Agile Workflows

Reality Check Tool

The Reality Check Tool is an agile way to check if a deadline is feasible considering the context of the project. It works by formulating a hypothesis, which can be updated every week by the technical team, where they organize all demands and the weeks before the delivery date (it's not a schedule). This tool is an alternative (or complement) for Burnup charts, Monte Carlo simulations, or other practices and techniques.

How does it work?

  • Map the scope of the next delivery at some details level. Write all demands on this virtual board. Write each week before the deadline from the next delivery, and organize the weeks in a timeline;

  • Now, you'll need to distribute all demands on your timeline. The idea isn’t to have precision in item distribution on the board, but to identify if it’s possible to achieve the goal if reality were to happen that way;

  • At this moment, the team needs to create a hypothesis (it's not a compromise). Assume the necessary premises, respect the restrictions, and finish the distribution of these items on the board.

The central idea of the Reality Check Tool is to maintain alignment, giving visibility to the progress of the project and some predictability as to the date of delivery.


Henrique A. de Oliveira
Senior Agile Specialist
I have worked with agile and project management since 2011, with over 10,000 hours of experience focused on digital product development and software engineering processes.

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