Stories are the standard unit of work in Shortcut. Epics are a collection of said stories. Epics are used to track larger initiative within an organization.
To gauge and track performance of you team's efforts as it relates to the to the completion of the Epic, Shortcut provides you several charts. We'll go over these below.
The Epic Burndown Chart is a graphical representation of remaining unfinished work in that Epic. In an Epic, the Burndown Chart is located in the Reports tab.
The Burndown Chart is displayed in either Story Count or Points. Configure this setting in Settings > Estimate Scale.
The Burndown Chart displays the unfinished Story Count or Points in the Epic on a given day.
The start date of the Burndown Chart is the date on which you change the Epic state to a Started state.
If the Epic does not have a Due Date, the Burndown Chart displays an estimate of when all Stories or Points will be completed, based on the burn rate observed so far.
If the Epic has a Due Date, the Burndown Chart displays the ideal unfinished Story Count or Points on a given day.
Actual Stories/Points Remaining is represented by the bold blue line and references the previous day's points/stories remaining, plus points/stories added, minus points/stories removed, minus the number of points in stories completed.
The ideal number of Stories or Points remaining is represented by a diagonal, grey straight-dotted line, starting from the actual stories remaining on the first day of the Epic, and falling to 0 on the last day of the Epic.
Stories/Points Added is represented by the purple bar and references when points in a story are adjusted up, or when a story with points is added to the iteration.
Stories/Points Removed is represented by the yellow bar and references when points in a story are adjusted down or when a story with points is removed from the iteration.
Stories/Points Completed is represented by the light green bar and references that day's number of stories or points completed.
The colors on the graph showcase activity in the burndown. The easiest way to understand the graph is to notice the colors with which the bold blue line (Actual Stories/Points Remaining) is affected. For example:
In the image above, we see that the green bar seems to sit on top of the blue line in the chart. The green bar represents stories/points completed; this is designed to represent that the stories completed on that day have pushed down the blue line to where it is currently at. Conversely, the purple bar, which represents points added, is meant to show the addition of points or stories that have contributed to the blue line being pushed up to where it is currently at.
Epic Velocity Chart
The Velocity Bar Chart is a visual representation of Stories or Story Points completed across several iterations and also surfaces trends in how your team has performed over the last 12 weeks and highlights the average amount of Stories or Story Points over that time period.
Each individual Epic Page has a Velocity Bar Chart that visualizes Stories or Story Points completed across several intervals. This chart surfaces trends about how your team has performed and highlights the average and trailing average number of Stories or Story Points completed over that time period.
Using Velocity Charts can help agile teams understand patterns and set targets for future work.
The Velocity Chart is located in the Reports tab on each individual Epic page.
For data to appear in your Epic's Velocity Bar Chart, two requirements must be met:
- The Epic must be in an "In Progress" state
- The Epic must contain Stories that are in a "Started" workflow state
Using the Sum Using dropdown to aggregate data by Story Count or Story Points
The Sum Using dropdown allows users to toggle aggregation between Story Count and Story Points.
When using Story Count, the height of the bar represents total number of Stories completed in that interval.
When using Story Points, the height of the bar represents the amount of completed points associated with completed stories in that Interval. Completed Stories that have 0 points or are unestimated, do not contribute to the calculation of Story Points.
No matter which aggregation you select, you can always see the number of unestimated Stories in the top left of the chart. The bars are color coded to represent different story types: Feature Stories (yellow), Bug Stories (red), and Chore Stories (blue).
Hovering your mouse over a single bar will produce a pop up with a quantitative breakdown of the Story types, as well as the total number of Stories or Story Points completed within the interval.
The dotted green line shows you the overall average of velocity. This is the total number of points or stories across the entire date range, divided by the total number of intervals in the chart.
