Are We There Yet?: Creating Project Dashboards to Display Progress

When it comes to projects, there are as many questions to answer as there are project teams, but “Where are we?” is by far the most popular. The key to understanding a project is to make regular measurements—both quantitative and qualitative—and display the measurements publicly. When project managers display these measurements as part of the …

Showing Project Progress (NOT percent complete)

Last night at my SPIN talk someone came up to me at the end of the talk. I’d discussed earned value and inch-pebbles in my talk but hadn’t specifically discussed how to avoid the dreaded “percent complete” reporting problem to management. The percent complete problem occurs when you have to report progress to management as …

Creating Silos Helps Managers Avoid Seeing the Data

In Sunday’s Boston Globe View from the Cube column, Lisa Liberty Becker claims “Telling the truth can be hazardous to your job”. She goes on to talk about her husband, a performance test engineer, whose manager buried his reports, because “they [the reports] reflect poorly on the job he’s done.” The result? Bad product performance, …

What to Measure?

© 1999 Johanna Rothman. Originally published in Cutter’s Business-IT Alignment E-Mail Advisor, March 24, 1999. At a recent visit to an IT client, the new QA manager took me aside and said: “JR, here are the metrics I want to measure on a monthly basis. What do you think?” He had attempted to measure efficiency, …