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Value Stream Board Layout and Indicators

Overview

This article explains explains the Value Stream Board layout and how to interpret the indicators.

ValueStreamBoard.png

To learn more, see Using the Value Stream Board.

Accessing the Value Stream Board

  1. From the main menu, select Portfolio Planning > Value Stream Board.

  2. Select a project from the Project Navigator.

The selected project and all child projects must share the same Schedule.

Value Stream Board Layout

The following table describes the Value Stream Board layout.

Item

Description

Rows

Each Row on the Program Board represents an immediate child of the selected Project.  If you are practicing SAFe, and viewing the board at the Value Stream level, each child project would represent a Release Train.  The board also contains rows representing other parts of your organization that are responsible for delivering upstream dependencies.

Columns

Each column represents a sprints/iterations in with begin or end dates in the date range defined by the selected Project. 

Unplanned column

The Unplanned column is used to identify unplanned work.  This can be either:

  • A Portfolio Items in this column indicates that no Backlog Items been planned into Iterations

  • An upstream dependency Backlog Item in this column indicates that the Backlog Item has not been planned into an Iteration.  

Out Of Scope column

The "Out Of Scope" column is used to indicate when items you intend, or need, to deliver in the in the selected Project are not part of same schedule and an end date cannot be determined. 

Value Stream Board Cards

The following table describes the cards visible on the Value Stream Board. 

Card

Description

Portfolio Item

Portfolio Item cards are placed in the last sprint/iteration where a Backlog Items are planned.  If multiple parts of the organization are working on a Portfolio Item, the card will exists on the board multiple times. 

Only the highest level Portfolio Items in the selected project are visible.   These are the same Portfolio Items you would see on the Portfolio Tree.

The Portfolio Item type is indicated by the colored bar on the left side of the card. 

If the Portfolio Item has planned and unplanned work, a yellow "U" icon will appear next to the Portfolio Item ID.  When this icon is present, the Portfolio Item may not be delivered in the Iteration where the card appears.

Until the Portfolio Item is delivered, there is a percent complete indicator in the top right corner of the card.  This measure is determined either by count or total estimate based on your tracking preferences.  Progress is also indicated with card shading.  As work for the Portfolio Item is delivered the card will be shaded darker from left to right.

Upstream Dependency Backlog Items (also known as Provider or Source Backlog Items)

Upstream Dependency Backlog Items must be completed before the Portfolio Item can completed.  These Backlog Item are placed in the Iteration where the provider intends to complete the work.

Upstream Dependency Backlog Items are shown only when the dependency is being satisfied by another part of the organization.  If all dependencies are owned by the same group, they are not indicated in the Program Board.

Upstream Dependency Backlog Items are connected to the Portfolio Item they impact with a red line. 

The Red Lines Connecting Cards

Ideally, there are no dependencies and when they exists they are all completed by the same Release Train.  However, this is not always the case.   When a Backlog Item requires input from another Release Train or another part of the organization, the Upstream Backlog Item (or the source) is displayed in the sprint/iteration for the responsible party. The Upstream Backlog Item is connected to the Portfolio Item that needs the work with a red line.  If there are additional upstream dependencies from other parts of the organization, those are also visible and connected with a red line.

The red arrow on the dependency line indicates the direction of flow.  The arrow always points from the upstream item (Source or Provider) to the downstream item (dependent or consumer).  Ideally, you want to see these arrows pointing from right ( -> ) across iteration boundaries.   An arrow pointing left (<-), indicates that the upstream dependency (source) has been planned after the downstream dependent (consumer).  This is a problem that needs to be addressed.  An arrow pointing up or down to another item in the same iteration, indicates that both the upstream dependency and the downstream dependent are being completed in the same iteration.  This situation requires additional coordination to make sure everything is completed on time.

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