Reporting should be in any organization’s blood, whether it is a startup, a large enterprise, or something in between.
Many teams are bogged down because there are legions of people who seem to do nothing but create status reports all day. Is that truly what their calling in life should be? I touched upon this conundrum just a bit in the previous blog entry, and wanted to say a few more words on the subject.
When you are dealing with a particularly complex system with many moving parts, folks should have enough understanding to at least articulate the model. It does not matter if someone doesn’t own a particular component. Everyone is better off with a clear understanding of their role in the ecosystem. This is but one reason why reporting is necessary in an organization.
I am a big believer in enabling stakeholders to view and impartially evaluate status metrics for themselves, without relying solely on subjective reports. This has the added benefit of being able to compare performance from one period to the next. Fortunately, this does not have to be a daunting task.
Begin with a single project, and link together these various parts. Some platforms already integrate that for you, whereas others take a bit more work. Once it’s set, it is a matter of querying your desired metrics, then you can analyze to your heart’s content.
There’s more to life than generating historical reports. Given how quickly we are looking for the next report, really just about any report could be considered historical. Invest a little time into TFS, JIRA or HP ALM, or any number of open source tools, that lend themselves to such things. Then you can extrapolate this into a practice model, which can then inform and benefit their other projects.