Increasing Agile Visibility

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I recently had a conversation with a CEO whose organization had been using agile project management on a small number of their IT projects for some time. We were talking about the company’s experience and how stakeholders felt about expanding agile usage to a wider range of IT projects. The CEO’s comment was that he wasn’t comfortable expanding the number of projects at this point because he didn’t feel that there was enough visibility and transparency on the projects.

We discussed what that meant for a few minutes, and the bottom line was that the CEO didn’t know what was happening on his agile projects because he didn’t have an equivalent to a structured project status report that identified what had been achieved, what was planned and what the issues were.

It was clear that to this CEO this was a major issue, but it needn’t be. In this article, I want to look at how we can provide better visibility on what’s happening on an agile initiative.

Information in an agile environment
It’s ironic that one of the things that is most important in an agile project--accurate, current information--should be seen as one of the reasons that the CEO didn’t want to expand the use of agile. Information is critical to the success of agile projects--teams need to know what they are building, they need to understand the…

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