All projects generate vast amounts of data beyond regular items, such as retrospectives and lessons learned. As the project progresses, the project manager needs to collect, index, and perhaps even diarize it for current and future use.
Project data and documents contain information such as:
- Changes to the product backlog for agile projects, change requests for predictive
- Performance of the project and people involved
- Value and benefits of the intermediate work delivered for agile projects
- Problems faced and decisions made
- Value-added ideas for future action
- Memorable things people said
In addition, there are three crucial metrics that should be captured and reviewed for all agile projects. Agile estimates tend to be in story points. Rather than estimate a specific amount of time, these are relative estimates of complexity, difficulty, and risk. The critical metrics are:
- Burn rate: How many story points remain at the end of each day or this iteration? Story points are the points that were assigned during estimating. It helps us understand the rate at which work is completed and how much work is leftover after sprints.
- Velocity: At what rate is the team completing story points? Velocity helps us to understand the pace of the team. It is merely the number of story points for all fully completed stories in the sprint.
- Value delivery: How many valuable story points have been released to the client at this time? Did all the story contribute to the released functionality? Or perhaps some were to help position the product for future work?
Examining the burn rate and velocity will help the project manager determine how many story points should go into the next sprint. These may be referred to as Work in Progress (WIP) limits. Knowing how much work can be in each iteration will help determine when future releases might occur. The value delivery helps to assure the client that work is progressing. Deliveries should be easier to predict once the project has made some progress.
What metrics do your agile projects use? Let us know in the comments below.
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