jira velocity charts, cumulative flow diagram, and sprint report.

Provided you have an ongoing project, you can access reports easily with a few clicks. Navigate to the specific project, and locate the menu for projects between dashboards and issues at the top.

Basic Features of Jira Reports

To use Jira reports effectively, you should understand what each report is showing, as well as the features of each report generated

The following are the main reports you can access and use in Jira:

Agile Reports in Jira

Burn-down charts tracks the quantity of pending work and the efficiency of each sprint. A sprint chart is another agile report, tracking completed tasks and feature backlog. Other features include cumulative flow diagrams, velocity charts, version reports, epic reports, control charts, release burn down, and epic burndown charts.

Forecast and Management Reports in Jira

Forecast and management reports include time tracking reports, version workload reports, and user workload reports. You will note that the forecast and management reports detail time estimates for every assigned issue.

Jira Issue Analysis Reports

Issue analysis reports give an average age report that shows the duration of unresolved issues. Another feature of this report is a pie chart report that groups projects based on specialization. Analysis reports include resolution time reports, created vs. resolved issue reports, reports on recently created issues, and reports on time since an issue was assigned.

The Bottom Line

The usefulness of reports in Jira boils down to understanding when, why and how to create Jira Reports. Jira admins and project managers can, therefore, proceed to implement necessary changes based on issues identified in the reports generated from different boards and Jira Dashboards.

Jira Agile Boards: Why and How to Create Swimlanes.

Jira Swimlane Agile Project

In a conversation my wife overheard yesterday she heard me mention ‘swimlanes’ which led her to excitedly expect that we were going to the leisure centre this weekend.  Of course as each year passes we have a tendency as a species to reuse and reapportion the meaning of words into new and fancy things. Apparently back in the annals of time the word ‘Nice’ meant ‘Silly , foolish , simple’ and the word ‘Silly’ originally meant ‘to be worthy or blessed’.  Luckily for us and our Jira musings the concept of swimlanes is very similar in use to that most of us grew up with albeit in a slightly different context.

To put it simply, ‘Swimlanes’ are normally used to separate your project ‘to-do’ lists into ordered, actionable and easily identifiable ‘faster /more important’ sections often by individual users or project areas.  They are a clever and query driven way of producing dynamic lists with a logical workflow and, significantly, are a visual way of seeing the health of a project and any outstanding blockages that need rapidly addressing.  Hitherto in most definitions this is a ‘view’ of a Kanban board and is not dissimilar to physical board forms used throughout many Agile organisations in the world. There are advantages and disadvantages of using virtual boards using swimlanes over physical boards but that is for another time.

If you choose to have such a project or set of tasks with a Kanban and swimlane approach then Jira has most bases covered. Once you have a project in mind then there are a number of key decisions that the project needs to make before creating the swimlanes on a board. (blog for further info on Visualizing Work with Jira Kanban Boards).

Get your Jira Workflow Right

It may sound obvious, but without an appropriate workflow, swimlanes are not very powerful and possibly very unusable. When you set up a project there are a number of basic workflows out of the box which you could choose but it is often better to start with fundamentals and draw your own workflow on a piece of paper before mapping it into Jira . The number of times I’ve scribbled down and modified what I was trying to do in a meeting has saved me time in the long run  – the measure twice and cut once still applies at a rudimentary ‘tech’ level! Most workflows have similar concepts such as a starting state, an end state, and one or multiple loops in the middle, but it is key for you to choose what is right for you based on what statuses you plan on reporting on, or are wanting to see.

… that includes State Transformations

So many times I have been called to look at a Jira Kanban board that cards cannot be moved on screen as they are not ‘in the right state’.

TIP:  Before you start to create your swimlanes ensure that each item can be dragged freely from one status to another within your on screen/project modelling.

Which Workflow Statuses to Report on the Jira Dashboard?

A workflow in simplest terms might have a simple three-part model with a beginning, middle, and end but this would be rare. It is more common to have many more statuses that you could group on a singular board. Jira provides the opportunity to merge multiple workflow statuses into the same columns and relabel columns in any way that suits you so you are able to have a useful board setup quickly, e.g. when presenting ‘test’ and ‘retest’ in the same column on the board to reduce space under some mapping, which is very useful when creating a board with swimlanes on it.

What Type of Jira Swimlanes Should I Use?

