Agile PM Process Grid–7.4 Identify Metrics (1)

In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he creates an “agile project management process grid” which describes 87 processes used in agile project management.   These processes are divided into five process groups (Initiate, Plan, Iterate, Control, and Close), which are analogous to the five process groups in traditional project management, and seven knowledge areas which can be mapped, more or less, onto the ten knowledge areas in traditional project management.

I’m in the midst of discussing a block of three processes that are in the continuous improvement knowledge area that are carried out in the planning phase.   The third of these processes is 7.4 Identify Metrics.

Having accurate and insightful information is vital for effective decision-making.    On the old Star Trek series, if there was something out of the ordinary that the starship Enterprise was encountering on its trek through the galaxy, Captain Kirk would often ask the science officer Mr. Spock whether the sensors were functioning normally.   He had to make sure the information he was getting was accurate before he could decide on an effective course of action.

One of the ways of displaying metrics is a dashboard, so that more information can be compressed into a smaller space if it is visual rather than text-based.   You could read through a report that has a negative conclusion that would take all of five minutes to absorb, or look at an indicator that is colored red and get the same conclusion in five seconds.

Speaking of red lights, some dashboards are called stoplight reports for the reason that they utilize the familiar color convention used for stoplights where

  • green means work is progressing as planned (no special action needed)
  • yellow means work is progressing there is a risk or work issue that must be addressed, and either corrective or preventive action must be taken
  • red means progress has stopped, and either correction action or defect repair must be undertaken in order for progress to resume.

The next dashboard, or way of displaying metrics on the project, is called a burn-up chart.   This is the subject of the next post.



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