Until recently reports in BigPicture were somewhat obscure. You would use ‘sums’, ‘counts’, and grouping available in Gantt chart and Scope modules. Starting BigPicture 7.3, though, there is a new reporting component. You get five predefined reports out-of-the-box, and they measure how your iterations, PIs, and projects are progressing. You can also configure custom column or pie charts as well as grid reports. How to go about reporting in Jira BigPicture?
And how does the new module differ from BigPicture to BigPicture Enterprise?
The new Reports module – for Agile, Waterfall, or Mixed Project management?
The new ‘Reports’ module is useful for all BigPicture users—those who are fully agile, classically waterfall, or – most commonly – hybrid. Note, in the below picture, how you can select the timeframe:
- ‘Program’ – think Jira project(s)). I recommend this view to Waterfall/Hybrid/Agile project managers—those who use either the Gantt chart or Agile Board component of BigPicture.
- ‘Program Increment’ – for SAFe employing, agile at scale organizations, those who use BigPicture’s Agile Board.
- ‘Iteration’ – for Agile, Scrum, and Hybrid project managers, those who use the Agile Board.
Reports in BigPicture vs. BigPicture Enterprise
The new Reports module differs significantly between BigPicture and BigPicture Enterprise. You have five predefined reports in BigPicture. While you can swap between the grid, pie, and column manifestations of those five reports, you cannot create new, custom ones. The ‘Edit’ button belongs to BigPicture Enterprise. Therefore to change the layout of reports page, edit current charts/reports and create new ones, you need BP Enterprise.
|Five predefined reports; using Jira Core fields|
|Drill down reports. Four levels of hierarchy are available|
|Pie, column charts; grid reports|
|Sum and Count aggregate functions|
|Auto-refresh button. Useful, for instance, when you deliver a presentation to an audience and need to keep them updated with live data.|
|Create a custom report|
|Use Jira Software and BigPicture custom fields, such as Risk probability.|
|Edit the grid (layout) of the Reports page; add new rows and columns to the grid; set the default type of a report (pie/column chart)|
1 Note that you need to have ‘regular’ BigPicture installed in order to use the BigPicture Enterprise extension.
BigGantt does not feature the new reporting module.
Custom charts in BigPicture Enterprise
When it comes to reporting the BigPicture Enterprise extension is worth considering. Not only does it let you create a virtually unlimited number of custom charts, but you can also use custom Jira Agile (Jira Software) and BigPicture fields, such as Risk probability or Risk consequence, as in the below picture. You can also change the layout of your reports page—add new rows and columns.
Five predefined reports and how to use them
Let’s get back to the five standard reports present in both BigPicture and BigPicture Enterprise. What real-life scenarios can they cover?
Status per Assignee report. Check who in your team has the largest number of ‘To Do’ tasks. Is the individual possibly overallocated?
Issue Type per Status report. Monitor what are your teams indeed busy with at the moment. If, for instance, you take a closer look at the ‘In Progress’ status and you notice a single story and a dozen bugs in progress than it’s undoubtedly a bug-fixing time and you risk stalling in terms of product development.
Fix Versions per Status report. This one is for software houses. Say, you develop an app for both Jira Server, Cloud, and Data Center hostings. The report shows how far away you are at the moment from the release for each of the hostings.
Assignee per Status chart. Check who’s overloaded in a team and who’s not.
Priority per Assignee chart. You could, for instance, have a closer look at the ‘Highest’ priority in this report. And you’ve discovered that the Support team dominated the ‘Highest’ category. Having noticed that, what actions would you take as a project manager or CEO?
Are BigPicture’s Reports as professional as Google Sheets or MS Excel?
Spreadsheets’ most popular aggregate functions – SUM and COUNT – are available in the new reporting module. The COUNT is pretty obvious and pictured here. You would typically count tasks by status, type, or risk level. SUM, on the other hand, could be used to aggregate time spent or time estimated.
Note, that you can drill the graphs down, as explained in the picture. For instance, you might want to take a closer look at sub-tasks. You can either hover over the ‘Sub-task’ slice of the chart to get the pictured on on-the-fly ‘bubbles’. Or, you can click the red slice to step one level down, and get the ‘To Do/Done’ cutaway, pictured to the right.
Four levels of hierarchy are available in the Reports.
How else can you do reporting in Jira + BigPicture?
Now, for a moment, let’s forget the BigPicture’s new reporting component. Instead, let’s see how BigPicture users could do reporting prior to the new Reports module. Keep in mind the below methods remain operational.
(1) Scope and Gantt chart modules
Here you can aggregate columns, such as story points, time (logged, remaining), the number of tasks per user, or skills required. Sum, Count, and Average functions are available. The Scope component is especially appropriate for reporting purposes since it lets you save and reload your customized views-reports.
(2) Roadmap and Board 2.0
Starting BigPicture 7.2, you’ve got a report overlay on the Roadmap and Board 2.0 components. Pictured is the Roadmapping module.
Here you can observe the progress of your programs, projects, portfolios, etc. Say, Project A is 75% completed, and Project B is only 25 percent done—this kind of high-level, big picture indicators. If you run a portfolio of programs and not just a single project, the Overview with its Boxes is a place to be.
(4) Resources component
Detect under- and over-allocation of your teams, individuals, and other resources. Do it using Week, Month, Quarter, and Half year perspectives.
(5) CSV, XLSX files
Finally, you can export datasets to CSV and XLSX files from Scope, Gantt chart, Roadmap, Resources, and Risks components of BigPicture. Use standard Google Sheets/MS Excel functions to extract necessary aggregates. More in BigTemplate docs.
Reports are the first BigPicture’s reporting module per se. The new module best supplement the Agile Board and Gantt chart modules of BigPicture. The reports focus on progress – be it the progress of a program (~Jira project), SAFe’s Program Increments that live within that program, or iterations (sprints) that exist inside the PIs. The reports were designed to alert a project manager quickly when the first cracks begin to appear on the workflow.