Jira comes with six distinct options for swimlanes each with differing purposes and uses…

Base Jira Swimlanes on Queries, Stories, Assignees, Epics, or Jira Projects

Story (or Jira Epic) Swimlanes

As you would envisage selecting to create Story or Epic related swimlanes will simply present the stories or epics in the project and in what current status they are in. There will be other information on the cards but it is a standard view of seeing the state of a project and very much looks like a traditional Kanban board.

Jira Issue Assignee Swimlanes

Selecting this option simply shows a person by person view of what work is assigned to them which might be useful for a quick view on workload at scrum master level or to see what reliance a project has on an individual e.g. if they were ill/unable to work for a period of time.

“For smaller teams, we actually prefer to do quick filters for each assignee.
On the kanban for our waterfall teams who are executing a project plan, I see a lot of value in using swimlane by query to dedicate a swimlane to critical path and another to behind target.”

Patty Land, Project Management Consultant, PwC

Jira Project Swimlanes

If reporting on multiple projects (or sub-sections of projects) then this option will allow you to see the status of each in a way so you can see what is happening from a very global perspective …. perfect for the Big-Picture megalomaniac amongst us all!

None

This option simply applies no filtering to a board and is not something I would often use but is probably useful at getting to grips with vanilla Jira Kanban boards.

Jira Query

Here’s the thing… I use query-driven swimlanes almost all the time.  You have full control, can add new queries at any time and can adjust what is seen on the screen to help present the information you are trying to show.  With the query-based approach you can create swimlanes for each of the other types described by simply writing appropriate JQL. I tend to write query-based swimlanes for each member, or team, in the project(s) and also like to have a priority-driven view i.e. highest at the top. This can be defined in the appropriate JQL and then dragging the ‘Name’ column into a relevant order on screen.

Reorder Jira Swimlane Priority

TIP:  Swimlanes can use any valid JQL so different lanes shown on the same report don’t even need to relate to each other but simply show a grid view of how a query models against a workflow

The configuration options and uses are endless here. When you suddenly have one of those meetings with ‘The Boss’ who suddenly determines that an issue you deemed insignificant has to be fixed for a big demo coming up… but don’t want to change the priority.

By utilizing a label and adding a new swimlane at the top of your settings then this and other tagged issues will suddenly be the prime focus of the next catchup meeting and can be dealt with accordingly.

JQL Jira Swimlanes Sort by Priority
Jira Board Best Practice Swimlanes

TIP:  Jira will allow as many boards as you want so you don’t ever have to stick with one view. Why not have a swimlane board dedicated to priorities and one dedicated to individual workload? The options are endless….

Conclusion

Jira Swimlanes are a fantastic way of presenting information for individuals and teams. With minimal JQL knowledge, you can create Agile Project boards within Jira containing items that you want showing and in the order you wish them to be displayed. You can hide items you don’t want displaying and use such organized boards to drive an agenda for any meeting that updates dynamically in real-time as the meeting progresses. Jira swimlanes can also be used in conjunction with quick-filters, card layout and details, and other board features to present a perfect view of your project for your audience.

Exporting Jira Data to Excel or Google Sheets

Learn how to get all of your Jira issues into Excel and Google Sheets with just a simple click.

Numerous teams all over the world use Jira and part of what makes it an amazing platform is its ability to help teams create reports.  A lot of users have been giving feedback that they want to create a custom report, which is why Jira has created a feature to help users build more customer reports for their stakeholders. Users are now able to get their Jira data into google sheets so that you can customize it more depending on your needs. You can create pivot tables and charts and relay your analysis to the stakeholders.

Why do you need spreadsheets?

When you’re working for a company or a team, team meetings are often. In daily check-ins or weekly reviews, reports are necessary to give updates and to show everyone or the stakeholders where they are in development. When generating reports, teams most likely have data that they generate or created manually based on their methods. Excel and Google Sheets are the most widely used tools for data gathering. Jira Software recognizes that it is critical to give users the ability to build their reports which is why this feature to get Jira data imported to Excel and Google Sheets exists.

Getting Started Exporting Jira to Excel

Go to your Jira project. Go to the Issues panel and Your screen should look quite similar to this.

Jira Software Advanced Search

Click on any issues that you want, depending on what data you need. Next, click “Advanced Search”, if you have Jira Software open it will be located on the top right of the screen.

