Slices

Basics

Slices are sets of issues grouped together because they have something in common, which can be the same status category, a reporter, or nearly any other attribute that you choose.

In Pivot Report, you can find slices on the Issue Structure, Pivot and Capacity tabs alongside a row of progress indicators:

Slices

If you click a slice on any of these tabs, only issues related to it will be displayed in the report. So quite literally slices are a key to your ability to slice and dice data.

Default slices in Pivot Report are very similar to the tabs on the Release page in Jira, since they too show issues in the common ‘To Do’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’ status categories. But this is only the beginning, because you can customize both their source and appearance to your needs.

How to configure slices

Slices are based on JQL queries, which means they are configured the same way you might set up swimlanes in a board. And it is in fact where we’ve borrowed the idea.

To make changes to the slices configuration, it is necessary to first save the report. Then, in the upper right corner of the saved report, click the three dots menu and select Configure:

Configure

Next, go to the Slices configuration page:

Slices Page

Now you need to turn the criteria for each of your custom slices into JQL queries and insert them into a table as shown below:

Slices Configuration

NOTE: Depending on the JQL queries you compose, same issues can appear in more than one slice. In this case, the sum of the issues in all slices will be greater than the actual total number of issues shown in the All Issues slice.

Here’s what happens if you create a separate slice for bug issues:

Issues Sum

Because all the issues inevitably belong to one of the status categories, bugs are counted in the total number only once, and the All Issues slice correctly displays 98.

Customization options

With custom slices being the result of JQL queries, you get to have full control over what your slices represent and how many of them there are.

Additionally, there are multiple parameters you can change to make your report a little more informative and visually appealing. You can set names to explain the slices, assign color to help identify them at a glance, or define the minimum and maximum allowed issues in the slice.

Custom Slices

When a limit is set, the slice displays a warning every time it is exceeded. Similar to how a column constraint in a Kanban board works, this visual indicator can help you ensure that your team isn’t overwhelmed and that work is moving forward.

Display format

There are three options to display the number of issues in a slice: as a plain counter, as a rate that includes the total number of issues, or as a percentage.

Slices Display Format

By default, slices without issues are hidden from the report, but as soon as a fitting issue appears, the related slice gets included on the report. If you want, you can change this default behavior by checking the corresponding box and make all slices visible at all times.

Right below this setting, you may choose not to show the All Issues slice. This can help you save space or omit unnecessary information, particularly if the total number of issues is already visible in the rate. Although it will prevent you from seeing report data across all issues at once.

Slices and progress

Usually slices are placed above a row or progress indicators, and when a slice is selected, progress is affected like the rest of the data in the report.

However, we understand that reporting requirements can be different. So if you’d like your progress to be calculated across all issues in the report, you can achieve just that by changing the slices default placement and operation on the Options tab in the report configuration.

Slices and Progress Setting

This setting is also available for the whole app and can be found in Jira Settings > Apps > Pivot Report > Report Options > Slices and Progress.

IMPORTANT! The settings you define on the app level can be overridden in saved reports.

See below how the values in progress indicators change depending on where they are located. This is slices over progress:

Slices over Progress

And this is progress over slices:

Progress over Slices

A core difference that you should note here is the completion rate. See how in the first image it only applies to the selected slice and is zero because the seven issues are still in progress. With progress indicators placed above slices in the same report, the completion rate becomes 21%, since it now represents a percentage of the total number of issues.

Other benefits

Slices are useful to quickly get a sense of what’s going on in your projects. Recognizing this, we’ve made them available as a gadget that you can include in your Jira dashboard.

To add a gadget, go to the dashboard of your choice and click Add gadget. In the gadget wizard, locate Pivot Report Slices and once again click Add gadget. Now all that remains is to select the source report and adjust a couple of settings we’ve already discussed:

Slices Gadget

That’s it! You can keep all the important slices from as many reports as you like always in sight. If you wish to learn more about this and other gadgets we offer, check out the dedicated article.

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