One factor that distinguishes Agile from other project management methods is that Agile works to display the truths of a project through easy-to-understand images (Rose). Instead of focusing on intricate details, Agile requires project managers to view individual reports together as a big picture that describes a project’s health (Rose). The benefit is that this allows for Agile reporting to be transparent. Transparency can be defined as “open, direct communication in Agile projects” that allows any team member viewing the report board to be able to identify the project’s successes and problems (Rose). Being transparent about problems often proves to be difficult under traditional project management. However, Agile does not allow teams to hide their issues. Reporting with Agile charts will inform the organization if the team is overestimating the value of their accomplishments as they compare to the problems still in need of fixing. If a product owner finds that the team is being “too optimistic,” they can change priorities or cancel the work (Rose). Transparency in Agile reporting is crucial because is builds trust between the team and the product owner (Rose).
Furthermore, Agile reports should all contain two traits: Simplicity and visibility (Rose). This is necessary because it gives numerous participants access to the project, which in turn, creates “good feedback loops between the team and the customer” (Rose). A common chart that demonstrates simplicity and visibility is the burndown chart (Rose).
A burndown chart is a line graph (like the one displayed) that will show whether a project will be delivered on time (Rose). Burndown charts can be used with each sprint and serve as information-givers (Rose).
A team’s task board is another simple report. The task board works to show the project’s user stories and tasks on a board or a wall (Rose). The task board is simple enough that those unfamiliar with Agile, like a manager, can understand how the team is progressing (Rose).
(Image from: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/scrum-board/)
Lastly, one of the most significant reports is the product backlog (Rose). The product backlog is “a simple list of user stories ranked by value” with the highest valued stories at the top of the list (Rose). The product backlog is used by the product owner to display what he or she feels is the most important work and should be used in most meetings to foster the team’s understanding (Rose).
Rose, Doug. “Keeping Agile Transparent.” Lynda.com - from LinkedIn, 23 Nov. 2015, www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Keeping-agile-transparent/175962/452757-4.html.