How to know the health of the project by looking into subtle indicators?

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ith years of experience in executing multiple software projects. Here is the set of indicators to understand the health of the projects. These are more subtle indicators.

Also, these indicators are for the management people who are not directly involved in the day-to-day activities of executing projects and who are looking for signs to know the project's health.

If you are observing failures during the Deployment Cycle

It is quite normal to see the system doesn’t deploy properly, either during Production or the UAT release cycle. If you encounter build breaks, system hangs, deployment failures, or basic demo breaks. This problem is directly attributed to

  • Inadequate engineering process in the upstream process. We need to relook at the upstream engineering process if you want to find a remedy.
  • The upstream infra environment is not identical.

Count of bugs post development

Though this is a lag indicator, the high count of bugs is an excellent indicator of the project's health. If you encounter an exceptionally high count of bugs during the post-development and pre-quality phases, we can attribute the following reasons.

  • The schedule may be tight, and the less time given to the developer, the more bugs.
  • The requirement Phase is not adequate.
  • If you find a high bug count during UAT testing, UAT users are not part of the requirement and development of the demo process.

Breakdown during demos

During the demo to the stakeholders, the system breaks. There may be many reasons for this. A few of the prominent ones are

  • Demos are not properly tested, and rushing to share the new features with the end users. It is better to go through a normal QA cycle before it hits the intended audience.

Type of bugs during the initial phase of QA

By just looking at the type of bugs, you can infer the stages of the quality testing cycle.

  • If your QA team is finding superficial or easy to find a bug, then you are at the initial stage of the quality testing cycle.
  • If your bug count is increasing daily, then we can assume we are nowhere near to stability of the application. Don't commit to any production release.
  • If you find more bugs during testing, the application is half-baked. We should recommend the team stop testing and put more effort into development.

Issues in Production but not encountered during QA/UAT testing

  • Data of Infra UAT/QA and in Production are not the same.
  • Not all the Production scenarios are covered during QA/UAT.

Team members are falling sick.

If the Team members are frequently falling sick or taking unplanned time off. The reason can be attributed to

  • Developers are under pressure, and schedule and work may be an issue.
  • Revisit the resource capacity

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Ranjit Damodaran

Tech enthusiast, Project Management. Interested in Complexity science, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Human Nature, Behavioral Economics, almost anything.