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Managing a program with diverse, distributed projects

JourneyJim was about to hit a roadblock. As one of the world’s leading travel websites, it managed millions of visitors and transactions every month. The IT teams supporting JourneyJim had recently “gone Agile”. Each team was energized with the new levels of collaboration that Agile brought them, and they loved the happy faces of their customers as new features were delivered.  

The IT organization at JourneyJim was also large and distributed.  Software teams at JourneyJim were organized based on various areas of functionality in the trip booking workflow.  This allowed for teams to have a solid understanding of all elements of their functional area.  It also presented a problem, in that it was difficult to track and plan multiple projects, especially as new features spanned multiple parts of the site such as search, travel options and payments.

During the inception of each release, the Program BA and Program managers identify the scope of work items that can be done in the timeframe of the current release. Scope is divided among teams based upon the areas they can work, and needs to be flexibly moved around as schedules and priorities demand. Team project managers have regular status meetings with program managers to discuss work that is done, work that is not done, if they will make the release date, and if scope has to be reduced.

JourneyJim needed a solution that could provide program planning and tracking capabilities and was flexible to suit differing project styles.

Sound familiar? How can Mingle Plus help?

With Mingle Plus the various project managers create project objectives and map stories accordingly. Program managers get visibility into when work will be done and also manage scope among teams. And project teams flexibly manage their projects based on their unique workflows and processes.

Objective-Timeline view

The timeline view gives project and program managers a quick update on the status of each team, helping answer the common questions asked in meetings, which in turn facilitated the reduction in number of meetings while increasing their effectiveness. 

The timeline gives a visual snapshot of:

1. What work is done?

2. What work is not done?

3. Are we likely to be done by release date?

4. Do we have to reduce scope?

Project Plan

Forecast charts

Forecast charts give the business analysts and project managers a range of forecasted dates when work may complete based on velocity, helping them manage scope in relation to their desired release date.

Below are the forecast charts for Journey Search and Journey Options:



Journey Options

Schedule Alerts

Alerts on possible schedule change keep the program managers informed about the ease or difficulty of achieving a release date with current scope. They help managers and teams both proactively manage scope creep and have informed discussions about release schedules.

Below are the alerts based on possible impacts to delivery of the Payments module.



Sign-up here to see how Mingle Plus can give you the flexibility and visibility to plan and track your program's progress.



Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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