When done, you’ll notice that the main panel changed and that more icons appear in the top right corner of the screen.

Advanced search in Jira Software now allows you to export, share, or automatically link your issues to Google spreadsheet or Excel. For this example, we will be generating a report from a Jira data to google spreadsheet. 

Generating a Jira Report in Google Sheets

After following the previous steps, you can just easily click the Google spreadsheet icon then allow Jira to connect to your google account. It’s that easy!  After allowing both software to connect, your Jira data will be imported to the spreadsheet.

Jira Cloud for Google Sheets integration

If you’re wondering why there’s a button saying “Install now” in the top portion of your sheet. That’s because Google has an add-on app that allows you to do more than import your Jira data to a spreadsheet. Clicking “Install now” should take you to the GSuite Marketplace.

There, click install, and you’re done.

Jira Cloud for Sheets

What’s the benefit of this add-on? Previously reports had to be manually updated, and users had to update the Jira board to rebuild the reports. This process takes time, so to help users, this add-on allows you to schedule an update so that reports are automaticaly updated.

To schedule the update, click on “Add-ons”, select “Jira Cloud for sheets” then click “Open.”
This opens the Jira Integration directly within the spreadsheet.

Jira Cloud Data Exported to Google Sheets
Jira Cloud for Google Sheets

The Jira integration should open up in the right-side panel of the screen. Click “Get issues from Jira” then navigate to the “Schedule data refresh”. Now you can select how often you want your update.

Now, if you’re running daily standups or weekly reviews out of Microsoft Excel, or Google Sheets, you can rest assured that your data is always up-to-date. You can build or own reports, or even import your formulas to give more comprehensive and detailed presentations.

Can We Integrate Jira Data with Excel?

Excel may be more popular than Google Sheets, and thankfully Jira has you covered, with an app that integrates with Microsoft Excel. To enable this feature in Excel, simply click “Insert” in the navigation bar then select “Add-ins”. This will take you to the Microsoft Office Add-ins store. Search for “Jira Cloud for Excel” and the first result should be the integration app. Now you can start creating your reports on Jira data from within Excel as well.

Jira Cloud for Excel Atlassian Marketplace addon

Excelling with Jira Reporting. Why Give a Sheet?

Documentation and reports are essential to project management. This is why Confluence and Jira exist. So why does Jira need to integrate with Excel and Google spreadsheets? The answer is to maximize productivity. When gathering data; experts and analysts use spreadsheet software to interpret, manipulate, and organize data. These experts might not be familiar with the Jira environment.

The best report is the one everyone can access, and the best tool for the job is the one everyone can use. Failure to let people use the tools they know how impairs process, and breed bad data practices.

The ability to export to Excel helps everyone do their work without adjusting to an unfamiliar platform or tool. It also helps less technical people combine data from multiple sources.

Jira Software offers simple yet powerful tools that enable users to maximize their productivity. Although Developers and Administrators are well versed in the Jira Ecosystem, features such as this show that non-developers can also experience and benefit from the Atlassian environment.

Thoughts from the Atlassian Community:

“There are great use cases for easy export, like a shared multi-client environment where single engagements come to an end and they will no longer have access to the environment, but still need an export of their data. It would sure be nice if built-in Jira reports like requirements traceability were also exportable for this purpose. Thinking about exports as a barrier to full adoption of the tool is valid, but the functionality is a necessity nonetheless.

Patty Land, Project Management Consultant, PwC

“Sad but true. A lot of users love the metrics but revert back to the systems most familiar. I encountered in training employees to JIRA with a bit of encouragement utilizing the charts and tables available in JIRA combined with verbal presentations sold it to new users.”

Liz Bowman: Change Management Training Specialist at Johnson & Johnson

“Still a good hack to know since many, especially higher management, prefer to use sheets/excel”

Andrey Stukan, Technology Consultant, Accenture

Export Jira Reports To Share Externally

Jira dashboards are great for viewing live data, but what about when you want to share it with others, or add it to the management PowerPoint presentation each month?

Sir Thomas McHarrington reports on the future of the technology. Follow him lest you be a Luddite!

Out of the box, to export Jira reports: take a screenshot.