The solid green line shows you the trailing average of velocity. The number of intervals used to calculate this changes depending on the Group By filter at the top of the page:
- Day uses a 7 day trailing average, inclusive of that day
- Week uses a 4 week trailing average, inclusive of that week
- Month uses a 3 month trailing average, inclusive of that month
- Iteration uses 4 iteration trailing average, inclusive of that iteration
Note: The trailing average uses data outside of the selected date range to show an accurate metric at the start of the graph. For example, if the chart is Grouped By Day, the first Trailing Average calculation uses Stories completed that day, and the previous 6 days (which are not on the chart)
Using the Group by dropdown to segment data by Day, Week, Month, or Iteration
The Group By dropdown allows you to group data in the chart by different time frames: Day, Week, Month, or Iterations.
Some Group by options may be impacted by the date range of the entity:
- The Date Range of the entity must be at least the length of the set Group By value
- Group by Day: Only available for date ranges of 6 months or less.
- Group by Week: Only Available for date ranges of 2 years of less.
- Group by Iteration: Only available for date ranges of 2 years or less. Only Iterations that start and end within the date range are included.
Related: Editing the Estimate Scale
Cycle and Lead Time Reports provide your team with the data you need to plan and allocate resources more effectively.
The Cycle Time Chart can be accessed via upper right-hand corner drop-down. This chart represents how long it takes a Story to be completed after it is Started. This can provide insights such as: "On average it takes us a X amount of days to complete certain types of Stories" or surface outlier Stories.
The Lead Time Chart can be accessed via upper right-hand corner drop-down. This chart represents the amount of time that has passed between when a Story is created and when it is completed. This can provide insights such as, "We have a really long timespan before we pick up created Stories."
Custom type can be accessed via the upper right hand corner drop down. This chart type allows you to select the Start and Date used to calculate the Cycle time in the chart. You must first select a workflow; this type does not support custom states for all workflows.
Adjust States used in Calculations
Once you’ve selected the Custom Chart Type, you can also modify which states are included in the calculations. This is useful if you have workflows states that should (or shouldn’t) be included in calculating Lead/Cycle time. When adjusting the workflow states, they must be continuous; you cannot exclude a Workflow state in between your selected Start and End state. For example, if you have a Backlog or Icebox state that shouldn’t really count towards Lead Time, you can remove it from the calculation. Or, you may have many States in your Done workflow state category and you want to include all of the states for a Story to be considered completed.
The Y-axis of the chart represents the number of days.
The X-axis represents the completion dates of the Stories in the selected date range, Epic, Milestone, Iteration or Project in which you are viewing Cycle Time or Lead Time reports.
The chart provides an average Cycle Time and Lead Time as well as Minimum time. The average is also represented in the chart as the dashed line across the chart:
Trailing Average and Story Type Filter
A 7-day trailing average is also included in the chart. The trailing average does not calculate the average over the last 7 consecutive days, rather the last 7 days of available data.
Stories within the chart are represented by colored dots. Clicking on a dot will open the selected Story. Each Cycle Time and Lead Time chart can also be filtered by Story Type (Bug, Feature & Chore) as well as a 7 day trailing average.
The Cumulative Flow Diagram (also known as a "burn-up chart" or the "cumulative input-output diagram) is a graphical representation of an Epic's number of Stories over time, grouped by Workflow State. When used correctly, your Cumulative Flow Diagram can help you track changes as well as identify (and unblock!) bottlenecks.
The Cumulative Flow Diagram in Shortcut is located in the "Reports" tab that can be accessed by clicking into the Epic.
Note that your Cumulative Flow Diagram will only be available if Stories have been added to the Epic you are viewing and your Epic has been moved to In Progress.
Reading the Cumulative Flow Diagram
A Cumulative Flow Diagram after several weeks of activity
The x-axis of the Cumulative Flow Diagram represents time from Epic start date to today's date, while the y-axis measures the number of Stories in the Epic and how the number of Stories in each Workflow State has grown/shrunk. The x-axis will start at the date when the Epic was moved into the 'In Progress' state.
As Workflow States are unique for each Workflow, only one Workflow can be viewed at a time. This can be selected in the workflow dropdown.
Sum Using drop down can be used to display the work completed in points or in the number of stories. This setting will override your current Estimate Scale default (Setting > Estimate Scale) for just this report.