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December 06, 2009


I'm curious. What is the problem that progress in percentages is solving? Last time I knew that was considered an anti-agile practice to use this metric due to all the different kinds of disfunctions that follow the focusing on schedule that this practice brings.

You can measure how much is left in all kinds of ways other than using percentage done.

This is a good question and I should have explained I am not reporting percentage complete against a schedule. I am reporting percent complete in terms of stories done verses stories remaining. For instance a feature like “Order Movie” may contain 20 stories, I want to report after completing 10 of them, we are about 50% done that feature. Parking Lot diagrams let us roll up story progress by feature group and display the results as a dashboard to give a comprehensive view. I agree that focussing on progress against a schedule that may well be flawed is not a great thing to try. Thanks for raising the question, likely other readers were thinking the same, I appreciate it.


I see. For that kind of metric, I prefer measuring the level of completeness across the features, rather than percentage of stories done. I very recently went to a CPO class by Jeff Patton which taught this very well IMHO. In this metric, each feature gets a score on a grading scale (A+,A,A-,...,F), denoting the completeness of the feature in terms of how usable and pleasing it is, basically on the scale from meeting minimum functionality to being aesthetically pleasing for the user. This can be shown very nicely on a bar graph, with a bar for each feature.

The plus with this approach is that it does not assume that you knew beforehand how much needs to be done beforehand to be shippable, it leaves you open with a decision to ship at any time, given that the features were sliced up into stories and implemented properly. And, it does give you a sense of the real quality of the system as it is.

Hi Guðlaugur,
I like the A-F scheme for a subjective measure of feature completeness, but often sponsors want to guage percent complete to validate estimates. I suspect there is a place for both sets of metrics on a project.
Thanks for sharing, regards.

It should be easy to take an Excel spreadsheet and automate the transfer of information to PowerPoint. If you care to post example spreadsheet and example result in Powerpoint...

You can contact me through blog below.

Hi Robert,

Thanks for commenting and your offer of help. I have sent you some examples and would love to share the solution with my readers. I have also been corresponding with Chandoo from the “Pointy Haired Dilbert” Excel blog and he has explained why what I am trying to do may not be the best way of visualizing data. Anyway, I am working on an updated post to address his points and it should be up soon. Thanks again for your help.

Best regards

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