15.2 The general view of agile with respect to the Progress theme
In a similar way to the Plans theme, agile sees the Progress theme as of particular importance and many agile concepts and techniques exist to address the need to track progress. Although most of this is focused at the delivery level, more mature agile environments use these techniques in a wider context where there is a need to see how a piece of work relates to other teams or other projects and what value is being delivered as a whole.
Agile typically tracks the progress of the amount of work being completed and the amount of value being delivered. Ideally this value is provided to real customers in an operational environment.
It is important to understand that agile monitors and controls the work being carried out as much through some of its fundamental values as through the use of specific techniques. Burn charts and work-in-progress boards are very common techniques used in agile, and although they are very effective in their own right, they actually form part of a bigger picture in that they help enshrine some of the key agile values such as transparency, simplicity and empiricism. People new to agile often see these displays first, and not only do they look appealing, they are also very effective.
Fundamental to the agile way of working is the desire to respond quickly to learnings and new information. By working iteratively there is a great sense of immediacy to this responsiveness and agile aims to create the conditions where progress is monitored in ‘real time’.