Before we talk about tracking progress, it might be useful to review the feature crew lifecycle as described in a previous post. The picture below will be a reference point for this post.
The picture below shows the "Progress" tab of our "Feature" work item type.
Basically, you are looking at my status report. As a person running a feature crew, I needed to fill this out once per week. I didn't have to send emails. No documents to created, I just updated the fields in the tab above. It was nice.
When the Developer Division decided to move forward with implementing the Feature Crew model as well as all the Quality Gates, we decided (wisely, I think) to not mandate how the feature teams themselves managed each one of their features.
So ... some did waterfall, with MS Project, some did SCRUM, some used Excel, some used sticky notes, some used just whiteboards. It really didn't matter to the division, as long as you updated your information in the tab above.
The Progress tab became a divisional standard for the minimal set of information you needed to communicate on a weekly basis.
You might think that looking at the tab above, that its too simple and too easy to game. The fact is, it turned out to be an extremely powerful tool for accountability. That will be described more in upcoming posts.
So let's talk about each one of the items above.
That's about it for this post. In future posts, I'll show you how we used the above information to track the progress of multiple feature crews at a time, as well as some lessons we learned.