Sunday, October 12, 2008

Scope Monitor

Working as a project manager for an Agile team, I found out that one thing the team needs to keep an eye on all the time is the scope being burned down. I saw other teams putting up big visible charts in the traditional XP style, but what if you cater to a client whose requirements change every other day.

A simple thing which I tried out was to put up a Scope Monitor showing where we are in terms of burning down story points for a release. It gets regularly updated from a Jira web service at real time. Here is an example of what it shows

Scope for the release ----200

In Analysis --------------- 20
In Development ----------40
In QA ----------------------20
QA signed Off -------------20
Customer signed off ------60

A traditional practice in Agile teams also has been managers pulling out the iteration status when they close an iteration to show to the whole team. So why not take it to the extreme and give the team more focus. Another advantage is that once this is live and kicking, your mangers need not always come in standups and talk about quantity of work left etc.. since the team can already see it. A manager can now focus on other priority issues for the day.

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