Business Progress Reporting in Agile Context
Test progress reporting can be cumbersome. There is a complex story to be told, but it needs to be done in such a way that the business and project stakeholders get the message. Sequential planning techniques such as critical path analysis won’t work in agile, but stakeholders keep asking for an indication of the progress so far, the work that remains, the bottlenecks and dependencies.
Within my current project we solved this problem by introducing a visual progress report, the subway map. Subway map reports are derived from the London tube map and contain the following elements:
- Stations: Activities are represented as a station; they have a description of the benefit for the stakeholder upon completion.
- Date lines provide status information (the train is expected on time, or not)
- Bridges: Where two or more lines merge, you can define have a quality gate. They provide extra control on the progress (and of course to celebrate success) Within my organization it has been adopted quickly by various projects, due to its simplicity and clearness. Business finally understood testing.
In this session I will provide examples, a step plan how to make a subway map in Powerpoint and how it can be used for your project, program, etc. It actually is a hand-on workshop, since I will explain the idea in circa 15 minutes and participants will start making their own subway map.
I have given this 45 minute workshop twice and participants are really enthusiastic. They learn that it is an effective way of selling their test message, but also that it is easy to do and apply. it fits the 45 minute slot, but can be extended if required. I will add more details, explain how to embed it in your overall test strategy and give the participant more time to work out their assignment.