Agile Status Report for Executives: Best, Worst, Throughput

My programme’s Sponsoring Group asked me to send a weekly status report. This was to compensate for the fact they were at a remote site and hence couldn’t see the walls of our informative workspace. They were paying the bills so who was I to argue.

Luckily they don’t want a lot of detail. They want to know three things:

  • Throughput
  • Best thing this week
  • Worst thing this week

Throughput

As I explained in my post on When To Measure Lean-Agile Productivity, and When Not To productivity measures are useful for answering the questions “How much stuff will we have by X date?” My Sponsoring Group are very conscious of the end date and how productivity impacts the amount of functionality will be delivered before the time and/or money has run out. That explains their interest in Throughput.

Throughput is the number of User Stories the team delivered in a time period. We will report both the the Throughput for the last week and the average over the last four weeks. The weekly number will peak and trough – interesting but not too useful. The average number shows the trend. It is the trend that provides confidence or despair.

A Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) provides this information but to save the hassle of attaching a image to an email I’ll just send the numbers. The pack I use for the face to face meeting with the Sponsoring Group includes the CFD.

Best/Worst thing that happened this week

More interestingly the Executive Sponsor, Mike, wanted to know the Best/Worst thing that happened this week. I can understand why. Mike is super busy and would not have had time to read a lengthy report. Best and worst would do for him – give a sense of what is going on.

Here is an example. It won’t make sense without the programme and organisational context but you will get a sense of how brief these status reports are. An Agile status report for executives.

Throughput

  • Last 7 days = 7.6
  • Rolling 4 week average = 10.1
  • Total = 773.4

Best thing this week: First TOYs UI demo to Clive went well

Worst thing this week: Lack of clarity on pricing & establishing buying area data, especially for local pricing

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