But with Custom Charts for Jira you have a number of options available:

  1. Take a screenshot (as is true for any app!)
  2. Export to PNG
  3. Export to PDF
  4. Export to CSV

Deciding which type of export you want, depends on how you’re going to use the data. Here is a breakdown of each type of export and when it’s best used.

Take a screenshot of Jira

Simple, effective, and it gets the job done. It’s like the printing press, for your computer! The Luddites knew what they were doing, a retro approach to an age old problem:

  1. Find your camera
  2. Take the screenshot
  3. Crop the image
  4. Save the image
  5. Send the image
  6. Take an early lunch
Takes a screenshot of Jira Dashboards

There must be a better way, can’t we just skip straight to step 5? Behold the Future of Technology!

Export Jira Charts to a PNG Image

Directly export your Jira Reports to an image in PNG (a lossless image format) in a single click. Through the magic of modern technology your image will be instantly available in your browser downloads folder, no development time needed! Get a consistent export every time, what you see is what you get.

Export Jira to PNG image file.

Export Jira Reports to PDF

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and there’s nothing more portable than a directly downloaded PDF of your Jira reports. Impress your friends, colleagues and co-workers with this virtual paper marvel, so realistic you could reach out and touch it!

Export Jira to PDF

Export Jira data to a CSV file

But now for something more serious. Your company wasn’t built on flashy graphics and upwards trending reports, it’s cold hard facts that give you the edge! Don’t hide your numbers behind beautiful, intuitive colored charts when you can export the values directly to CSV, right from your dashboard!

The days of thinking “I wish I could build this same report, but in Excel” are finally over with Export to CSV from Custom Charts for Jira Reports.

CSV exports are also a great way to take a snapshot of a moment in time, so you can recreate any chart in the future. Put away your chisels and stone tablets, the future of lasting data storage has arrived!

Export Jira to Excel. Export Jira to CSV file.

Try the Custom Charts for Jira Reporting playground, to see how it works!

Why are Jira Dashboards Useful?

When you open up Jira, the Jira Dashboard is the first thing you see. That’s why making sure it displays the information most relevant and useful to your day-to-day operations can help keep teams focused, motivated and efficient.  

The following is a simple guide to making useful Jira Dashboards for those new or relatively new to Jira Software. It also offers tips and tricks for how to get the most out of them.

A successfully growing organization will have an expanding volume of projects, and programs, many of which will be launched in parallel. This makes it vital to have a Interactive Jira Dashboards that put all the information you need in one place.

What are Jira Dashboards?

Your Jira Dashboard appears on your home screen when you log in to Jira. It’s your at-a-glance picture of what’s going on across all of your projects without having to click on one or open an email.

A Jira Dashboard displays blocks called gadgets. Each gadget provides dynamic and very visual summaries of Jira project and issue data. Jira comes with a set of standard, pre-installed gadgets out of the box. A few examples are:

  • Activity Stream Gadget—displays a summary of your recent activity
  • Assigned To Me Gadget—displays all open issues in projects assigned to the user viewing the dashboard
  • Filter Results Gadget—displays the results of an issue filter
  • Pie Chart Gadget—displays issues from a project or issue filter in pie chart format (issues are grouped by statistic type, e.g. status, priority, assignee)
  • Administration Gadget—displays a checklist of common admin tasks and links to admin functions and documentation

You can also download more gadgets from the Atlassian Marketplace. More on that later.

The default dashboard

The default dashboard, called the system dashboard, is the screen Jira users will see the first time they log in. It comes loaded with gadgets from Jira’s pre-installed selection and is limited to only one dashboard page. 

Jira administrators can add, remove, reorder and in some cases configure the gadgets displayed on the default dashboard. The layout, such as the number of columns, can also be changed. You can do this by clicking Administration > System and then User Interface > System Dashboard to open the Configure System Dashboard page.


There is a limit of 20 gadgets on a single dashboard page, which means that’s all you can display on the default dashboard. If you need to, you can raise the 20-gadget limit by editing the jira-config.properties file in the Advanced Settings page of Jira’s administration area.

Just set jira.dashboard.max.gadgets to your preferred value and restart Jira. That said, we recommend a maximum of 6 gadgets per dashboard for ease of use and clarity.

David Berclaz from Apwide has helped compile an overview of some of the best apps for Interactive Jira Dashboards. Let us know if we missed any, and we’d be happy to keep this list growing!

