Value Stream Flow Metrics

Introduction

The Value Stream Flow Metrics dashboard lets you track your flow metrics with the least effort. You can view metrics like lead time, cycle time, completed work items distribution, workload distribution per month, flow efficiency, across the date range or month you select to filter the values.

This dashboard provides you with various interactive charts and graphs. For example, you can see your total work items completed within a selected period, the average lead and cycle time, the longest and the shortest lead time, a work item’s cumulative flow chart broken into planning, execution, implementation, and completed/cancelled stages. It enables you to:

  • deliver realistic project estimates and real-time updates.
  • provides you end-to-end visibility across the value stream, thus you can prioritize your projects and establish goals.
  • Gives you visibility into the value stream, making it fast and easy to act and improve development.

Pre-requisite

  • You must have defined the modes and statuses in Customization.
  • To be able to view the VSFM Dashboard, you must have ‘Changes’ permission.

Dashboard > Value Stream Flow Metrics

Access VSFM

To access the VSFM dashboard navigate to Dashboard > Value Stream Flow Metrics.

Value Stream Flow Metrics displays various charts and flow metrics. You can set the date range and Value Stream filters to view the charts and graphs as per your requirement. By default, the ‘Last 6 months’ date filter is applied.

To apply the filter, select From and To date and then click .

You can view the flow metrics of up to ‘Last 2 years’.

Charts and Flow Metrics – In Detail

Work Item Throughput

This graph shows the work items delivered by the value stream within the selected date range.

By measuring Throughput, it is possible to determine the total amount of value delivered during a particular project.

It uses the ‘Completed Time’ of the user story. For a story to be considered for this chart:

  • it must be associated with a release
  • the release must have the Implementation date within the selected date range

The following information is displayed by this graph:

  1. The total number of work items completed within the selected date range. This includes Feature, Tech Debt, Risk, and Defect story types.
  2. Story type distribution that made up the chart.
  3. Throughput chart showing work item distribution per month for the selected date range.

Hover over the graph to view the work breakdown count per month:

High throughput can lead to more value delivered to customers. Analyzing throughput on a historical basis can also help you determine how conflicting priorities impact overall value.

Avg. Cycle Time

The count of days displayed is the average Cycle Time per month for all the stories with a closed date within the selected date range. Low cycle time can increase the value stream throughput.

Avg. Lead Time

The count of days displayed is the average Lead Time per month for all the stories with a closed date within the selected date range. Low lead time can increase the value stream throughput.

Avg. Flow Efficiency

The Flow Efficiency percentage per month for all the stories with a closed date within the selected date range. Low efficiency can be an indication of process bottlenecks.

Avg. Work In Progress

This count displays the average work in progress per day for all the stories with a work in progress status within the selected date range.

Current Work in Progress

This graph shows the current work in progress for your value stream. The following information is displayed by this chart:

  1. count of stories per story type
  2. percentage of the stories per story type

High levels of work in progress can increase lead times and reduce throughput.

Lead Time

Lead time captures the number of days from when a story was in the ‘Planning’ mode to when it is completed/cancelled state. This includes understanding when the story is moved from a backlog to the time it is released. Lead time gives you an understanding of the overall time you took to move work items through your pipelines.

On the chart, the count is shown as an average per month based on the month that story was closed. The chart displays the following information:

  1. The average lead time calculated per month for all the stories with a closed date within the selected date range.
  2. Lead Time chart showing the Lead Time in days per month.

Hover over the chart to view the month’s average lead time:

Decreasing Lead Time means that your value stream has reduced the planning-to-execution duration of work items, and most likely has increased throughput. Minimizing the Lead Time creates a more continuous flow of value to customers, allowing them to realize the features they request faster.

Cycle Time

Cycle time captures the number of days from when a story is at the ‘Execution’ state to when it is ‘Completed/Cancelled’ state. This includes measuring the amount of time it takes for work items to move from work start to work complete.

On the chart, the count is shown as an average per month based on the month that story was closed. The chart displays the following information:

  1. The average Cycle Time calculated per month for all the stories with a closed date within the selected date range.
  2. Cycle Time chart showing the Cycle Time in days per month.

Hover over the chart to view the month’s average cycle time:

Decreasing cycle time means that your value stream has reduced the delivery time of work items and likely has increased throughput. Measuring cycle time can also make it easier to provide development time estimates and allocate resources. It can result in tighter workflows and improved efficiency.

Completed Work Items Distribution

This graph shows the lead time for all the stories that have a completed date in the selected date range. The stories are grouped into clusters, which depict the stack of individual items closed over time. This graph can lead to more predictability in delivery.

The following information is displayed by this graph:

  1. The longest and the shortest lead time calculated for the stories within the selected date range.
  2. The graph shows the lead time per work item distribution.

Click on the dot to display the number of days lead time for the clustered distribution of the stories. The dot size on the graph is relative to the cluster of stories. More the cluster, the bigger the dot.

For a cluster of 5 or less than 5 stories, the link to the stories is displayed.

Work Load

This chart shows the count of stories in work in progress modes (Planning, Execution, and Implementation) and completed work items mode (Completed and Cancelled) over time.

The following information is displayed in this chart:

  1. Average of the work in progress stories
  2. Count of stories in Completed and Work in Progress mode per day

Hover over the chart to view the Work in Progress vs Completed stories count per day.

Greater divergence of Work in progress to Completed items can slow down throughput and increase cycle and lead time.

Work Breakdown

This chart shows the percentage of work items delivered by the value stream within the selected date range.

This chart is similar to the Work Items throughput chart and uses the ‘Implementation Date’ of the associated story. For a story to be considered for this chart:

  • it must be associated with a release
  • Release must have the Implementation date within the selected date range

The following information is displayed by this chart:

  1. the ratio of the stories delivered per story type.
  2. percentage of the work item delivered per story type.
  3. Chart displaying the percentage of work distribution per month.

Hover over the chart to view the percentage of work breakdown per month.

Unbalanced delivery of work item types can lead to reduced feature delivery or create a greater need to deliver tech debt, defect, or risk work items in the future.

Flow Efficiency

Flow efficiency is the ratio of active time to wait time. It is the time a story has been in an active state as a percentage of the total Lead time. Flow Efficiency is displayed per month for all the stories with a completed date in that month.

Measuring flow efficiency shows where bottlenecks are occurring and whether process waste is increasing or decreasing.

The following information is displayed by this chart:

  1. the average Flow Efficiency percentage for the selected date range.
  2. chart displaying the Flow Efficiency per Story Type per month.

Hover over the chart to view the percentage of flow efficiency per month.

When Wait Time accounts for most flow time it creates bottlenecks and drives up production costs. By measuring flow efficiency, you can identify when workflows are taking too long.

Work Items Cumulative Flow

This graph shows the movement of work items through modes in your value stream. It counts the stories in each mode and the data is shown per day on the graph. The following information is displayed by the graph:

  1. total count of stories in ‘Work in Progress’ mode and ‘Completed’ mode within the selected date range.
  2. graph displaying the flow of stories through different modes on each day.

Hovering over the graph displays the count of stories on each mode per day.

Bulging, disappearing or flat lines between modes can indicate issues in your value stream flow.

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