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Marc Nevin
Marc Nevin

Posted on • Updated on

How do you track small projects and measure success?

In my team we do a lot of proof-of-concept work around new technologies and ideas, but recently we're running into the issue of controlling the scope of these projects.

For some background the team has changed recently, some of the more senior staff have moved to different teams and we're now getting more junior staff still in training coming in for rotations.

Everyone is interpreting the loose and flexible system we use to track these projects a bit differently, which is leading to some people running away with ideas weeks at a time.

So I'm challenging myself to overhaul it and I've started looking at a few different ideas to implement over the last few days. The one standing out to the most for my first iteration are Test Cards, these are an single page document that has a couple of fields;

  • Hypothesis - What we're looking to test
  • Test - How we're going to test this out
  • Metric - How we're going to measure it
  • Criteria - What success looks like

There's other important fields too; how critical this research is, a rough timescale, and potential cost.

If this pans out I might even write about it!

This has got me thinking though, how do other teams manage experiments, proof-of-concepts and researching new tech?

How do you folks do it? Any horror stories or ideas? Or even any feedback on my thinking so far?

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