Demonstrating Product Success


in an Agile Project Environment



By Susan Hostetter

U.S. Census Bureau

Washington, DC and Texas, USA

Executive Summary

Have you ever struggled with demonstrating and communicating product success to your Agile project stakeholders? If yes, then let me show you how to better connect with your stakeholders through the development and use of performance measures.

As project managers, we need to demonstrate to our stakeholders how well our agile projects are doing and there are some good project measures currently in place, such as burndown and agile velocity, to describe how the agile project is doing. What is not so accessible, are the measures that demonstrate how well your project is producing a product that meets customer requirements and expectations. This paper will present a process to help Agile project managers to identify and develop meaningful and unique measures to demonstrate product success.


Theoretically, every agile project is working toward producing a product or service that is fulfilling an organizational need that aligns to a strategic goal and vision for the future of the organization. Maybe that alignment to the bigger vision is very clear to the project team, maybe it has been buried in the day to day demands of meeting project deadlines or lost to staff turnover. Whatever the reason, prioritizing the production of metrics that demonstrate progress to the future state tends to get lost in the speed to produce features and meet user expectations. The process covered in this paper will help project managers use strategic documents to identify and develop measures that will demonstrate the success of products created within the Agile project environment.

Program Management

Before the work begins, this process assumes that there is some level of program management at your organization. Measure development is one piece of program management and relies on all phases of program management to be effective. Figure 1 and the descriptions below show how each area of program management contributes value to the identification, development, and use of performance measures…


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 9th Annual University of Maryland PM Symposium in May 2022.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Hostetter, S. (2022). Demonstrating Product Success in an Agile Project Environment; presented at the 9th Annual University of Maryland Project Management Symposium, College Park, Maryland, USA in May 2022; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue IX, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/pmwj121-Sep2022-Hostetter-product-success-in-an-agile-project-environment.pdf

About the Author

Susan Hostetter

U.S. Census Bureau
Texas and Washington, DC, USA


Susan Hostetter, PMP, is a Project Manager at the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, DC, USA. As a data analyst and project management professional, she has been instrumental in standing up and improving PMO processes for risk management, project management, portfolio management, schedule management, cost management, performance management and strategic planning. Her papers have been published in the PM World Journal and she has presented project management topics at PMI chapter events and at the University of Maryland’s and University of Texas at Dallas’ PM Symposiums. She has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University, a Masters Degree in Management with Project Management emphasis from University of Maryland’s University College and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Economics, from Mary Baldwin College. Susan can be contacted at susan.lynn.hostetter@census.gov

To view other works by Susan Hostetter, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/susan-hostetter/