A Project Manager’s Living Nightmare

If your projects are being managed according to a template that senior management got on a training course crammed with acronyms, it’s SAFe to assume different teams will regularly be forced to shove a lot of square peg data into round holes.

Anyone that’s worked alongside a Jira power user, sees the true potential of interactive Jira Dashboards unleashed directly in Jira.

Sadly, these organisations will often then force these subject matter experts to export the reports into Excel, and then Powerpoint.

These are exactly the sort of organisations what will forward round the data in an email chain cc’ing everyone, or if they’re hip and cool with the kids, they’ll upload the spreadsheets to a shared folder, and a master weekly report called july_reports_ulitmate_merged_final_3.pptx

Some are able to resign themselves to this minor and unnecessary evil, some complain, but few are able to challenge the growing avalanche of reports.

Unsurprisingly admin that’s considered an unnecessary and burdensome chore by most, isn’t always promptly, and fully completed. This makes the reports even less valuable as their accuracy is uncertain. Sometimes management will try and fix this by tying performance reviews to the results in the reports. Thankfully, this fixes all the problems, and doesn’t make the reports even more resented.

Sigh. As no one is now sure whether the reports are accurate or not, management will send a Slack or Whatsapp message, whenever they need information for the impending meeting.

So why would busy team members update the official reports, when a new data black market has emerged? Only the most acquiescent are still complying with the semi legalized bad data wasteland.

Eventually, the digital transformation consultants will come in, they will suggest migrating to a new platform for collaboration. Some key information will get lost in the move, and the people who embraced the old process the most zealously will be most punished for their compliance.

Now the cycle can repeat!

So before we get stuck in this groundhog day, let’s go back to basics, and get the fundamentals right!

Custom Jira Dashboards 

It’s really easy to create and customise your own dashboards. 

In Jira Cloud, just go to Dashboards > Create dashboard. 

In Jira Server & Data Center, click Dashboards > Manage Dashboards. Then click Create new dashboard in the top right of the page. 

Give your dashboard a name and description so your team knows when to use it. Fill out the remaining fields, then click save

You’ll now have an empty dashboard in front of you. Click Add gadget and choose from the available gadgets to populate your dashboard. Custom dashboards are not limited to one dashboard page. You can also edit the layout; there are five options to choose from.

You can create a different dashboard for each project you’re working on, or even multiple dashboards for a single project. However, less is quite often more, and setting up more dashboards than you need can create clutter and confusion. 

Note: some of the gadgets require filters. This means that if you share your dashboard with people who aren’t able to view the results of your filter, it means they’re not going to see any data on the dashboard. So if you want them to see any of the gadgets that have filter results, make sure the filter is turned on for those people.

Tip: you can save time creating a dashboard from scratch by copying an existing dashboard and simply changing a few of the gadgets. Just click Copy dashboard from the More menu (…) on the top right of any dashboard. 

Standard Jira Dashboard Gadgets

Filter Results

This gadget gives you easy access to the results of commonly used filters. If you find that you are constantly trawling through menus, dropdowns and individual filter screens to find the filters you use all the time, Filter Results gives you immediate visibility of them.

Issue Statistics

This gives you a breakdown of issues on a particular project, so you can track workloads, flag bottlenecks in the system and identify where you should allocate resources. 

Road Map

This list versions due for release and displays progress bars for each, showing resolved versus unresolved issues. This lets you visualise how you’re doing on each release.

Created vs Resolved Chart

This lets you see whether the overall workload is being addressed or if issues are being created faster than they are being completed. It’s one of the few actual Jira Reports that gets imported over into Gadgets. (Another is the Sprint Burndown.)

Two-Dimensional Filter Statistics

This shows the data for a particular issue filter in a configurable table format. It lets you zoom in on key areas of interest. For example, you can select a filter to retrieve all closed issues on a certain project or display the workloads of individual team members. 

Sprint Health

This gives you a snapshot of your sprint dynamics. It tells you what’s in your ‘to-do’ category (which is blue), what’s in your ‘in-progress’ category (which is yellow) and what’s in your ‘done’ category (which is green). It also tells you what percentage of time has elapsed and what percentage of work is complete. It makes for a great conversation starter; you can how see you’re doing, what the scope changes are, if any issues have been flagged, etc. It acts as a great heads-up for your Scrum master when it comes to removing roadblocks.

