Coaches, Upper Management
We inspire trust in the team’s decisions.
You’re part of a whole team. Everybody sits together. An informative workspace clearly tracks your progress. All the information you need is at your fingertips. Why do you need reports?
Actually, you don’t need them. The people who aren’t on your team, particularly upper management and stakeholders, do. They have a big investment in you and the project, and they want to know how well it’s working.
Progress reports are exactly that: reports on the progress of the team, such as an iteration demo or a release plan. Although progress reports seem to exist so that stakeholders can monitor and correct the team’s direction, that’s not their purpose. Instead, good progress reports allow stakeholders to trust the team’s decisions.
Management reports are for upper management. They provide high-level information that allows management to analyze trends and set goals. It’s not information you can pick up by casually lingering in an open workspace for an hour or two every month; it includes trends in throughput or defect rates.
What kinds of reports do you need to build trust and satisfy strategic needs? It depends on the stakeholders. Some stakeholders are hands-off and just want to see progress toward a goal; others want to know more details so they can build broader knowledge. You may need to produce a variety of reports for different audiences.
Be careful, though—reports take time and energy away from ...