Agile approaches work on the basis that the best way to measure the progress of work is not to create endless status reports, but to review the tangible outputs of the work as the primary measure of progress. Status reports are often time-consuming, generally sanitized for management review and can be designed to give the reader a false sense of security that things are progressing on track. Tangible outputs, on the other hand, are irrefutable indicators of the ongoing success or failure of each Agile team’s activities.
Most important, however, is the effect that producing tangible outputs has on the way in which Agile teams undertake their work. The drive to deliver tangible outputs in short iterations forces the team to touch on every stage of the delivery process, from planning and design to quality control, packaging and presentation. It forces the team to avoid endless planning meetings and infinite rethinking of ideas before action is taken. It requires the team to go through every stage of the process upfront, providing an early identification of risks and hurdles that are likely to impact ongoing delivery. Arguably the most valuable outcome, it gives team members the satisfaction of regularly seeing tangible results from their efforts, providing them with inspiration and motivation for their ongoing work.
The productivity resources section provides links to more detailed information on delivering tangible outputs and other Agile approaches for increasing your organization’s productivity levels.
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