Useful Jira Dashboard Add-ons

I’m not saying all your problems will be solved by a good project management software stack, but let’s have a look at some of the options, and see how they could at least make things better.

Jira’s utility comes from its ubiquity, it’s expanded well past its bug tracking software days.

It’s never been easier to make useful reporting dashboards in Jira that can be presented to all stakeholders, anywhere. 

Out of the box, vanilla Jira Reports are somewhat limited, which is why there are a plethora of options on the Atlassian Marketplace with all of the options your reporting dashboards might need.

To take your Jira Reporting to the next level, embrace best practice, and set up a functional, automated, integrated, and non siloed interactive Jira dashboards that will aggregate everything you need in one place.

Check out the following add-ons on the Atlassian Marketplace, they may be just what you need to enhance your Jira reporting.

Idalko’s Jira Pivot Gadget

Idalko’s Jira Pivot Gadget provides spreadsheets and business intelligence functionality, allowing you to take a multi-dimensional view of your data and aggregate or drill down into any information you like. 

Supported dimensions include basic issue fields, all custom fields that can be enumerated, and table grid data.

Panorama – Scale Project Management.

Panorama for Jira lets you make multi-level structure of your work in Jira crossing project tree hierarchies to better plant and monitor progress, and summarize epic story points of everything you need.

Digital Toucan's Panorama for Scaled Project management in Jira hierarchies.

Find out more about Panorama Hierarchy and Structure for Jira

Panorama is available for cloud only, if you’re on Server or Data Center, you’ll need to try Structure for Jira

eazyBI – Reports and Charts for Jira

If you have a lot of data in Jira as well as other sources, and need extensive reporting options, consider eazyBI. This will export data from your Jira overnight so you can splice and visualize a snapshot of the data in your Jira. At its simplest, it’s like a pivot table for Jira data. For the more complicated reports, you’ll have to hire a full-time dedicated expert to code on behalf of the teams that need them.

Check out eazyBI for yourself 

eazyBI Reports and Charts for Jira

Jira Project Tracking With Profields

Vanilla Jira as standard offers limited reports with regards to Jira Projects.

Deiser’s Profields allows your Jira reports all the project fields they’d ever need. These powerful reporting gadgets directly inside Jira dashboards, which provides crucial insights, and works nicely with your other reporting dashboards, no need for a silo, and a bunch of reports on another tab.

Find out more about Profields for Jira

Profields for Jira Dashboards

Golive – Release and Environment Hub for Jira

If you need a simple way to publish your Release Plan, or a single source of truth for all activities taking place on your Test Environments. Display a project level timeline on a on a Jira on a timeline is important to you, I’d strongly recommend you check out Golive. It’s the best way to display and manage information on releases, test environments, and deployments.

Once again, it has the benefit of being local on the Jira Dashboard, or Confluence pages, so it’s exactly where you need it.

More info about Find out more about Golive’s Environment Hub.

Apwide's golive Test environment management dashboards for Jira

Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence

Custom Charts simply makes customizable Jira reports and charts, directly on Jira Dashboards. The customization options are broad, but more importantly, they’re easy to use. Find out more about how Custom Charts for Jira helps with enhanced Jira Reports.

Custom Jira Dashboard Rerporting

With the right addons, building a live user-friendly dashboard within Jira with all of the information you need is a relatively straightforward task for most of your team.

In Conclusion: The Importance of Jira Dashboards

Jira Dashboards enable you to walk into a status meeting knowing whether things are on track before anyone says a word. They let you come back off holiday and get a quick project update without having to trawl through emails. They also let you know the moment something goes wrong, like when a growing bug fix pile overtakes current velocity, as well as identify potential bottlenecks ahead of time.

As most users aren’t Jira experts and don’t want or need to be exposed to all of its powerful but complex features, Jira Dashboards are essential for helping technical and non-technical teams find the information they’re looking for quickly. The dashboard is the first thing users see and it’s the place where they expect to be able to find all the relevant information for their role, such as a list of issues assigned to them or the progress of the team on a version. The goal of your Jira Dashboard is to incite emotion or action. Providing the right information in the right way is the key to making sure that happens.

Of course, it’s not always possible to get your dashboard right first time. It may not be clear to your audience why the data you’ve included is relevant, in which case, take their feedback and change it. It may take a few iterations to get your dashboard properly tuned to your team and stakeholders. But remember, that’s what agility’s all about.

