Skip to main content
Enterprise Agile Planning icon with arrows

This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Sep 22, 2005 — Enterprise Agile Planning expert

Empirical Project Tracking

Enterprise Agile Planning

Michael James and I recently had the opportunity to present a talk on using “empirical metrics” to track software project progress to a collection of approximately 100 Washington state agency IT executives. Our message: stop trying to track project progress by analyzing task level detail (estimated vs. actuals) and instead adopt agile, track velocity, and use empirical measure to predict completion dates.

While Agile development and project management techniques were introduced to the group, our main intent was to present an alternative to traditional granular task-based project tracking (Gantt, etc.) by estimating and measuring rate of completion at the “story” level. We’ve found that management reporting is often a sore point on Agile projects. We therefore offered an approach to empirical project tracking and estimation based on a modified burndown chart made popular by Mike Cohn which proves that task-level tracking is not necessary. (Plug: ScrumWorks currently automates this report)

Burndown Chart with Intersection

We were asked how this would fit into today’s Washington state RFP mechanism which requires detailed up-front task plans. I asked the audience at large if this task-based approach currently yields successful results. Judging my the silence and the shaking of heads, I’d say the Washington state government is ready for real change. I suggested they hire vendors that make short-term iterative commitments, pay those vendors based on delivery of the short-term commitments and fire those that do not.

Later in the conference, my colleague reported that a powerful Washington state IT executive announced willingness to explore iterative approaches to project management since current methods clearly weren’t working. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Download the PDF version: Empirical Project Tracking blog

More from the Blog

View more DevOps Value Stream Delivery for SAFe®
Sep 27, 2021 announces first end-to-end, AI-driven solution for the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Enterprise Agile Planning
The DevOps Value Stream Delivery for SAFe®, one of the only ...
Read More
Jul 27, 2021 Becomes First to Achieve FedRAMP Moderate “In Process” Status for Enterprise Agile Planning Solution

Enterprise Agile Planning, the leading AI-driven DevOps value stream delivery, and ma ...
Read More
Jun 21, 2021

How Agile can be implemented effectively across the organization

Enterprise Agile Planning
Just a few decades ago, a “disruption” was seen as an undesirable thin ...
Read More
May 31, 2021

Agile change management processes are key to delivering software faster

Enterprise Agile Planning
With its emphasis on delivery value faster, agile product management s ...
Read More
Contact Us