There are times when the implementation team (comprising developers, testers, UI designers, etc.) is considered not good enough to complete a project or get things done on their own. There is a general tendency to include senior management to the list of “responsible people” for important projects, as it’s commonly believed that the management can solve all problems.
If senior managers are not seen or heard, everything is considered to be OK. A bit like “no feedback is good feedback.” However, when there’s a problem, senior managers feel an urge to solve those, as they think it’s the most reasonable thing to do.
Now, the problem with this resolution method is that it involves “more bureaucracy.” This, especially, poses problems when the team has found efficient ways to do things – such as applying agile methods with good tools suitable for work (tools that help manage the requirements to see what is not done). One should not forget that these tools cannot perform miracles! If the team, for instance, does not estimate correctly, the tool can’t figure out the remaining work on its own.
People really need to ask themselves at such moments: “What should be our priority… to deliver this project, or just try to manage and report it?” I think, most teams ask this question but end up doing the latter one. Here, unfortunately, resistance is futile, because orders always come from the higher level!
So, here’s some food for thought for all of you. Applications (such as JIRA and Scrumworks) can be helpful in such cases, but first you need to ask whether you are reporting for the sake of it or is there a real need for reporting. Find out what actually needs to be known/done, rather than simply following what was done earlier.