Monitoring Progress

Much like a ship's captain, you hold the master chart. It's the one with the title, "Product Development Plan." You know where you are starting from, where you want to get to, and the route you need to follow. To keep track of your progress you must plot your daily position. Even if you are working on your own, remember to tick off the milestones as you pass them. Psychologically it will do you good and remind you of the genuine progress that you are making.

Ideally you need to keep two charts: a simple public one that shows progress against the major milestones and a detailed one available only to the team. This can be updated at the end of each week and used as a visual aid at the Monday morning meeting (see Figure 6-2).

Figure 6-2: Project Development Schedule example.

Note |f you are uncertain what style of chart you need to monitor your progress, I rec ommend a standard Gantt format. Most people are familiar with them even if they do not know the name, and they are very easy to understand.

There is a belief that developers hate progress reports because they tell you how behind you are. Good developers are never so shortsighted. Progress reports are essential to let everyone know the overall progress of the project. Without them, it's like trying to sail to America without plotting your daily position.

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