Visualise your work with the Open Tasks chart

Jan 6, 2017

As part of our ongoing architecture redesign, we've also had to redo all of the individual dashboard screens. It has been a lot of work but also an opportunity to make improvements based on what we've learned along the way. 

One of our guiding design principles is that visualisations must be easy to interpret. It ought to be obvious what the chart is supposed to communicate when you look at the chart. Without having to read manuals or google the meaning of the terminology used. 

The new Open Tasks chart comes now with these features:

  • Filtering based on label, assignee, or workflow state

  • Ability to adjust the timeframe shown

  • Ability to choose between task count and estimates

  • Options for grouping the data either by workflow state, label, or assignee

The last point makes this chart almost like three charts in one, as it provides answers to slightly different questions depending how the data is grouped. Let's take a look at each of these cases.

Detect bottlenecks in your workflow

When data is grouped by workflow state, coloured areas correspond to all the workflow states that are mapped to Not started or In progress. In this mode, the chart shows the distribution of tasks in different states over a time period. The width of the colour band corresponds to the number of tasks (or story points) in the given state.

The main benefit of this chart is in its ability to uncover impediments in the process. If any of the coloured areas starts to widen, it suggests there may be a bottleneck that requires attention.

Manage your backlog

When data is grouped by assignee, the chart shows the number of tasks (or story points) assigned to each individual. You'll quickly see if some of your team members are overloaded or running out of tasks. 

This new chart is immediately available for all dashboards, and if it's not visible, you can enable it in the dashboard settings. Go ahead and play around with the settings and filters to find the configuration that provides most value for you!

Here's a quick video to demonstrate this new chart in action:

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This article was written by Sami Linnanvuo

Sami is the founder & CEO of Screenful, the company that turns data into visual stories. You can find him on Twitter.