Project Monitoring: Deliver Greater Business Value!

Scrum agile processProject managers need to continuously evaluate project implementation, predict possible risks and identify solutions to ensure smooth execution in a timely manner. Unlike the traditional approach to project management, Agile Project Monitoring focuses more on providing the right environment for the project to succeed instead of restricting to the norms of planning or controlling projects. While traditional project management techniques rely heavily on tracking the project performance by making comparisons between planned vs. actuals, Agile Project Monitoring gives you the power to accept changes, make suitable adjustments and adapt quickly to the situation in hand. It allows you to draw strengths from the positives such as on-time deliveries, simple tracking of multiple project modules and guaranteed quality thereby empowering you to efficiently control the outcome of the project.

Before we get in deeper into this, here’s a course that shows you Agile methodology can help you get things done – faster.

What is Agile Project Monitoring?

Agile processes essentially divide a project into smaller units, each representing a feature of the complete software or product that are to be designed, built, tested and integrated in a certain time through an iterative process to meet the highest standards of quality. The Agile Project Monitoring thereby focuses on monitoring the progress of these individual units, assign or reassign tasks as required, get regular feedbacks from customer and ensure the overall project is right on track to deliver the desired results as per customer’s needs. Here’s an introductory course to Scrum that shows you just how it’s done.

Features of Agile Project Monitor

  • Velocity

This quantifies the amount of “working software” that has been delivered in the time-frame allotted, called Sprint. Usually Sprint cycles last a couple of weeks or sometimes months. Velocity helps you understand the efficiency of your system and improve your estimates for upcoming cycles thereby acting as a self-correcting tool.

  • Burn-Down Chart

The daily burn down chart tracks the progress of your development teams in a graphical way to represent the completion of tasks in each sprint cycle. This further leads to the creation of a Final burn down chart at the end of iterations.

  • Estimate to Complete

This is as the name implies. All tasks in the Sprint are taken and the time taken to completion is estimated. This is done by the team member responsible for the task. Not some top down order. This makes it realistic.

  • Release Burn-Up Chart

This shows the total work completed in a series of sprint cycles, highlighting the team’s achievements and giving you the opportunity to reflect on the positives and negatives and take corrective actions.

By getting team members to take responsibility for their own tasks, and involving them in the entire process, you achieve a greater sense of ownership, not to mention increased productivity. Having daily progress mapped out visually, helps keep the team motivated. These are just small ways in which Agile monitoring helps keep the Scrum, and the workplace, fun. To learn more about how you can leverage it to get your team to enjoy work more, check out this awesome course.

Benefits of Agile Project Monitor

  • Improved Quality

Agile focuses on adhering to technological excellence by integrating daily testing with the development process thereby fixing the problems in a frequent manner. It leads to addressing the issues instantly and making the products error-free to achieve continual improvement and sustainable development. This course shows how Agile Testing methods can help improve the quality of your project or product .

  • Increased Accountability

Teams work closely and daily scrum reviews allow the members to collaborate, take ownership and be accountable for their decisions and final results. This ensures greater accountability by the team and improved transparency.

  • Higher Customer Satisfaction

Customer involvement is high and provides them with regular updates on the project, addressing their needs as they come and faster results. Customers are given utmost priority leading to greater sense of satisfaction.

  • Improved Predictability

With tools like daily scrum meetings, burn down charts and whiteboard discussions, project managers can accurately predict timelines for project releases, estimate costs for each sprint etc. thereby improving the predictability of the project.

  • Reduced Risks

Teams know the performance of the products at the end of each sprint cycle, keep the customers informed, ensure to accommodate changes in requirements and deliver quality software on a regular basis thereby considerably reducing the project risks.

Agile Monitor vs. Traditional Project Monitoring

Anyone who has worked on large projects with lots of moving pieces and dependencies that form a veritable web will attest to the last minute chaos that results with traditional project management methods – especially developing large software products.

Traditional systems monitor the project by comparing planned vs. actuals data; however, they hardly have any room for improving the project with necessary corrective actions. Agile monitoring on the other hand empowers teams to control the quality of the output by frequent reviews, continuous testing and feedback from the customer.

The normal method of project management focuses more on the effort spent on each task; however Agile monitoring measures the amount of working software delivered through tools like Velocity and burn-down charts.

In traditional systems, development teams as well as customers need to wait for the entire project to be completed and tested to find out the performance of the product or software. However, in Agile systems, customers can easily understand the quality and usability of a part of the end product through demonstrations at the end of a Timebox.  This equips the customer to come back with suggestions on improvement of the product or process thereby leading to greater project success.

Of course, don’t take this at face value, just because we say so. Hear what real engineers and developers have to say. Neal Ford, a Software Architect with years of experience under his belt, put together this course on Agile Engineering Practices – all based on real world experience!