Playbook: Monthly Delivery Review
In the ever-evolving realm of software delivery and project management, keeping a steady hand on the rudder is paramount. Successful project execution is a multifaceted endeavor, where not only must you navigate today’s challenges, but you must also chart a course for the future. One indispensable tool in this journey is the Monthly Delivery Review, a comprehensive process that evaluates your project’s health, its alignment with financial goals, and its adherence to planned metrics. In this blog, we’ll delve into the significance of the Monthly Delivery Review and provide a detailed playbook to help you steer your projects toward success.
This playbook is a FREE Industry template that can be tweaked or used as-is for your own organization or teams, in perpetuity. This contribution to the community was created after research on the current Industry best practices on the subject. However, this is only a guidance and needs to be modified as required, to best fit your needs. This template does not provide any assurances or guarantees. It also needs you to modify Roles, Tasks and Durations to those that best fit your specific needs.
The template provided for FREE DOWNLOAD covers the following sections:
The Essence of Monthly Delivery Review
The Monthly Delivery Review is the compass that guides your project to success. It provides project managers, stakeholders, and team members with a holistic view of the project’s performance over the last two months, enabling them to anticipate future challenges and strategize for success. This monthly review is a forward-looking process that aligns project delivery with financial objectives and ensures projects stay on course.
Let’s break down the critical steps within the Monthly Delivery Review playbook:
Reviewing Financial Aspects
- This step is your financial compass. It involves examining the delivery and infrastructure expenses for the previous two months. Simultaneously, you forecast budgets and expenses for the upcoming two quarters and the entire financial year. This financial reflection provides invaluable insights into your project’s economic health.
- As an expert in project management, I recommend looking closely at the adherence to forecasts from the last two quarters. By scrutinizing adherence, you can pinpoint areas of variance and identify the causes. If variances are detected, create action items and assign responsible owners to address them. This step ensures that your project’s financial objectives are transparent and achievable.
Revenue Management and Margin Analysis
- This step is akin to your revenue radar, allowing you to navigate with precision. Here, you review revenue managed and conduct a detailed margin analysis for the current quarter. This analysis involves comparing actual numbers against the initial plan.
- Dive deep into the causes of any revenue or margin variances. Are there external factors affecting the project’s financial health? If variances exist, create actionable steps to mitigate them. Assign owners to these action items, ensuring accountability and alignment with financial goals.
Assessing Important Plans
- The third step involves assessing and updating crucial plans that are instrumental in project success. Development plans, sprint plans, testing plans, automation plans and deployment plans must be reviewed to guarantee they are current and aligned with project needs. This ensures your project stays on track and adapts to the latest developments.
- As an expert, I emphasize the importance of proactive planning. Keep your team well-informed about these crucial plans, as they play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless project execution.
Reviewing Key Delivery Metrics
- Consider this step your performance dashboard. Here, you review all critical delivery metrics, including business value delivered, deployment frequency, team velocity, and others. The objective is to check if these metrics align with the planned ranges or if there are any concerning variances.
- In my experience, monitoring these delivery metrics is crucial for staying on course. If variances are detected, it is essential to explore their underlying causes and, if necessary, create actionable steps with assigned owners to rectify them.
Validating Processes and Plans
- This step is your process audit, ensuring a well-documented and compliant project execution. It involves reviewing other processes and plans such as DevOps, build processes, and deployment processes to validate their documentation and proper adherence.
- As an expert, I stress the importance of ensuring your team’s awareness of these processes. Clear documentation and adherence are essential for project success and risk mitigation.
- This aspect of the review ensures that your project team has access to the necessary infrastructure. Review cloud resources, hardware, network, video conferencing equipment, licenses, or any other resources required for the project.
- In my opinion, discussing infrastructure challenges, if any, and creating action items with designated owners is vital for preventing disruptions and ensuring a conducive project environment.
Scrutinizing Quality Metrics
- This step involves a thorough examination of quality metrics, including escaped defects rate, defect density, code coverage, testing automation percentage, and performance automation. The objective is to understand if the project is meeting quality benchmarks.
- As an expert, I recommend diving deep into the causes of variance if quality metrics are not in alignment. Action items should be created and owners assigned to address these concerns and ensure project quality is maintained.
Unit Testing and Security
This step delves into unit testing and security aspects, ensuring a robust project foundation. Experts recommend discussing causes of concern, if any, and creating action items to address them. Security is paramount, and regular reviews are essential for safeguarding the project’s integrity.
Strengthening Client Stakeholder Relations
The Monthly Delivery Review is not only about project performance; it’s also about nurturing client relationships. This step focuses on reviewing the relationship map with key stakeholders. Identify champions, address potential issues, and devise strategies for turning detractors into supporters.
Customer Satisfaction and Team Wellness
Client satisfaction and team well-being are critical components of project success. Review the last CSAT survey and NPS scores, create or review action items, and plan the next survey. It’s crucial to maintain client satisfaction and keep a pulse on your team’s sentiment and attrition.
Talent Strategy and Growth
This step encompasses evaluating open positions and discussing hiring strategies. Maintaining and enhancing talent density within your team is essential for project success and team growth.
Development, Learning & Growth Plans
Review team development, learning, and development plans. Individual growth plans should be considered, along with a review of performance management results from the last cycle.
Your final step involves encapsulating the entire Monthly Delivery Review in a high-level overview. This includes relevant information, data, and dashboards that can be shared with executive leadership. Following up with a call or meeting, if required, ensures that leadership is aligned with the project’s course.
In the world of project management, the Monthly Delivery Review is your north star. By following these steps diligently and leveraging the provided playbook template, you can steer your projects toward success. As an expert in this field, I understand the significance of maintaining project health and adherence to financial goals.13
Remember, every project is a journey, and with the Monthly Delivery Review as your guide, you can navigate the complexities of software delivery with confidence. Stay committed to excellence, adapt to changes, and keep your projects on a path to success.