February 2, 2010

Better Workflow Metrics in Grouping Reports

Reporting
The list report grouping stylesheets, introduced in TestTrack 2009, have been tremendously helpful to customers looking to slice data by various attributes, such as hours worked by product/component. One area that trips a lot of people up is grouping by status. By default, the Status field shows each artifact's place in the workflow along with user assignments. This can make grouping by status problematic, since items in the same state will not be grouped together if they're assigned to different people. When you report on workflow state you're typically just interested in seeing how issues are being handled at various states. For example, what is the breakdown for the current release? Is everything in QA or bottled up with Development, are we waiting on Validation to give the green light, etc. As an example, this chart shows a drill-down for functional tests in a current release. I don't care who they're assigned to, I just want to know how they're distributed across the workflow.

functestcount_dist11

You can change your User Options to make grouping reports work more effectively for you.

User Options

Most people like to include assignment information on the Status field, since it's an important piece of the workflow and gives you a quick look at state and the person responsible for working it right now. If you change your options then you'll also want to update your existing views to add the Assignment column so that you can still see that information. To make this change, go to Tools > User Options and under the Display folder you can specify how to display "status" within the clients. User Options - Status Display If you've been struggling with reports that don't show you a clean breakdown by workflow state, I hope this helps to correct the problem.