A dimension is an axis on which engineering efforts can be categorized. Each dimension contains a tree of possible values (called nodes) with an optional default value.
Echoes comes with three special dimensions: the primary, the impediments, and the effort dimensions.
The primary dimension is the one you pick during onboarding. It is automatically published to all integrations. All efforts are expected to be tagged on the primary dimension: the builtin GitHub Check can be enabled to ensure that no pull request gets merged without this expectation being met.
The impediments dimension lets engineers express difficulties faced during implementation. It relies on the same mechanism of tags being published to integrations. The impediments dimension is special in that its associated data participates in the “Health” component of success.
The effort dimension provides a way to weigh work items based on the amount of effort it took to complete them. All observed efforts (e.g., merged GitHub pull requests) are considered equally weighted by default. While this is an acceptable approximation in most cases, some teams may want to use the effort tags to refine the computation, for example tagging with “XS” the items that took very little effort to complete. The effort dimension has a default value of “M”: work items without a tag for this dimension are therefore considered medium.
Secondary dimensions are user-created dimensions used to categorize engineering efforts across additional axes. For example:
- A “product” dimension to categorize efforts across different product lines.
- A “country” dimension to categorize efforts across the countries benefiting from the changes.
- A “persona” dimension to categorize efforts across the personas they intend to serve.
Secondary dimensions, like any other dimension, contain a tree of possible values with an optional default value.
A secondary dimension can be set as primary, in which case it becomes the primary source of data shown in reports. This operation is non-destructive, and a different primary dimension can be set at any time.