Stakeholder Needs and Expectations: Planning Your Agile Project and Program Metrics
DEFENSE ACQUISITION UNIV FT BELVOIR VA
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A key element in the success of any project or program is the ability to communicate progress against a baseline of cost, schedule and technical performance within and outside the team. When the expectations for communications are not understood clearly andor are misaligned horizontally or vertically across the program, it becomes very difficult for all affected stakeholders to answer the questions, So where are we today Where will we be tomorrow The communication of metrics can facilitate trust, illustrate progress, identify issues and highlight the effectiveness of implemented process improvements. To achieve these benefits, measuring and reporting should be at the heart of every project including those based upon Agile approaches. However, projects or programs with Agile content often require their own set of tailored metrics and traditional assessments that may not be usable for the entire stakeholder set. This particular point is an important planning consideration in the Department of Defense DoD environment where there is significant hierarchical reporting and numerous levels of multiple stakeholders, all with varying needs and expectations for performance data and information. By their very nature, Agile metrics are available to be reported and analyzed more frequently since this approach delivers projects through small, well-vetted sprints. Each sprint has a goal, and the assessment of achieved functionality always is a conducted activity of the sprint with the user representative. Given the increased frequency and quantity of available metrics, Agile teams need to highlight only the most vital and timely metrics. What vital and timely means to various stakeholders is where the real crux of planning resides Determine the needs and expectations of performance reporting at all stakeholder levels. There is a requirement to align reporting across all levels of the government-vendor team.
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