Viz Help Center

Introduction

After you have created your Artifact Sets, the next step will be to model your artifacts. Here, you will identify your Flow Items — artifacts carrying business value — and model their states into Flow States. This allows Tasktop to generate Flow Metrics — measuring your artifacts speed and efficiency as they Flow across the value stream. 

Model your Artifacts

To begin modeling your artifacts, click the Artifact Modeling tab.

Click 'Artifact Modeling' tab

The first step is to model your relevant artifact types into Flow ItemsA Flow Item is a unit of business value pulled by a stakeholder through a product’s value stream.

(lightbulb) Note: If your artifacts do not have a one-to-one match to the available Flow Items, or if you'd like to whittle down the set of artifacts used to generate Flow Metrics, you can apply a condition.

Model Flow Items

To learn more about Flow Items, click the (question) on the Artifact Modeling screen or see the following table:

Flow ItemAbout this Flow ItemExamples
Feature

Delivers
New business value

Pulled By
Customers

Description
New value added to drive a business result; visible to the customer

  • Feature
  • Epic
  • User Story
  • Requirement
Defect

Delivers
Quality

Pulled By
Customers

Description
Fixes for quality problems that affect the customer experience

  • Defect
  • Bug
  • Problem
  • Incident
  • Change
Risk

Delivers
Security, governance, compliance

Pulled By
Security and risk officers

Description
Work to address security, privacy, and compliance exposures

  • Vulnerability
  • Regulatory Requirement
  • Security Issue
Debt

Delivers
Removal of impediments to future delivery

Pulled By
Architects, process architects, value stream leads

Description
An investment in improving future Feature velocity — technology, process and people. Improvement of the software architecture, operational architecture or ways of working

  • Technical Debt
  • API Addition
  • Refactoring
  • Infrastructure Automation
  • Skillset Improvements
  • Process Improvements
  • DevOps Practices
Supporting Artifact

Delivers
Must be paired with at least one other flow item to deliver value

Pulled By
Architects, customers, QA, etc

Description
An artifact or container that provides valuable support to the delivery of business value, but the output of value is carried by another Flow Item

  • Requirement
  • Documentation Task
  • Build
  • Release
  • Test Case
IgnoreArtifacts you intentionally want to exclude from your metrics
  • Sub-Task

Once your Flow Items are modeled, expand each artifact type to model its underlying Flow State, or use the Smart Model to auto-map your Flow States. Flow States are the generic workflow states of a Flow Item in a value stream.

(lightbulb) Note: If your artifact states do not have a one-to-one match to the available Flow States, you can apply a conditional Flow State.

Model Flow States

To learn more about Flow States, click the (question) on the Artifact Modeling screen or see the following table:

Flow StateDescriptionExamples
New 

The first state an artifact enters as soon as it is opened and before it is committed to.

Note: If your first state is a committed state, you don't need to assign a 'new' state. Instead, assign a 'waiting' or 'active' state.

  • New
  • To Triage
WaitingA 'holding' state indicating that the artifact is waiting and not actively being worked on.
  • To Do
  • Blocked
  • Ready
  • Waiting for Approval
ActiveAn active state where work is actually being done on the artifact.
  • In Design
  • SWAG
  • In Dev
  • In Progress
  • In QA

Done

The final state an artifact moves to, representing that it is complete and has delivered some or all of its intended value.
  • Done
  • Complete
  • Resolved
CanceledThis state represents work that has been voided, deferred, or invalidated.
  • Canceled
  • Deferred
  • Descoped
  • Rejected
IgnoreAn artifact state you intentionally want to exclude from your metrics.

After you've finished modeling your Flow Items and Flow States, click Save.

Click 'Save'

Congrats, you've modeled your value stream!

Now, you can visualize your workflow with the Flow Modeler, or head straight to your Flow Metrics dashboard to begin evaluating your metrics. 

Smart Modeling

Using Tasktop's built-in expertise, the Smart Model pulls in all of the artifact states from the artifacts in your product and auto-maps them to the available Flow States (new, waiting, active, done, canceled) — making the modeling process simple and efficient. 

To learn more, watch this quick tutorial or see the section below:

Applying the Smart Model

To apply the smart model to your artifact states, click the Apply Smart Model button in the upper right corner.

