Development Projects and Reporting
In development projects, the testing phases are usually reported for steering group accurately. Test management tools have everything needed for reporting. Change requests that have an impact on the budget need to be reported in detail as well. But all the other observations, that also have an impact on the business, are left outside from the reports. This is why most projects don’t have an accurate indicator of their problems solving ability. The ever-growing pile of unsolved, unplanned issues is not being monitored.
Handling open issues
Which of these is most accurate for you when handling open issues?
- You tell the problem to project manager: ”Oh hey, this thing needs to be considered too”. If you happen to be in a meeting, your problem is maybe logged.
- You send your questions with an email to all who might be somehow involved.
- You try to find the project page and an Excel sheet or log considering the matter at hand and add your question there.
- You add your question to shared project management tool, where all the other questions are as well. You can monitor the answers in real time, of all your projects.
Situations 1, 2 and most of the time also 3, have a problem: project’s problem solving ability is not reportable or manageable. If you disagree, check if you can get a graph like the one below, from all your open issues. How many open issues are there in a project?
Why monitoring of open issues is useful
- Software testing professionals have learned that all found observations need to be routed and prioritized quickly. This way the observation gets fixed on schedule. The same rule applies to open issues in business or project.
- People don’t get frustrated when they are being listened to. The answers can be as simple as: ”Your issue has been logged and is being dealt with in the correct project phase”
- You can monitor who does their work and who is always lagging behind.
- Monitoring project quality. If there are a lot of open issues, you can reflect on project planning or work methods.
- Making monitoring possible for project work load.
- And the classic: You get what you measure.
Problem-solving ability’s impact on project progress
The first picture was from a project that has poor problem-solving ability. Open issues are building up every week, and finally, we are in a situation where it’s impossible for them to be even solved anymore.
The second picture below is from a project that has good Problem-solving ability. There are open issues, but they are also handled with sufficient efficiency.
And it goes without saying that the first project is not going to be finished on schedule. The second project’s steering group reports, on the other hand, are greener than a summer meadow.
The benefits of real-time reporting
The real obvious benefit of real-time reporting is that you know how the project progresses all the time. You can lead the project. React if you stay behind the timetable and thank people for the good progress.
By planning reporting to support leading, you’ll also get other benefits.
- Find out the workload for that phase.
- Making this work becomes more effective because you have planned and communicated the process.
- Make sure everyone knows their own job.
- You can track project. Especially you will notice immediately if some activity is not progressing.
- You can make sure that the phase in question is really completed, 100% ready