Extracting Value from Agile Metrics

Have you ever had that feeling that a team has reached a plateau? There are several ways to encourage the breaking of this barrier through Team-Building activities, but how about using the metrics and indicators differently?

What do we need to take into account when setting up our agile metrics setup? Is there a recipe for this?

Before proceeding with the subject, I would like to recall the four principles of the agile manifesto:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

The answer to which metrics should be used, must arise from another question: What are we trying to answer?

What decisions can I make with this information?

Dashboards, graphics, and monitors are very beautiful, but we must pay attention to using only metrics that guide the team in the process of continuous improvement, whether concerning the process, feedback, or bottlenecks. Ok, so just to make things worse and improve them later, I will wrap up by saying that metrics such as the speed of delivery of a team add little to the strategic point of view.

“What do you mean, Xavier … Are you out of your mind ?!”

Calm down, it’s controversial, I know … But, I’ll explain what the idea is, I just wanted to bring your attention back to the text.

The point is, what we need to keep in mind is that measuring the number of items that a team delivers per sprint and measuring the value of those deliveries are completely different things, but together these metrics can deliver the crème de la crème of agility. Making the team focus on delivering what really matters first.

Spoiler alert: “Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential”. Agile, Manifesto.

“Alrighty, but how can you put that into practice?”

You need patience, but you can’t waste time, young Padawan, answering the question from uuuuuup above. There is no really efficient recipe for any scenario, or moment (yes, it can be just a phase), but if we look at the agile manifesto (AKA: The Book Of The Law), we may have some ideas.

“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” Metrics regarding the product delivered to the internal or external customer. Eg .: Cost reduction, utilization, increase in the average ticket, NPS, number of active users, decrease in the number of complaints.

“Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. ” Metrics that show the health of the team. engagement, turnover rate, satisfaction rate, amount of overtime.

“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.”Metrics that relate to time to market, frequency of releases, throughput, cycle time. Do not use the maximum capacity of your team during development cycles, it is only a matter of time before bugs and unforeseen issues arise. And no, we do not want solutions from the TPMG type (to pull a MacGyver on it). Furthermore, whether you agree or not, the whole development process is a creative process, and creativity is stimulated by references, study, and space.

Working software is the primary measure of progress” and “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.”. Metrics that concern quality and good development practices. Number of bugs, number of automated test scenarios, quality of source code, governance indicators, etc.

Let’s use our numbers to learn as soon as possible. Metrics are your friends and can help you change your strategy as soon as possible if the plan doesn’t go as planned. Interact and remember, we are people creating value for people, so listen to what others have to say.

Bottom line…

If we are looking for new results, we need to think differently, measure different inputs, and remove from the routine everything that adds little or no value, I know it sounds cliché. But it is a cliché because it works.

Passionate about agility and people development. Helping teams and organizations working better together.