work life
October 30, 2022

Can you predict the future?

When I ask my team if they are on track or not, I am not looking for a yes or no answer. I am looking for the details that support whichever status they believe to be in.

You should have automated tools that you can check to see your project status. Many organizations, however, fail to implement those or do so in ways that are not entirely reliable.

I have seen too many teams manipulate data “to stay in the green.” Whether intentionally or unintentionally, reports are only as good as the data. Whether you have a burnout chart, a Jira board, a GitHub project graph, or any other visualization tool, you should still talk to your team.


When I ask my team if they are on track or not, I want to know where the team is compared to where they should be. And the key to the question is knowing “where they should be.” If you can’t answer how much of your backlog should be completed by now to meet our deadlines, I have to assume we are not on track.

If you don’t know how much work you have completed, how much work is left, and how that relates to the time left, you are in trouble. Do you know your velocity? If you don’t know, you are in trouble. You are either off track already or you will get off track before you know it.

Track your progress in such a way that you can make estimates about the future. If you can’t estimate what and when things will happen in your project you are not tracking it properly.

October 30, 2022 · #work life


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