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Learn how to effectively monitor progress in Shortcut
Learn best practices for how to monitor the progress and provide support to your team.
Last but not least is monitoring progress through team check-ins and support. A key goal of an Engineering Manager is to support their team, understand their work and progress, and ensure projects are progressing and work isn’t blocked.This comes up in daily stand-ups and 1:1 meetings.
Daily stand-ups can be a mix of live meetings (either virtual or in-person) and async check-ins. At Shortcut, we do both live and async check-ins.
For the async check-ins, we use an automated reminder in Slack (this system works with any chat tool), which prompts: What did you work on yesterday? What are you planning to work on today? Any blockers? This ensures you can stay on top of where the team may need support and be able to track progress. Keep in mind linking to Shortcut Stories here makes it easy to stay updated and the unfurl feature helps see details at a glance. One tip here is for the Engineering manager to get in the habit of responding to everything. No one likes feeling like they are wasting their time writing something no one is reading. React and reply to ensure the team knows how valuable these check-ins are.
For the in-person or live stand-ups a great screen to share and look at as a team is the Iteration detail page. One thing you can do to make this page even more helpful and tied to the larger work by adding the link to the related Epic or Epics in the description. This allows you to quickly hover to see progress.
From the Stories section of the Iteration page, it’s great to sort by Owner, then you can walk through what each person is working on. This is a great opportunity to talk about blocked or related work, uncover connections between different Stories that might be helpful, and think about what work can be done next.
1:1 meetings are an important part of a healthy team and good 1:1 practices can help you monitor progress and ensure your team has the support they need. A great first question to kick things out is open-ended How are you? This will open up the floor for general feedback and with the right follow-up questions can help you understand what people like, dislike, feel challenged or bored by, and so much more.
Another key question that ties into monitoring progress is asking Are you blocked on anything? Making sure to ask this question outright ensures your team is supported and you keep Iterations and Epics progressing.