12min

Initiatives

Definition

Initiatives are sizable pieces of work (e.g., a large feature, a project, or a program) which typically span across multiple teams. Initiatives typically often have a definition of done (in scope, in time, or both). An initiative in Echoes is defined by its name and the weighted combination of outcomes it contributes to.

Work flowing through a "Replatforming" initiative onto its components
Work flowing through a "Replatforming" initiative onto its components

Guidelines

  1. Initiatives are shared by the entire organization and best used for sizeable cross-team work.
  2. Good initiatives speak to everyone, making it easy for non-technical stakeholders to understand the purpose of work.

Benefits of initiatives

Initiatives are mapped to a label of their own in your integrations. This makes the annotation effort even more straightforward, as they won't have to think too hard about the right label to apply when contributing in the context of an initiative.

Efforts on initiatives will be reported on a line of their own. You can therefore see how much efforts have been allocated on initiatives, as well as hiding this level of details without any loss of data (efforts will be simply split on the initiative's components).

Measuring progress on initiatives

Issues across πŸ”Œ INTEGRATIONS (e.g., GitHub issues, JIRA user stories) tagged with a given initiative will be considered part of the initiative's scope. This is used to measure progress on the initiative across teams and systems.

Progress on initiatives across teams and systems
Progress on initiatives across teams and systems

Support for GitHub task lists

When used with GitHub, Echoes examines the content of issues for task lists and counts each item as one task. For example, an issue labeled with the initiative "Phoenix" containing a task list of 12 items, with 5 of them being checked, will count as 5 completed tasks and 7 remaining tasks toward the initiative's completion.

Target completion date

Initiatives have an optional target completion date which can be set at initiative creation time, and updated at any point within its advanced settings.

Optional initiative target completion date
Optional initiative target completion date

When a target completion date is set for the initiative, Echoes will use the combined information of completion (as provided by the number of completed and remaining tasks tagged for the initiative across integration) and effort to compute a status for the initiative. The status is defined as followed:

Status

Definition

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The initiative is likely to be delivered by its target date.

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The initiative is at risk of not meeting its target date.

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The initiative will not be completed by its target date given the current pace of progress.

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An estimated completion date could not be computed. This may happen when Echoes has insufficient data regarding the activity on this initiative.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Can an initiative's composition change over time?

Yes, the composition of initiatives can change. Whether you want to those changes to be reflect to past contribution is up to you:

Option to control whether composition changes apply to past efforts
Option to control whether composition changes apply to past efforts

When the option to retroactively apply composition changes is unchecked, the updated composition will only apply to future contributions to the initiative.

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Updated 23 Jun 2022
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