Agile/Scrum- Project Progress

Project Progress
How you measure and report progress in your agile/scrum project is very important to your credibility as a scrummaster. I never had the opportunity to use the new crop of agile project reporting tools like Rally Software, Mingle or Version One, we didn’t have the resources but the list of application continues to grow. I have found that if you use the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to help in managing your progress it will become an invaluable tool. Using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) you will dissect and know what tasks are required to build and how long to build your application. Without using some older legacy methodologies from waterfall development like the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) you will be making guesses as a team instead of estimates. Creating the (WBS) will assist the team in breaking down the tasks into smaller work units, so you will have more control over the assignment, management of them.

Here are a few techniques that will assist you in a more robust method for reporting progress to the product owner/business:
• 50/50 Technique. When a task begins, report it as 50 percent complete, but it is reported 100 percent completed only at final completion. When your confidence level is high that the task will be completed.
• 20/80 Technique. When a task begins, report it as 20 percent complete, but it is reported 100 percent completed only at final completion. There is no report made on this task for any percentage other than 20 percent or 100 percent.
• 0/100 Technique. A task is reported as 0 percent complete until it is actually completed.

Now when using the agile/scrum framework you only measure progress of a story when it is done, sometimes this does not surface with the product owner/business. Sometimes they need progress reports and even though they are or should be in your stand-ups every day the higher ups might need a more detailed accounting of where the team is on the project. Only select one of the above techniques for any given task, you need estimates, not guesses to scrummaster your agile/lean project. Agile/scrum is all about motion, plans, actions, and decisions are carried out and are essential if you are to reach your schedule objective within-budget and will meet your customer's quality expectations.

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