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D3: Data Driven Project Reports

by Taylor

27th July, 2017

Last fall I became involved with a large development team at my workplace that had fallen behind deadlines and found itself with a great deal of work to be done in a short timeline.

I began to think about what was the cause of those deadline misses and how to avoid those moving forward. Here were my basic operating philosophies:

  • Transparency on team priorities is important
  • Exposure to progress is important to motivation
  • Missing deadlines cannot be tolerated. Concerns must be addressed before the deadlines pass.
  • See a feature through to completion before starting the next enhancement (the less work in progress the better).
  • Move less work through quickly rather than more work through slowly.

With these operating philosophies in mind, I created a reporting dashboard that allowed for:

  • At a glance picture of upcoming and overdue deadlines
  • Statistics around team velocity and comparisons to recent team velocity
  • A breakdown of the remaining work and all of the work completed to date

This report updated automatically as our work was completed in our development tracking system and was a good starting point for conversations with the team to discuss changes to process, plans for the remainder of the week and assignments for upcoming tasks based on team member bandwidth.

Click here to view the report full screen.

Current Work in Progress

  • BadgesA set of badges representing development KPIs. These badges show the current KPI relative to its value last week.
  • WIP TableThe list of features in progress, with relevant information (who’s responsible, # of open issues, days since advanced, etc.
  • Status DonutA donut that shows an at a glance breakdown of the various features and what stage of testing they are in.

Gantt Chart

  • A list of tasks associated with each feature
  • An owner, expected start & end date for each task
  • Listed completion date of each task indicates if a feature is on track in a single glance.

Progress Over Time

  • Count of features in each status over timeGives an account for progress over time (when did the most features move to the next stage of testing?).
  • Graph of average days in current status for feature setDetailed view of velocity for the set of features currently under development.

Team Notices

This is an incredibly helpful component that serves the purpose of facilitating conversation around upcoming and overdue tasks, and the need to make adjustments so that those tasks can have their deadlines met. 

  • Upcoming tasksA table listing the upcoming tasks, their owners, and the date in which they were passed the baton.

  • Overdue tasksA table listing the overdue tasks, their owners and the date in which they were passed the baton.

Under Development

  • Table of features that are currently under development but not yet in testing.

Design Bottlenecks

  • List of designs that are associated with features that are Development Complete but not yet approved by reviewers (and hence causing a feature development bottleneck).

Click here to view the report full screen.

by Taylor