In this article:
You can find more information about the Analytics module in the dedicated article.
1. Introduction to the Work In Progress (WIP) Run Chart
The WIP Run Chart displays data plotted over time and it helps you find trends or patterns in your work process. It helps you visualize how much work in progress your team is having over time in the selected workflow(s).
- The "x" axis is a representation of the timeline
- The "y" axis is the actual number of the work items. This could be tasks, projects, or anything that you measure on the selected workflow.
Hover over any of the blue dots to see additional information for all "work in progress" items per day.
Additionally, if you hover over any of the Card IDs in the box, you will get details for the respective work item. If you click the card ID the system will open the card in a new tab.
To filter your data, use the configuration menu on the left side of your screen. By default, you need to select at least one workflow and one of the following fields: Created at, Start Date, End Date.
In addition, you can enable two more options:
- Ignore the cycle time configuration for the selected workflow(s) — checkmark this if you want the chart to disregard the cycle time settings for the selected workflow.
- Ignore the block time in the queue columns — checkmark this if you don't want the chart to account for the time cards were blocked when in queue columns.
2. Additional Controls for This Chart
You can use the controls to add some additional properties to the WIP Run Chart as well as to apply additional filters.
- WIP trend - show average interval to easily follow trends and patterns. You can apply the percentiles in order to get the probabilistic view.
- Cursor - you can use the cursor options to display dates, daily WIP, or both of the current positions of your mouse pointer.
- Timeline units - choose to display results per calendar day, week (Sun-Sat or Mon-Sun format), month, quarter, or year.
- Layout - show/hide data control that allows you to zoom in and out of a specific interval within the selected time frame.
- Item Filter - allows you to further refine the data that you want to be displayed.
- Workflow Stages - deselect the columns in your workflow that you do not want to be included in the chart.
3. What Is This Chart Telling Us?
The run chart for the work in progress is similar to the throughput run chart and they might be interpreted together.
One of the main Kanban principles is limiting the work in progress to restrict the maximum amount of work items in different stages. The WIP limits encourage the culture of "done" and improve performance (throughput). Implementing WIP limits in your Kanban system ensures that your team will keep an optimal pace of work without exceeding its own capacity.
The WIP Run Chart visualizes whether teams are accumulating more "work in progress" items over time or not. Having a WIP trend that is going down is a good indicator in case you have the same throughput in your system. Lower WIP means lower cycle time, which means that your team is getting faster.
On the other side, it might be a signal that the team isn't pulling new work. There are plenty of reasons that might cause this: team members on vacation, holidays, tasks in progress that are too complex and need more time to be completed, etc.
If the WIP trend is going up, you need to make sure that the large number of work items that are in progress matches the team capacity and team members are not overburdened. Make sure that there aren't any blockers and people do not switch the work context.