Manage your agile projects with efficient metrics

Progress metrics are the key to understanding your critical path...

Most project management tools allow you to plan a timeframe for every project deliverable.  But what basis do you have for those estimates?  How do you allocate resources without a good idea of your team's work habits?  And what can be done to ensure efficient assignment of workload?

The map reveals the territory...

I am suggesting that keeping track of your activities in 5 to 20 minute increments will make you more productive and ultimately more accountable to your clients.  Years of consulting work has taught me that frequent automated project documentation not only provides an optimal audit trail of work completed, but it also allows for predictive analysis of work trends.  Data from one effort may serve as a template for another endeavor.  That's why I decided to publish Projetrix:  tools, tips and tricks for project management best practices.


One additional benefit you soon realize from routine progress notation is a focus on the task at hand.  When you are reminded at 10 minute intervals of your present objective, distractions become readily apparent.  Being honest about those distractions can help explain delays and return your attention to high-priority work.  It can also help justify time spent on optimizations, once an initial task is complete.

Ultimately, the scope and schedule of your projects are a factor of what you and your team have accomplished in the past.  A wise use of simple project metrics will make successive iterations of an Agile approach more predictable.