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MVP : 10 Query module for individual and portfolio level visibility

MVP : 10 Query module for individual and portfolio level visibility

Considerable effort goes into architecting operational efficiency across the organization. This demanding considerable focus for fully remote and virtual organizations while ensuring all the autonomously working units are glued together. There could be many dimensions to ensuring operational efficiency. It demands continuous refactoring. A continuous endeavor to seek solutions for efficient project management for effective deliveries all the while ensuring that management best practices and global standards are followed.

Through this article, I share on my experiences with Redmine on how simply creating a collection of project, portfolio and organization wide queries (henceforth called as a query module in this story for its inherent scalability) enabled efficient individual work management and portfolio level audit management. The article also shares on the configurations against each query, should you need to replicate the query filter.

We used Redmine for quite a few years for it plays well with other tools helping integrate as many requirements as possible and providing significant gains in efficiency, quality, and collaboration.

Focusing this on Configuring tools and techniques being Architect custom and global queries for efficient daily issue filtration and related project or portfolio visibility.

With each filter I recommend query elements that worked for us and which I feel as important to meet the query context. They are not comprehensive. They should be tested and refactored to include/remove what works best for your organization. For some organizations query results could be used as input asset for planning or as a measure of progress. The indicator categories are what worked for the teams.

Further to enable effective usage of following query collection, separate trackers for programs and audits was designed with their unique workflows.

Self, Project and Portfolio activity planning and progress query filters

  • My task board (Planning indicator)

    Query filter enabling each person to have a individual view of their work to plan their next day or the current work day.

    • Visible to Manager, Developer and Reporter per project; Enabled for all projects; Grouping of query results by versions; Display only open, non program issues; Descending order of priority and last updated; %tage done, due date , spent time and interim status important elements in the query results; Assignee set as self.

  • Workload assigned to the team (Planning Indicator)

    Query filter enabling managers and team members to view assigned workload per team member and dive further into an element status.

    • Visible to Manager, Developer and Reporter per project; Enabled for all projects; Grouping of query results by assignee; Display only open, non program issues; Descending order of priority and last updated; %tage done, due date, last updated, changes and interim status as important elements in the query results.

  • Review work items recently updated (Progress indicator)

    Query filter enabling managers to view recently updated work items. The time span of relevance can be customized in the query filter.

    • Visible to Managers only; Enabled for all projects; Descending order of last updated; Project name, %tage done, due date and interim status important elements in the query results.

  • Work in Progress limits per project (Planning Indicator)

    Query filter enabling teams to reflect and refactor on assigned work to not exceed defined work in progress limits per assignee.

    • Visible to Managers only; Enabled for all projects; Descending order of last updated; Grouped by assignee; Project name, %tage done, due date and interim status important elements in the query results

      [Task force working through a pool and could be contributing to more than one project]

  • Activities completed grouped by project in last one month (Progress indicator)

    Query filter enabling portfolio managers to view all activities including milestones completed in the last one month

    • Visible to Managers; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by Project; Status filtered as closed (tasks marked as done are not included in this filter) in the last one month; Descending order of closure; Closure date with due date and assignee as important elements in the query results.

  • Activities completed grouped by assignee in last two work weeks (Progress indicator)

    Query filter enabling managers to view most recent productivity (velocity) in the last two weeks

    • Visible to entire project team; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by Project and then by assignee; Status filtered as closed (tasks marked as done are not included in this filter) in the last two work weeks; Descending order of closure; Spent time, due date, closure date as important elements in the query results.

  • Activities completed but pending closure or needing approval (Progress indicator)

    Query filter enabling managers and customer engagement team to view tasks completed that need customer / internal approval before closure.

    • Visible to entire team; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by Project; Status filtered as done; due date, done date as important elements in the query results.

  • Goals and Milestones across projects and portfolio (Planning and Progress Indicator)

    Query filter enabling managers to view milestones and their status for the portfolio project wise.

    • Visible to Managers; Type/tracker restricted to Milestones; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by project or function; Descending order of Priority and last updated; Project title, planned due date and current status important elements in the query results.

  • Short term backlogs and long term wish-list (Planning indicator)

    Query filter enabling project/program managers/portfolio leads to view the program priorities. By program I mean a collection of projects for a common account, projects in a value chain or a program for organizational capability improvement. Customization can be done to the queries or multiple such queries can be created to manage granularity on the timeline.

    • For project backlogs (groomed and scheduled on timeline)

      • Visible to entire team; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by epics; Only open epics and user stories; Descending order of Priority (Urgent, High, Normal and Low) and last updated; Assignee name, %tage done, due date, spent time and interim status important elements in the query results.

    • For program backlogs (groomed and scheduled on timeline)

      • Visible to Managers; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by project or function; Only open programs (created as a separate tracker. Could be epic and themes); Descending order of Priority and last updated; Assignee name, %tage done, due date and interim status important elements in the query results.

    • Wish-list

      • Visible to Managers; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by project or function; Only open programs (created as a separate tracker. Could be epic and themes as ticket types); Descending order of Priority and last updated; Assignee name, %tage done, due date and interim status important elements in the query results.

      • Above query can be customized to only show themes and epics as trackers (or ticket types in JIRA) pending grooming status to display long term wish-list.

      • Separate queries could be created should you be having quarterly, half yearly or yearly wish-lists.

  • Audit and Reviews (Progress Indicator)

    Query filter to capture the progress of planned technical audits as a timely process

    • Visible to managers; Enabled for all projects; Grouping by Project and then by assignee (auditor); Tracker/Type as Audit (type created separately) Descending order of closure; Spent time, due date, closure date as important elements in the query results.

The above collection of queries works with organizational scale. Treating the query collection as a minimum viable module, instances for the same module can be created for other structural elements in the organization. The elements could be functions (Human resources, marketing,…), delivery value chains or centers of excellence.

The success of query indicators relies heavily on how projects are structured in the PMIS tool. More autonomous the projects better is the usability of above design.

Though the module sound elementary, this collection helped me provide efficiency and rigor in task management for a completely remote 100 people organization. Providing with multiple tiers of transparent information from project to portfolio, 30 minutes on the queries, any senior leadership member/manager could have at a glance top level/low level view on the portfolio status and progress for appropriate interventions.

Besides above queries managed via the tool (JIRA/Redmine) administration route, each project team could create and save their own queries (Kanban’s in JIRA) in projects. The latter flexibility being extremely important for sprint level Kanban’s (JIRA) and query boards (Redmine) , customized for specific customer needs.

It might be felt that some of the queries/boards are automated in tools and as given but majorly from my experience, all need refactoring to meet the needs of the team; whatever the tool being used.

The set above works for majority of organizations in intermediate level of management maturity to support more managerial rigor and discipline.

You can look forward to progress and planning indicators to check against Service Level agreements - coming soon.

Reach out for service needs on query and filter designs (whatever the tool), to feed into ensuring organizational connected-ness

Converting ISO 2015 process templates to evolving customer journeys (process maps) in JIRA enabling cross team collaboration

Why Spotify as a self-management solution failed for 45 people workforce for misunderstood autonomy?

Why Spotify as a self-management solution failed for 45 people workforce for misunderstood autonomy?