J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Monthly Results

Monthly Results

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It’s mid-year at Microsoft. In the past it would take me a bit of work to figure out what I had accomplished and where I want to go. Not this time. For the past several months, I’ve been using a practice I’ll call Monthly Results. Each month, I create a short-list of results in a Wiki and send a link out to our management team as an FYI.

Benefits of Monthly Results
Creating a Monthly Results list has a few benefits for me:

  • At a glance, I can quickly see the forest from the trees.
  • It helps keep management in the loop on results.
  • It helps keep my teams focused on results over activity.
  • I can see interesting patterns.

Most importantly, it's my portfolio of results.  If I don't like the portfolio, I can see at a glance where my time went and how I need to shift focus.  Thinking in terms of a portfolio of results helps me quickly rationalize things like "Do I have my sure bets?" ... "Do I have a set of riskier projects to learn, grow and innovate with?" ... "Am I working on meaningful problems?" .... "Am I delivering value?" ... etc.

Example of Monthly Results
Here’s an example of my monthly results list. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In my case, I  just create a Wiki page that lists results by month along with any relevant links:

NOV

OCT

  • MSDN tree-view design for patterns & practices Catalog.
  • Testing Center launch features patterns & practices Widget
  • Project Practices documented (see Wiki)
  • Performance Test Scenario Frame published to CodePlex
  • Performance Test Scenario Frame for VSTS draft complete
  • Performance Testing Videos published to CodePlex (Video: What Is - The Core Activities of Performance Testing; Video: What Is - The Core Activities of Performance Testing in Agile Projects;  Video: What Is - The Core Activities of Performance Testing in CMMI Projects; Video: What Is - The Distribution of Data for Performance Tests Results; Video: What Is - The Reporting Fundamentals for Performance Test Data; Video: What Is - The Success Criteria for Performance Test Projects; Video: What Is - The Mathematical and Statistical Principles for Performance Testing ; Video: What Is - Modeling Application Usage for Performance Testing.
  • Initial Catalog Sweep assessment
  • MSDN process improvement (TFS Guide experiment)

SEP

  • Software Inspections write up completed for Testing Center launch
  • TFS Guide to MS Press
  • Performance Testing Guide to MS Press
  • MSDN process improvement (Performance Testing Guide experiment)
  • Guidance Explorer Security Fixes implemented
  • Visual Studio Guidance Modules published to Guidance Library (Checklist Items: 257; Guidelines: 121; How Tos: 16; Explained: 10; Practices at a Glance: 129; Questions and Answers: 64)
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