Understanding what teams are focused on is critical to ensuring that their time/effort is closely aligned with business priorities and optimising time to market. In a world with finite capacity, product and engineering teams cannot focus on everything. If they try to, progress is slow and focus/productivity are significantly impaired through context switching and delays to critical feedback from QA and users.

Active Work enables you to see what is being prioritised based on what teams are actively working on, whether that's the right work types or business priorities. An efficient team is one that is focused on fewer priorities, reducing context switching and maximising time to deliver.

How is Active Work calculated?

Active Work shows the total number of tickets that a team is actively working on within a given period. For example, how many tickets are actively being worked on within an Epic so you know which Epics are in flight (i.e. the focus), but also the indicative effort within each epic.

The example below illustrates where this team is focused in terms of Epics, and provides a relative sizing of this effort against each Epic. As you can see, this team is arguably stretched across too many Epics, which can delay critical feedback and slow time to value. Ideally you would want to increase focus on fewer Epics.

How to set up Active Work

1) Click "add a metric" in the top right by the date picker. Under Delivery, select Active Work and add it to your dashboard.

2) Once it's on your dashboard, open the metric by clicking Explore, and then go into the metric settings on the right side.

3) The metric will initially load based on ticket count, but if you would like to change the calculation of effort to be based on story points or another custom field, you can change it here.

4) Now you must select the statuses or board columns in the Calculation section that indicate something is actively being worked on. These are the statuses Plandek will use to determine if it's active work (i.e. any ticket in these stratuses will be included in the metric calculation):

Flow Distribution Calculation Settings

5) In the example above, we have applied a breakdown of these ticket by Epic, but not all use cases will be focused on Epics. In the Breakdowns, you can choose the most applicable way to visualise distribution. The most common standard fields are Issue Type, Epic Name, and Fix Version, but there are likely custom fields you use within your organisation that would be meaningful (e.g. value streams).

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