For executives, whose days are primarily consumed with business-focused activities, summary metrics about a given initiative, project, or feature are usually sufficient. For them, there is more to running the business than building the software. And with limited time, it is better to know at a glance what is running smoothly and what needs attention.
VersionOne Scorecards provide a single location to help executives identify what needs their attention. There are six Scorecards available in both the Enterprise and Ultimate Editions of VersionOne: Project, Program, Portfolio Item, Iteration, TeamRoom, and Team. Each Scorecard indicates the current status towards an on-time delivery by showing you the actual percent complete compared to the expected percent complete.
The pace of delivery is captured numerically in a productivity number that indicates the average number of backlog items delivered per week over the last four weeks. Progress and pace are also trended on the Project Burn-up and Cumulative Flow diagrams. These charts also provide perspective on how the total scope has changed over time and the flow of work through your process.
To get an understanding of remaining work, the Scorecards contain a pie cart and a count of un-estimated stories – a measure of risk in organizations using Estimate to determine scope and/or predict delivery. There is also an indicator of the number of blocked items – things that are restricting the flow of other work through your process. Finally, each Scorecard supports the ability to drill down into lower level information if needed.
The Project Scorecard is a great place to track a single Release or Program Increment. In addition to high level metrics indicating progress, trends, remaining work, this Scorecard allows you to breakdown those metrics by Active Portfolio Items, Projects and Teams.
The Active Portfolio Items breakdown gives you visibility into the currently active features that will be delivered in the release or program increment. This allows you to see the progress of key features regardless of the overall trend.
The Project breakdown provides visibility into child projects. This is useful to organizations who breakdown large projects into smaller deliverables or organizations that use child nodes to represent teams.
The Team breakdown provides visibility into the relative load and overall progress of all VersionOne Teams contributing to the release or program increment. This is useful for seeing how work is distributed across teams and understanding team progress.
Regardless of breakdown, clicking on the title will take you to another Scorecard focused on the selected item. For example, maybe the overall numbers looks great for an on-time delivery; however from the Project Scorecard, you realize a key Portfolio Item is struggling. Clicking on the title of that Portfolio Item will present a Scorecard focused on that Portfolio Item. The information presented on that Scorecard can be used to start the conversation necessary to determine what action is required.
The Program Scorecard provides roll-up metrics for multiple disparate Projects in your VersionOne instance. This Scorecard is an excellent place for summary level metrics when multiple products, or projects, combine into a single deliverable. It is also valuable to individuals responsible for multiple projects.
The Project Breakdown on this Scorecard provides visibility into the individual projects that makeup the program. Here you can see how each project is tracking towards delivery and can drill into struggling projects for more detail. As with the Project Scorecard, the Active Portfolio Item breakdown provides visibility into the currently active features in the Program, and the Team breakdown provides insight into the load and progress of each delivery Team in the Program.
Portfolio Item Scorecard
Whether you are using Portfolio Items to represent features in a release or program increment, or using them to aggregate value being delivered into high-level business initiatives, or both, the Portfolio Item Scorecard provides key insight into the work being delivered for a single Portfolio Item.
From this Scorecard you gain visibility into the Projects and Teams impacted by the Portfolio Item as well as visibility into active child Portfolio Items. All three are especially useful when using Portfolio Items to aggregate value delivered into your organization.
TeamRoom, Iteration, and Team Scorecards
The other three scorecards, TeamRoom, Iteration, and Team, provide similar insight and visibility at more granular levels.
The TeamRoom Scorecard provides insight into work that is being delivered in the TeamRoom. This is a focused Scorecard based on the project, program, schedule, and team configuration values for the TeamRooom. Since a TeamRoom require a schedule, this Scorecard contains the planned vs. delivered Velocity for the last three iterations and a burndown of the remaining to do for the currently selected iteration in the TeamRoom.
The Iteration Scorecard provides insight into all work being delivered in a single iteration for all projects that share the schedule used to create that iteration. This Scorecard also contains a burndown of the remaining to do for the iteration and the planned vs delivered Velocity for the last three iterations.
Finally, the Team Scorecard provides visibility into all active work for a specific VersionOne Team, providing insight into everything the team is being asked to deliver. Having dedicated teams is key to having a successful organization. If you do not have dedicated teams, the information on the Team Scorecard can be valuable in understanding why a team is struggling to meet commitments in one area.
Additional Executive Visibility Options Worth Investigating
In addition to Scorecards, both the Enterprise and Ultimate Edition of the core VersionOne product provide support for linear forecasting. Ideally suited for an in-progress release or program increment, this report indicates future possible delivery dates based on historical trends. With the Ultimate Edition of VersionOne, the Analtyics product supports both linear and Monte Carlo forecasting for Projects, Programs, and Portfolio Items. While no forecasting method can accurately predict the future, forecasting does provide insight into future possibilities and enables conversation about how to respond. For example, we are ahead of schedule, what else might we consider delivering, or (more likely) we are behind schedule, what can be altered or remove to make the delivery as successful as possible.
If you are using the VersionOne Ultimate Edition, you have access to Timelines for Portfolio Items and Projects in the core product. In addition to a temporal view of Portfolio Items or Projects, these timelines also provide visibility into the amount of work being delivered by SWAG and Estimate. This is valuable insight, to ensure that you are not over, or under, committing compared to historical deliveries.
Finally, if the overall flow of work through your organization is staring to slow, or is not what you would expect, a valuable place to start looking is impediments – what is keeping your teams from delivering at their maximum. The Ultimate Edition includes Analytic Dashboard panels that provide visibility into issue trends by type. Identifying and removing the larger issue types will not only increase throughput, it will also increase moral.
If you are an executive of an enterprise software development organization, it is critical that you are extremely efficient with your time and attention. VersionOne provides software development executives with a single place to view the metrics that matter the most, so they can quickly determine which parts of the business are doing fine and which parts need your attention.