5 valuable tips to get the right decision on when it will be ready
One of the questions we always hear is precisely the type: When will the delivery be ready? It is an essential question related to various contexts and especially in terms of aligning stakeholder expectations. To know how to answer this question it is of fundamental importance that you know how to manage time in projects.
The quality and degree of confidence in this information are essential, and it was considering this importance that we gathered 5 valuable tips for decision-making on the delivery deadline.
To illustrate and exemplify the subject well, here you will see a case where these tips were applied and which resulted in an adequate alignment with the stakeholders and that, in the end, the predictability assertiveness was totally adequate and acceptable.
The scenario at the moment is one of our digital transformation offerings, with a value-adding partnership with a client through a Squad. This is a cross-functional team with management, agility, UX, quality, technical skills and the ability to deliver digital products or parts thereof, using iOS and Android technologies.
In three months of relationship with the customer, product and business; in a certain upstream a certain feature was selected and prioritized. We then carried out a refinement with the client and with other members of his team. During the refinement, a desire for this feature to be delivered by November 19, 2021 was also shared.
Tip 1: Refinement and Sizing
As the context is considered to be transitioning from “no initial metrics” to “with an initial metrics base”, noting that there are only 3 months of data and history, we kept the initial model of generating an affinity estimate at the end of the refinement. Such an estimate is called “Sizing” of the features or tasks that, in this case, we made the identified tasks, as we already had the information in hand and well understood.
The refinement demanded the activities below for the Android team context, which are blurred for confidentiality reasons, but each line represents a task and each one has a sizing assignment (PP is the smallest unit, P, M, G and GG which is the largest unit).
Regarding the day we were going to start working on this feature, through this sizing, we were able to generate an expectation of completion of the feature for November 18, 2021 and presentation to the customer the next day.
The same process and actions were performed in the context of the iOS team.
In the context of the iOS team, the expected completion of the feature was projected for November 23, 2021, with presentation to the customer on the following day.
Dica 2: Análise de GAP – Sizing x Monte Carlo
Em paralelo ao refinamento da feature, algumas métricas foram analisadas, tais como o lead time, cycle time, throughput, wip, aging, entre outras.
Essa análise foi separada para o contexto Android e para o Contexto iOS. Através da nossa ferramenta, o Sinccera, conseguimos ter os registros e métricas apartadas e adequadas.
Sizing vs Monte Carlo iOS Analysis
The same simulation took place in the iOS context and we obtained the result of 85% confidence presenting the date of 23/November/21.
We observed that the simulation presents the same projection as the Sizing (23/November/21) and that it is also very close to the customer’s desire to finish by 19/November/21. Even more considering that November 19/21 was a Friday.
Tip 3: GAP Analysis – Sizing vs CFD Analysis
After performing the Monte Carlo simulation, an analysis of each CFD (Cumulative Flow Diagram) was performed, focusing on flow trends and not just on the data.
Sizing Analysis vs Flow Trend Analysis (CFD) Android
Making some projections through some possible trends in the flow of the context, we determined that the trend to be considered is precisely the one that resulted in a projection of completion on 18/November/21.
This analysis also confirms the sizing projection for November 18, 21.
Sizing Analysis vs iOS Flow Trend Analysis (CFD)
In the figure below we have the flow analysis also confirming the approximation of the projection with the sizing for 23/November/21.
Tip 4: Risk Analysis
Always act with Risk Management! This is one of the great tips to succeed in our actions. Also learn more about risk management and a way to apply it, in the article Risk Management: The Agility Catalyst and Risk Framework.
And remember this sentence:
You are free to manage the risks or not!
And you will reap the consequences of your choice.(Hugo K. M. Lourenço).
Assessing the risks involved in the context, it was decided that, even with the iOS projections indicating a date above the customer’s expectation, it is feasible to consider the risks and opportunities involved so that the delivery of the iOS feature also occurs until the expected date.
In the risk analysis, the metrics available in our tools, the projected context of availability and capacity of the Squad, in addition to identified risks that were threats and opportunities, were considered, where we created a plan to mitigate or eliminate the threats and increase or explore even more the probability of occurrence and the impact of the opportunities, which was mainly to reduce the projected delivery date.
Tip 5: Overview and Closing
After finalizing the analyses, we carry out an internal and client alignment on shared risks and the projected delivery date according to their expectations.
And that’s the wonder of all these analyses, where we compare T-Shirt estimates with Monte Carlo Simulation and Flow Analysis, in addition to adding risk management to the context. So supporting us to make a decision very well supported by data and practices, making it reliable and assertive.
Delivery was made in advance, on November 17, 2021. Thus proving the effectiveness of metrics, analyzes and actions on risks of threats and opportunities carried out. Obtaining, in the end, total customer satisfaction on the respective feature.
The proposition with these 5 tips is to support scenario and decision analysis with different practices. We propose the idea that there is no single recipe for answering the question of “when will it be ready?”; where, by adding two or more analysis and decision-making practices, the chances of greater and better assertiveness in our results will greatly increase.
We hope that these 5 valuable tips for making a decision on when it will be ready will help you with insights and as an example of how we can evolve our contexts, knowledge and practices in our daily lives.
Contact our experts to learn more about the topic and how the Objective team can support you in the answer to “when will it be ready?”.