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  2. Using Swarmia
  3. Track Engineering Initiatives

Creating initiatives in Swarmia

Set up your initiatives to enable visibility beyond team-level work.

About Initiatives

Initiatives help to understand the cross-team level work towards company objectives. They consist of issues from multiple teams that might be completed in months, whereas initiatives might be completed in a few quarters to a year.

Initiatives help to understand the "big picture":

  • What has been already done and what is next
  • Is something stuck at the moment or at risk of getting dropped
  • How many teams and people are working on the initiative
  • Which of the teams is driving the effort

Setting up initiatives

  1. Navigate to Organization / Initiatives
  2. Add a new initiative
  3. Give the basic information for the initiative and link any relevant resource to it. You can give the initiative target start and end dates, but they are not required.
  4. Include any relevant issues to the initiative.

Initiatives Overview

The initiatives listing view allows for a top-level overview of all ongoing initiatives within the organization. From here you can deep dive into initiatives that need steering.

For each initiative following attributes are displayed:

  • In progress time of how long an initiative has been ongoing since the first activity
  • Health badge displaying if the initiative is on track, idle, or at risk. The health is based on when the initiative had the latest activity:
    • On track when the initiative has had activity within four days
    • Idle if there has not been activity for four days
    • At risk if there has not been activity for over two weeks
  • Progress bar displaying the completed vs total of planned issues within an initiative and its child issues
  • Start date displaying the planned or first activity date
  • Target date displaying the planned target date or the last activity date for completed initiatives

Analyzing activity patterns

 

The detailed initiative view is made for inspecting the initiative's progress, finding any possible bottlenecks, showcasing the contributors, and displaying the planned work to be started. Here are some things that are possible to be inspected from the view:

  1. Each dot in the activity timeline represents the volume of activity on a particular day or week. One of the best indicators of a stuck or blocked initiative is long periods of inactivity. When you spot long periods of inactivity, you can investigate further why work might be blocked. It’s possible to expand individual rows in the timeline to drill deeper into specific issues. You can also click on each dot on the timeline to see all contributors that happened on that day or week as a list. This way, you can pinpoint specific issues and unblock the work.
  2. The mismatch between planned completion date and unstarted work and inactivity. An initiative might contain subtasks that are idle and have not had steady activity lately or the initial plan has been too ambitious.

  1. From the activity tooltip, you can see the ratio of done work for the time period
  2. Possibility to drill down to individual issues and inspect their progress

All of these can be used to gain insights into the work being done towards an initiative. With this information, if your initiative seems to be at risk of getting stuck, you can start conversations with your team to make steady progress.