Click 'Apply Smart Model'

Tip: If you'd like to exclude a state from being modeled, select Ignore from the Flow State dropdown. 

(warning) Note: If a Flow State is set to Ignore while work is in progress on a modeled Flow Item, when work enters this state it will not be shown as WIP in Flow Load or part of the neglected WIP calculations. In general, you should not set a Flow State to Ignore if work is in progress.

On this screen, you'll see the smart model's proposal, along with the artifact states that couldn't be auto-mapped using the smart model.

Smart Model

If something doesn’t look right, uncheck the box next to the miscategorized state and you can manually map it later.

Uncheck the Box

If you've already modeled some of your artifact states, you can click Overwrite existing Flow State mappings to overwrite previous mappings.

(lightbulb) Note: By default, the smart model will not overwrite your mappings, and this box will remain unchecked. 

Overwrite existing flow state mappings

Once you're satisfied with the model, click Apply.

Click 'Apply'

A confirmation pop-up will appear the next steps for you to complete in the modeling process.

Confirmation Message

If you missed something and would like to update the model, click Back.

Click 'Back'

If you don’t need to make any changes to the model, go ahead and click Apply and the smart model will be applied. 

Click 'Apply'

Conditional Flow Items

To generate Flow Metrics, Tasktop Viz affords users the ability to model their artifacts into Flow Items and those artifacts' statuses into Flow States.

But sometimes the artifact type in your external tool doesn’t have a one-to-one match with the four Flow Items (FeatureDefectDebtRisk).  

For example, in a tool like Trello where every artifact is a card, organizations may use a type field or a tag to denote whether a card is a feature, defect, debt, risk, or supporting artifact.

Artifact

Tag

Flow Item



Card

Story

Feature

Bug

Defect

DebtDebt
SecurityRisk

Or, you may want to whittle down the set of artifacts used to generate Flow Metrics, for example to those belonging to one specific team or component. In those cases, you can apply a condition to your Flow Item mappings. Tasktop will treat any artifacts that don't meet the conditions configured as Not Set (i.e., not included in Flow Metrics).

ArtifactTeamFlow Item
StoryComplianceFeature
BugComplianceDefect
DebtComplianceDebt
Security RiskComplianceRisk

(warning) Note: If a Flow State is set to Ignore while work is in progress on a modeled Flow Item, when work enters this state it will not be shown as WIP in Flow Load or part of the neglected WIP calculations. In general, you should not set a Flow State to Ignore if work is in progress.

Supported Field Types

Tasktop supports configuring rule-based modeling using the following field types:

  • Single Select
  • Multi Select
  • Boolean
  • Text (Summary & Formatted ID only)
  • Container (Jira Align Program field only)

(lightbulb) To ensure you can use the Starts With operator and type in free text when setting a condition, Viz matches fields by label, and not by ID. As a result, if a Program or single select value is renamed, you must contact support to reload options so you can set an additional condition with the new name.

Configuring Conditional Flow Items

To configure rule-based modeling (also referred to as conditional Flow Item mapping), go to the Artifact Modeling tab for your Product Value Stream.

Click the (plus) in the Condition column for the artifact type you’d like to configure.

Add a Condition

In the Add Condition (Flow Item) panel, populate the condition you'd like to apply. You can click + Add Statement to add additional criteria to the condition.

Configure and Apply the Condition

(warning) Note: Tasktop matches field values for Flow Item conditions based on label, so if the value's label changes in the tool (i.e., if it changes in Jira), the condition must be reconfigured in Viz to ensure metrics continue to be accurate.

Once applied, model that row into the correct Flow Item.

Set Flow Item Category

If you'd like to view all conditions, select Expand from the dropdown next to your condition. If you'd like to apply additional conditions to the same artifact type, select Add or Duplicate from the dropdown. 

  • Add: creates a new row with no condition configured.
  • Duplicate: creates a new row with the same condition configured, so that you can easily modify field values based on the original statement. 'Duplicate' will also copy over any associated Flow State or Flow Item mappings so that they do not need to be re-mapped (if the original condition has already been saved).