One final piece of advice: Is to take the time to show your team your reports, and how to use them. There’s no point in having the perfect place to share and collaborate data visualization if it’s a best-kept secret.

How Jira Reports Help Onboarding New Team Members

Getting the onboarding process correct is essential when you’re introducing a new team member. It’s the first real impression they have of the inner workings of your organization; a smooth onboarding process not only sets them up for success, but it’s good for the whole team. And yet, for many organizations, this is still considered somewhat of a separate process, one that sits outside of the usual task management, tracking, and reporting work.

By bringing onboarding into a project management tool like Jira (where you’re already tracking your day-to-day projects) you not only make the process simpler — you can gain meaningful insights from customizable reporting, to optimize the onboarding process going forward.

Create Onboarding Tasks in Jira

When it comes to onboarding new team members using Jira, there are some tasks that are likely to be the same for each new joiner. To save time, you can automate the creation of these tasks by using Jira templates or copy tasks and sub-tasks from previous new team members to save time.

One option available on the Atlassian Marketplace for Cloud, Server, and Data Center is Deviniti’s Issue Templates for Jira, check out that link for great tips and tricks on how to set up templates for onboarding new team members.

Another great looking option I found is AppLiger’s Easy Templates for Jira Issues, also available on the Atlassian Marketplace for Cloud, Server, and Data Center.

To get your new team members fully on board and embedded in the team though, you can expand ‘onboarding’ beyond the usual housekeeping requirements. Whether you’ve had a growing wishlist of tasks for a new role throughout the hiring process, or you have handover tasks from a previous employee, including these can make onboarding more meaningful for your new team member, and make it feel more than just a box-ticking exercise. 

Plus your your Jira reports will provide more useful insights — more on this below.

Checking In With Jira’s Reporting Dashboards

Communication is key when it comes to making sure a new team member is engaged and onboard. This should be the main focus of your catch-up meetings — how are they getting on? Are they settling in? As your team gets busy and deadlines near, you want to make the most of that time.

This is where Jira’s reporting dashboards come in. Since reporting dashboards for Jira are highly customizable, you should create a dashboard dedicated to your new joiners.

Use filters to see at a quick glance which tasks are in progress right now; use this to make the “what I’m working on” part of your catch-ups more efficient and give yourself more time to get to know how your new team member works, and how you’ll be working together going forward. This is more important than ever if (like many businesses today) you have more team members working remotely, and may still be adjusting to not being in an office environment.

Onboarding Jira Dashboard search

Customise Jira Reports to

See the Metrics that Matter to You

We mentioned earlier that an effective onboarding process should combine your HR and housekeeping tasks, as well as the first day-to-day tasks you need your new team member to start getting on with. This is where you can really make the most of your ability to customize Jira, and create custom charts for Jira reporting to visualize the metrics that are relevant to you.

Create charts dedicated to displaying different issue types, or filter quickly using Simple Search to see how HR, training or daily tasks are progressing. If you have a more complex onboarding process, you could even create individual dashboards for different issue types — you can make your reports as custom and in-depth as needed!

It’s not just management who will benefit from this visualization, your new team member can see their progress as well, and rest assured that they’re on the right path.

Improve Your Processes

Once your new team member is fully onboarded and settled into the team, it’s tempting to move on from the onboarding process and not consider it again until the next time you have a new joiner. 

Don’t fall into this trap! You’ve already done the hard work — you’ve created your tasks and templates, and with your Jira reporting dashboards, you have all the data you need to evaluate their effectiveness.

If you’re seeing a lot of red, it may be time to take another look at your tasks and processes

You should approach your onboarding process the same way you approach the rest of your work, as something you can continue to improve. Are you seeing consistent blocking points? Perhaps part of your process needs reevaluating, or breaking into smaller stages. 

Are there steps that are running smoothly for all new joiners? What do they have in common, and how can you replicate that success across the rest of the onboarding process?

The smoother the onboarding, the more successful, and the more settled your new team member will be — they’ll feel part of the team in no time. The information is all there within Jira; unlock valuable insights in one step, without needing to export data, with the right Jira dashboards and reporting.

Learn more about Custom Reporting for Jira — or try it out for yourself on the Jira Reporting Playground to see how simple reporting can be!