Monitor team efficiency and delays in workflow processes in Jira

How to identify bottlenecks in your Jira workflow processes

5 min readJan 21, 2021

Have you already reviewed the results of your team’s activity for 2020? Every manager meets the crucial question: Has the growth in key indicators managed effectively during the reporting period? It’s important to determine the expenses managed to achieve these results.

Jira is a powerful project management tool for issue tracking and project management purposes. In this article, we are talking about identifying unproductive delays for teams on Jira.

You can consider that team performance is positive, not when it’s stable, but when it’s advanced compared to the reporting period. To improve organization constantly, it is necessary to catch daily bottlenecks devotedly, which limit workflows and to develop opportunities that cultivate growth.

One of the most effective ways to analyze delays in scrum teams' working process is to monitor time-consuming during different stages (statuses) of task performance. You can make a critical analysis by comparing figures for different assignees. This way you can determine who is causing delays. Let’s consider different types of analyzing the time in status data.

Monitor time assignee spent on active statuses

First, let’s investigate the process components with direct work on tasks (issues in progress statuses). To see these data totals for a particular period, you can use averages as the most convenient way.

For example, data may show the following situations:

Most employees have about the same average time, but some employees work more. Then, it worth to investigate why that happens:

average time spent
  • by asking how do these employees work,
  • by ensuring they have enough knowledge (qualifications),
  • by checking the employees have sufficiently effective tools and access permissions,
  • by observing these workers are not overloaded.

If an employee’s time is significantly less (shorter time to work, more efficient), the manager should also observe and discuss the tools applied to perform tasks quickly with this employee. Probably, this employee:

  • has more knowledge
  • uses more effective tools
  • has higher motivation

It is worth sharing the working hints and tips of this employee with others: effective methods, best practices, and insights to open the possibility for a more intensive workload and promotion.

Analyze unproductive delays in workflow

These statuses work for the cases of a complex workflow process in your team, for example, involving different support levels (L1, L2), multiple developers, QA engineers, and PMs.

delays in workflow

The tasks with inactive statuses become more common when working on tasks that are not conducted, so these tasks have the following statuses: on hold, waiting for developer or support, etc. In this case, managers are interested in analyzing unproductive delays — why and in what statuses they happen.

And we all understand if the waiting time is minimized, tasks are being closed much faster. Therefore, if any inactive statuses are resulting in delays, they need to be analyzed.

If you notice such unproductive delays for inactive statuses, you can assume their causes are the following:

  • Unassigned task priorities — employees don’t know which task is more important and perform them in sequence at their consideration. This can lead to situations where the VIP client’s task “takes a back seat”, delayed, and can even lead to losing clients. When we work on priorities, our focus and efficiency increase.
  • Poor communication between departments, so an employee of one department is waiting for a long time to complete subtasks or related tasks from another department.
  • Employees may be frustrated by a lack of team members or by unequal distributing tasks among team members.
  • Employees are not focused or motivated, and therefore, they are stuck on inactive statuses.

Revealing and resolving delay reasons will speed up performing tasks and bring increased efficiency for a whole team.

Further, to understand the root of the problem, it is necessary to involve in-depth manager analytics. Because of unique reasons, workflow bottlenecks can vary, and solutions to solve arising issues become wholly extraordinary, however, still predictable if thoroughly monitored with convenient tools.

Which tools in Jira can provide such data?

To get the time in status data for Jira issues, you can try various solutions:

  • Built-in Jira feature Days in Column (! Available only for classic boards). You can learn how to enable this feature here. But if you instead need to remember time measurement over time, by status (e.g., how long was I in status <X>), you would need to explore other options.
  • Use custom fields and automation rules to measure the time in status.
  • Try one of the Atlassian Marketplace add-ons as Time in status for Jira Cloud.

The last oneTime in status for Jira Cloud helps you to get time-consuming data automatically and analyze it more conveniently. Moreover, the add-on allows you to monitor the archived data — those you have had before installing the add-on on your Jira. To analyze data about delays in the work of team members during the reporting period, Time in status for Jira Cloud proposes:

Average time report
  • Pivot table function (built-in) — allows converting status time data for each assignee to averages or percentages values. These reports provide an opportunity to compare the status time data of all team.
Pivot table function for status time data

Every report of this application gives the slice of data to look at absolute figures on time in status, or dynamics per date, or assignee. With this data, you can have a general picture at different angles.

So, status time analysis for your team can be convenient for bottlenecks identification. It allows you to notice and timely respond to both negative and positive results in employee’s productivity. In this way, you can take appropriate actions: if negative results — eliminate obstacles, positive — identify and scale up productive changes.

I hope this information will be helpful for you.





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