Add, Duplicate, or Expand Condition

Once all of your conditions have been set, mapped, and their associated Flow States modeled, click Save.

(lightbulb) Note: Setting a condition can take some time to process. We recommend setting all desired conditions before saving.

As your updated Flow Item mappings process, you can track progress using the bar at the top of the screen.

Progress Bar

Editing or Removing a Conditional Flow Item

To edit or remove a condition that you’ve set, click on the condition's link.

Edit or Remove a Condition

Click the trash can icon to remove a condition.

Remove a Condition

Once you’ve removed or edited your conditions as desired, click Apply.

Click 'Apply'

Confirm your Flow mappings look as expected, and click Save.

(lightbulb) Note: Updating or removing a condition can take some time to process. We recommend updating all desired conditions before saving.

Click 'Save'

Conditional Flow States

To generate Flow Metrics, Tasktop Viz affords users the ability to model their artifacts into Flow Items and those artifacts' statuses into Flow States.

But sometimes the status in your external tool doesn’t have a one-to-one match with the five Flow States (New, Active, Waiting, Done, Canceled).  

For example, an In Progress state could either be active or waiting depending on whether a blocked tag has been applied. 

Status

Tags

Flow State

In Progress

Blocked

Waiting

Not Blocked

In Progress


Or a Done state could be either done or new, depending on whether the Resolution field is done or deferred.

Status

Resolution

Flow State

Done

Done

Done

Deferred

New

In these cases, rule-based modeling can be applied to create more fine-tuned Flow State mappings.

Tasktop supports configuring rule-based modeling using the following field types:

  • Single Select
  • Multi Select
  • Boolean
  • Text (Summary & Formatted ID only)
  • Container (Jira Align Program field only)

(lightbulb) To ensure you can use the Starts With operator and type in free text when setting a condition, Viz matches fields by label, and not by ID. As a result, if a Program or single select value is renamed, you must contact support to reload options so you can set an additional condition with the new name.

Configuring Conditional Flow States

To configure rule-based modeling (also referred to as conditional Flow State mapping), go to the Artifact Modeling tab for your Product Value Stream.

Click the (plus) next to the desired artifact type to view its statuses. Click the (plus) in the Condition column for the artifact status you’d like to configure.

Add a Condition

In the Add Condition (Flow State) panel, select the set of conditions you’d like to map. You can click + Add Statement to add additional criteria to the condition. Each condition will appear in the Artifact Modeling tab, which can then be categorized as a separate Flow State.

(lightbulb) Note: To ensure that the conditional filters are mutually exclusive, the same field must be used for each condition.

Set your First Condition

Add Multiple Conditions

Add a Statement

Click 'Apply'

After applying your condition(s), it will appear in the Artifact Modeling tab. You can then model your condition(s) into the correct Flow State. 

(lightbulb) Note: Setting a condition can take some time to process. We recommend setting all desired conditions before saving.

Model the Flow State

If you'd like to view all conditions, select Expand from the dropdown next to your condition. If you'd like to apply additional conditions to the same artifact type, select Add or Duplicate from the dropdown. 

  • Add: creates a new row with no condition configured.
  • Duplicate: creates a new row with the same condition configured, so that you can easily modify field values based on the original statement. Duplicate will also copy over any associated Flow State mappings so that they do not need to be re-mapped (if the original condition has already been saved).

Add, Duplicate, or Expand Condition

Once all of your conditions have been set, mapped, and their associated Flow States modeled, click Save.

Click 'Save'

As your updated Flow State mappings process, you can track progress using the bar at the top of the screen.

Progress Bar

Editing or Removing a Conditional State

To edit or remove a condition that you’ve set, click on the condition's link.

Edit or Remove a Condition

Click the trash can icon to remove the entire condition, or click the x to remove a single condition.

Remove a Condition

Once you’ve removed or edited your conditions as desired, click Apply. 

Click 'Apply'

Confirm your Flow mappings look as expected, and click Save.

(lightbulb) Note: Updating or removing a condition can take some time to process. We recommend updating all desired conditions before saving.

Click 'Save'




Next Steps

Now that you've modeled your artifacts, you can visualize your workflow with the Flow Modeler.



Set-Up Guide