Progress metrics are the key to understanding your critical
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
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.