It’s mid-year at Microsoft. In the past it would take me a bit of work to figure out what I had accomplished and where I want to go. Not this time. For the past several months, I’ve been using a practice I’ll call Monthly Results. Each month, I create a short-list of results in a Wiki and send a link out to our management team as an FYI.
Benefits of Monthly Results
Creating a Monthly Results list has a few benefits for me:
- At a glance, I can quickly see the forest from the trees.
- It helps keep management in the loop on results.
- It helps keep my teams focused on results over activity.
- I can see interesting patterns.
Most importantly, it's my portfolio of results. If I don't like the portfolio, I can see at a glance where my time went and how I need to shift focus. Thinking in terms of a portfolio of results helps me quickly rationalize things like "Do I have my sure bets?" ... "Do I have a set of riskier projects to learn, grow and innovate with?" ... "Am I working on meaningful problems?" .... "Am I delivering value?" ... etc.
Example of Monthly Results
Here’s an example of my monthly results list. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In my case, I just create a Wiki page that lists results by month along with any relevant links:
- Book: TFS Guide available on Amazon
- Book: Perf Test Guide available on Amazon
- Performance Testing Guide live on MSDN
- TFS Guide live on MSDN
- TFS Guidance Modules live on MSDN
- TFS 2008 Fixes applied to guide (Ch 08 - Setting Up Continuous Integration with Team Build, Ch 09 - Setting Up Scheduled Builds with Team Build, Ch 16, Ch 17, Ch 18)
- Scenario Frames for VSTS completed and shared
- patterns & practices Web experiences ideas (see Wiki)
- MSDN tree-view design for patterns & practices Catalog.
- Testing Center launch features patterns & practices Widget
- Project Practices documented (see Wiki)
- Performance Test Scenario Frame published to CodePlex
- Performance Test Scenario Frame for VSTS draft complete
- Performance Testing Videos published to CodePlex (Video: What Is - The Core Activities of Performance Testing; Video: What Is - The Core Activities of Performance Testing in Agile Projects; Video: What Is - The Core Activities of Performance Testing in CMMI Projects; Video: What Is - The Distribution of Data for Performance Tests Results; Video: What Is - The Reporting Fundamentals for Performance Test Data; Video: What Is - The Success Criteria for Performance Test Projects; Video: What Is - The Mathematical and Statistical Principles for Performance Testing ; Video: What Is - Modeling Application Usage for Performance Testing.
- Initial Catalog Sweep assessment
- MSDN process improvement (TFS Guide experiment)
- Software Inspections write up completed for Testing Center launch
- TFS Guide to MS Press
- Performance Testing Guide to MS Press
- MSDN process improvement (Performance Testing Guide experiment)
- Guidance Explorer Security Fixes implemented
- Visual Studio Guidance Modules published to Guidance Library (Checklist Items: 257; Guidelines: 121; How Tos: 16; Explained: 10; Practices at a Glance: 129; Questions and Answers: 64)