Projects at Work

Status Reports: Agile/Traditional

On many projects, regular status reports are how we communicate progress to stakeholders. On Agile projects, other tools and techniques are employed as "information radiators." Here is a comparison of both approaches, including tips and questions to ask as you incorporate one method or some combination of both that works best for your team and environment.

A successful Agile implementation is going to rely heavily on transparency, inspection and adaptation. On a surface level, that does not appear to be out of sync with a traditional project, but the manner in which we communicate status, and the points at which we do it, are very different.

In a traditional project, we use status reports to communicate to stakeholders. In Agile projects we have information radiators posted around the work area. Information Radiators are large visual …

On most traditionally managed projects, team leads complete a standardized weekly or biweekly status report. Routine status reporting from team members, utilizing standard units of measurement across the project, will aid in assessing the project state and in identifying sources of deviation from the project plan.  Suggested contents may include:

  • Reporting period summary.
  • Deliverables completed in reporting period.
  • Deliverables started but not completed in …

TIPS

The level of transparency offered by information radiators can be frightening for a lot of people, but it definitely has its payoffs. Encouraging the team to be brave enough to be open will actually reduce their stress, and best of all, you’ll never hear the phrase “But why didn’t anyone tell me?”

Here are a few tips to help improve you success with using information radiators:

> Be Consistent – For information radiators to work, the team has …

TIPS

Status reports and status meetings are often the most effective way for the project manager to acquire information about the status of the project. Consider the following hints when compiling the status of the project.

> Use a template! Templates ease the process of developing reports, and of compiling information from your various teams. To assist in the process, use a template that captures the exact information you are looking to attain.

> Follow-up!&…



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