A Scrum project is controlled by means of frequent inspection of the project followed by necessary adaptations. Some of this information is communicated face-to-face. For instance, the Daily Scrum is open to everyone; attendees can quickly get a feel for the tone, attitude, and progress of a Sprint. The Sprint review meeting provides monthly insight into whether the project is creating valuable functionality, as well as the quality and capabilities of that functionality. Other information is communicated in writing. For instance, the Product Backlog details a project’s requirements and lists them in order of priority. Everyone can evaluate the Product Backlog because it is stored in a public folder and its location is made known.
In addition to the dynamic information provided by written and visual information, formal reports are generated at the end of every Sprint. These reports provide a static snapshot of the project’s progress. The reports are used to keep everyone with an interest in the project up-to-date on its progress. All of this information, both dynamic and static, is considered part of Scrum project reporting.
Let’s look at how information about the status of Scrum projects has been put to use by several organizations. At MegaEnergy, management was uncomfortable with new ways of tracking project progress. We will see how the transition from traditional to Scrum project tracking was implemented. At MegaBank, the executive funding a project didn’t like the periodic reports standard in Scrum. This executive wanted a summarized, graphical representation of the project’s progress. We’ll look at how this need was satisfied. At Service1st, the progress reported at the Daily Scrum by the team had been so summarized and abstracted that it was virtually meaningless. We’ll look at why and how this happened and discuss ways to ensure that the amount of detail in reports is sufficient. It is not irrelevant that this same Service1st team also refused to update its Sprint Backlog. We’ll look at the reasons for the team’s refusal, the consequences of not updating the Sprint Backlog, and the way the situation was resolved.