There are several techniques and tools for the management of software development projects using the models proposed by the agile development methods.
Tracking the Burn Down graph that shows the evolution of the sprint is key to a good follow-up of the development cycle, as well as Kanban panels that make it easier to see the sprint tasks.
And how about the use of schedules (timelines) to follow the tasks in agile methodology? Many companies have specific Project Management Offices (PMO) that require the delivery of a project monitoring schedule or status, regardless of whether we are using an agile method or not in a software project development.
Based on my experiences, I can say that a timeline can be elaborated for these cases, but with a fundamental difference from a traditional project management approach, which is the level of control of the running tasks.
A practice that can be applied in these cases is to use the schedule as a resource to demonstrate and control the deliveries, the development iterations are the sprints and stories, not bothering to do a micro-management of the tasks, because the control and the monitoring of tasks is done using the techniques and tools of the agile methods, as we can see in the below examples.
Here are some tips that can help you create these timelines for agile software development projects:
- Developers need not be specified in the schedule, but only the team representation, where the allocation can be done by the total percentage in each task of the schedule that represent the stories to be developed. For example, in a team of 5 developers, we will allocate with a percentage of 500% of resources in each task.
- The most granular level in the agile timeline is that of the stories, so it is not necessary to include sub-tasks for the stories.
- It does not make sense to control the timing of each story, since we are talking about the timing of each iteration (sprint) and the set of stories that compose these iterations.
Therefore, it is mainly up to the Scrum Master to know the culture of the company in which it is inserted and to identify the best tools that are adequate to control the cycles of development and deliveries, even if a traditional project schedule is needed for this, a simplified and lean form that is sufficient to control the project iterations.