Iteration Baseline - Tracking Unplanned Work

Iteration baseline allows you to take a snapshot of items at the start of an iteration. Planbox will then track any new unplanned items and estimate-hours which sneak up, giving you a picture of how much work is unplanned. You can use this information to compensate in future iteration planning, and avoid overloading your team.

Note: Iteration baseline works for the Current iteration. Iterations already past cannot be baselined as Planbox did not track unplanned work.

Activating Iteration Baseline

By default Iteration Baseline is turned off. It can be turned on per initiative on the Initiative Settings page, in the Features section. Click on the "Track Unplanned Items" checkbox in the Iteration Baseline category, to activate it. Once activated, Planbox will take a snapshot of items and their planned estimate-hours at the start of every new iteration. If you are in the middle of the Current iteration, Planbox takes the snapshot at that moment.

Tracking Unplanned Work

On the Items & Tasks page, to identify the modified items or the newly added ones in your list of items since the iteration has been baselined, look at the top right corner of each item. A brown triangle indicates that an item was newly added. A brown corner ribbon indicates that estimate-hours were changed. You can open the item to see more details more on the Item Pane.

Open the Burndown tile on the Iteration Board to see the amount of unplanned work. The baseline is taken on a certain date and time. Planbox automatically takes a snapshot at the start of the Current iteration.

Note: Unplanned items only exist for Current and past iterations (if they were baselined). Items in Next and Backlog do not have the brown triangles or corner ribbons.

Iteration Baseline Tile

On the Iteration Board, you can use the Iteration Baseline Tile to see items that have been added or changed since the iteration has been baselined. You will be able to compare the hours originally estimated for each item to the newly updated amounts. Ultimately, you get an overview of the work that was added since the iteration was originally planned, and if more resources will be needed.

If the planning of your iteration suddenly changes drastically, you can choose to reset the baseline. By doing so, all newly added items and items with modified estimated hours will become part of the original items. In essence, it will be as if you were just starting your iteration and have planned everything before.

The Iteration Baseline tile is an optional feature. To activate this new feature, you need to go to your Initiative Settings and look in the Features section.

Planned vs Unplanned Work Report

On the Reports page, you can pull reports and extract metrics about unplanned work. Select the Planned vs Unplanned Work report for the iterations you want to see. Planbox will show you a graph with two bars per iteration.

The first bar shows unplanned (orange) and planned (blue) work in estimate-hours for the iteration. Above is written the ratio of unplanned over planned. The second bar (yellow and green) shows the same but for completed work.

You can use the unplanned/planned ratio to help you buffer work when planning future iterations.

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