Sometimes people ask me how it is possible to track status of items that have been refined by subitems. Imagine having a change request that has been broken down into several tasks. In the following blog I want to take a deeper look on how parent items can be tracked even if they have been refined into subitems.
Where Planning Information is Visible
Each workitem in Polarion contains a field that represents automatically calculated planning information. This field is called planned to. It contains the start and end date to which a workitem was scheduled by Polarion during the latest planning round (update of liveplan). The planned to field is not editable and it will only be updated if the workitem is considered as an element that must be planned (please refer to the planning.xml file for more information).
As soon as Polarion has finished a planning round you will see a start and end date inside the planned to field.
How is the planned to field calculated ?
Please have a look at the other blogs on planning and linking to get a better understanding of Polarion’s planning algorithm. Today we want to analyze the parent/child relationship in more detail. Let’s take following scenario:
Our project has received a change request (EDEMO-1: “Text should be easier to read”) which has as remaining estimate of 10 days and was scheduled to timepoint Rel-1.
After a while our change request has been refined by two subtasks (EDEMO-2: “Increase text size” and EDEMO-3: “Increase contrast and color (black and white)” ) EDEMO-2 has remaining estimate of 6 days and EDEMO-3 has a remaining estimate of 7 days
Parent Items are not Visualized in Liveplan
As a matter of fact we have created a little conflict here. The child items have in sum a different estimate compared to the parent item – 13 days for the child tasks compared to 10 days initially planned for the change request. Polarion’s liveplan will manage such conflicts in following way. Parent items will be removed from liveplan when they have child items. Only child items will be visible. The reason is that remaining time estimates on child items are considered more accurate as estimates on parent items.
How Planning Information is Delegated to Parent Items
So how can we track our change request when it is not anymore displayed in liveplan and how is the conflict resolved?
Even if parent items are not visible in liveplan the planned to field is updated correctly. After Polarion’s next planning round the liveplan will contain a range of 13 days (EDEMO-2 + EDEMO-3) instead of 10 days. Polarion sums up remaining estimates of all child items and presents the result inside the planned to field of the parent item
Where Can I See Planning Information of Parent Items
If you want to see if parent items are delayed you can switch to one of the following views:
- table view,
- tree view or
- roadmap view.
You should make sure that the timePoint, plannedStart and plannedEnd columns are displayed. If an item is delayed it will be marked in red. If you want to check why an item is delayed you can change to tree view and analyze state and estimations of the child items. In our example the 13 days for change request EDEMO-1 is too long and timepoint Rel-1 can not be reached. Additionally we see that task EDEMO-2 can not be finished in time.