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What tools do you use for tracking project progress to management?

Last post 07:27 pm March 11, 2022 by Daniel Wilhite
3 replies
04:42 pm March 11, 2022

Hey all!

I am looking for a tool (preferably a plugin for Jira but definitely not tied to that) that would give us the following visibility into various projects across our organization:

  • Track the percentage of completion of an initiative
  • Track the percentage of a sprint is spent on different task types (story vs spike vs incident vs bug)
  • Sprints executed vs sprints remaining (estimate)

Traditional PM tools won't work because we are constantly adding new stories and breaking down existing stories, and we only estimate stories a couple sprints out.

This is a difficult problem, as management wants something to go off of for resource planning on future projects, but we as a team want remain as agile as possible.

I know we aren't the first company to go through this.  I also know that our management is reasonably accepting of the agile vs long term planning problem, but there must be a tool out there that gives us reasonable estimates?

What do your agile organizations use for tracking initiative progress when there are constant changes to the backlog?


05:58 pm March 11, 2022

Finished increments of work. That's the key. In Scrum each Sprint is a project which allows the initiative to be taken.

The Developers on the Scrum Team are the ones doing the work and so they monitor their own progress. When increments are finished early and often, work becomes predictable rather than predictive. The role of management is to remove obstacles to empiricism so predictability can be leveraged.

06:43 pm March 11, 2022

Right.  But there are methods (such as Monte Carlo simulations) that can statistically make predictions.  Of course they won't be accurate, but what I'm looking for is something that will give management the ability to make high level long term resourcing decisions with a a reasonable statistically calculated variance.  Predictability only goes so far when management is trying to plan out what teams will be available to take on future projects when we don't have the luxury of working with customers that are not as agile.

07:27 pm March 11, 2022

@Ian is correct in pointing out that valuable increments are important and that predicability is the key.  

I have used Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability ( in the past.  Before you decide to use the tool, I suggest you read the 2 books that Daniel S. Vacanti wrote on the topic. They can be found in the "Resources" link on the site. The books introduce you to the concepts and how to use the tools.  The methods are mostly based on metrics like cycle time, throughput and work in progress.  They can be quite useful for predicting future deliveries with the help of Monte Carlo Analysis.  

There is a Jira plugin.

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