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Why is advanced release burndown not showing bars for remaining story points?

Markus Nosse (15112828) | asked Jan 09 '15, 5:02 a.m.
The advanved release burndown (v4) usually shows bars for each iteration to visualize remaining story points per priority. At the moment, this functionality is broken!

We observed this already once in december, when for a short period of time the bars were not included on the chart. The problem disappeared, but now again the charts dont's show the bars. The problem may be related to changing the current iteration, but this is only a guess and has not been analyzed or reproduced.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

On a side note: is it possible to put log statements into the rptdesign so that the report engine will write traces?

Thanks in advance,

2 answers

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Alanna Zito (1.3k3) | answered Jan 09 '15, 2:09 p.m.
Hi Markus,

Can you tell me exactly what version of RTC are you using?  The Advanced Release Burndown report changed significantly in 4.0.4, so I'd need to know which version of the report you have.

Assuming you're using the older version of the report (4.0.3 or earlier), it could indeed be related to your current iteration.  The bars only show for completed iterations (everything prior to the "current" iteration), so if your report starts at the current iteration, you won't see the bars.

Markus Nosse commented Jan 12 '15, 7:27 a.m.

Hi Alanna,

thanks for thinking about my problem. The version of the report we are using is 4.0, so your assumption regarding pre-4.0.4 is correct. In the meantime, we are almost sure to have fixed the problem, please refer to my answer below for more details.

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Markus Nosse (15112828) | answered Jan 12 '15, 8:41 a.m.
I think we figured out why we were experiencing problems with the advanced burndown report not displaying the bars for remaining story points:

The report which showed the problem is configured with a fairly large number of iterations (50+). Based on Allana's post above and based on the observation that the problem surfaced around the point in time when we changed the current iteration, we decided to create smaller report configurations to better understand what happens if only past iterations are selected, if past iterations up to the current iteration are selected and similar configurations with future iterations.

Interestingly, when we tried to execute the report configured with a few past iterations up to the current iteration, the chart did not show the bars, but the report also displayed the following error message:

"ERROR: This report can only generate a burndown chart for a single release, but you have selected multiple iterations that have project release plans defined (R1, I42). Please re-run the report and choose a single release together with all its child iterations."

R1 is the top-level iteration for the current release, I42 however is the current iteration.

With this information, we checked what plans had been created for the current iteration, and as it turned out, one of the component teams used plan type "release backlog" for their I42 plan, where they probably should have selected sprint backlog instead. After changing the plan type and running the warehouse ETL jobs, both the "small" report worked as expected (especially was showing the bars for remaining story points), as well as the "large" configuration with all 50+ iterations selected. We hope that this was the only cause for the bars to disappear!

With this problem hopefully understood and fixed, I have two open questions remaining:
1) Why was the error message only shown on the "small" configuration, but not on the large one?
2) What is the relation between advanced release burndown and plans of type release backlog? The implications of this relationship should be mentioned in the documentation, I think.


Alanna Zito commented Jan 12 '15, 9:38 a.m.

Glad you managed to get to the bottom of your problem!  I mentioned that we changed the report significantly in 4.0.4 - one of the reasons was to make this report less "picky" about how your project is set up, so that issues like this don't happen as often.  Re: your specific questions:

1) It's difficult to answer this without knowing exactly how your iterations are set up, and which ones were selected in the report.  In general, I would expect the report to always generate that error if more than one "release" iteration is selected.

2) The report assumes that exactly one of the iterations you've selected is the "release" iteration.  To determine which one is the release, as you found out, it looks for a plan of type "Release Backlog".  The new version of the report doesn't have this restriction anymore, and allows you to report on any group of iterations.

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