Subscribe by Email

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Keeping track of commitments made by team members for the future - tracking of issues

One of the minor issues that threaten to become major issues during tight projects is about tracking of issues, or in the case of this post, more about tracking the work that other people were expected to do. Consider the case where there was a meeting on a critical issue (and during a tight software development cycle, there can be many such meetings to resolve many such critical issues - during a tough cycle, even a small delay in a feature can become critical since the buffer to accept and incorporate such delays is no longer present in the schedule). So, you had a meeting a couple of weeks back, where there were some action items on various team members which would have helped in resolution of the issue. You are the Program Manager or the Project Manager of the team, and handling such tracking typically falls on your head.
Since there were a number of such issues, somehow the expected progress on the critical issues did not happen, and as it turned out, the people who were expected to provide some updates, or if you consider a specific example, the workflow designer was to provide a new updated specification for a feature or a part of a feature. You were so busy that communication with the designer to remind him or her about this delivery did not happen (which was a mistake, but can happen unless you are designed with a highly organized mind). Suddenly somebody remembers, and then it falls on your head about why the designer did not provide an update; that you did not send the reminder. It is almost like it is not the problem of the designer anymore, but your problem.
Such kind of situations are very uncomfortable to be in, so you need to ensure that you avoid being in such situations as far as possible. It is not very difficult to organize your work in such a way that you stay out of these situations. Just a few tips are enough:
- Keep a minute of the meetings including the action items and send them out to the people present (this must be happening regularly)
- Add these action items in some sort of tool that will send you a reminder (having a tool that sends an automated reminder to another team member will probably not work when the entire schedule is tight)
- Every day, either at the beginning of the day, or at the end of the day, review all these items and ensure that you are updating these items. In some cases, the need for the action item would have vanished because of some other changes, and you should remove these items; or the need for the item would have got delayed
- Be sure that your team members already know that you will be doing this process and they will get reminders; in many cases, team members don't like to get such reminders, and they would already have noted the action item directly and will send an update by the desired time. However, if you were to explicitly ask them to do the same, they might not (the wonders of the human nature are incredible).

No comments:

Facebook activity