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Blocked history of a Task

Adam Corbin (112) | asked Jul 27 '17, 8:10 a.m.
edited Jul 27 '17, 9:14 a.m.

Is it possible to get the blocked attribute history(when open/closed dates or how long it was blocked for in days) from the Report Builder?

Currently I have a nice report that gets the start date and close date of the tasks and I can calculate how long a task has been open in excel. So what I would like to know is if that tasks was ever blocked, how long was it blocked for? This will help give a ratio how long a task was blocked for vs how long the task took to actually finish.

Is there a way to automate this without having someone look at the task's history within RTC?

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Nate Decker (37814059) | answered Jul 27 '17, 9:37 a.m.
I don't know how to do this in Report Builder, but I've written a report in Rational Publishing Engine (RPE) that does exactly this. It uses the REST API to query the work item history of each work item satisfying your crtieria. The history comes back in random order so those history entries have to be sorted. We've defined a state for our work items called "Work Stoppage" that we use when a work item is blocked. The RPE report keeps track of how much time each work item spent in that state and then reports it at the end.
If you are using RPE in your environment, I could provide you with our template and you could see if you could tailor it for your own configuration. If your work items don't have an explicit "Work Stoppage" state (or something similar), then you'd have to change the logic that the script uses for defining if a work item is "Blocked".

Adam Corbin commented Jul 27 '17, 9:49 a.m.

 Hey Nate, Thanks for the response! 

I have not used RPE before but maybe thats a direction we could try. Are you saying you add in a different state when an item becomes blocked? I am wondering if working with our Admins to add in something that can be track on when an item gets blocked and un-blocked.

Nate Decker commented Jul 27 '17, 11:52 a.m.

Yeah we actually built a state for this called "Work Stoppage". This was intended to be something a little bit more significant than just having a work item blocked by a link relationship to another work item. This state was intended for the engineer to say, "I can't proceed any further on this work item until I get information or action from a dependency."

I'm sure you could do the same thing by cueing off of work item links instead of an explicit state value. One nice thing about using a state for this type of thing though is that if you have Cognos reporting available, I understand that getting the time spent in a particular state is something that can be done in Cognos fairly easily.

If you aren't familiar with RPE, it is JavaScript based and relies primarily on the REST API. So you could write a custom report that just uses that REST API without needing RPE. RPE just abstracts away some of the difficulties of REST API communication (primarily the XML parsing aspects).

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