This week was full with readings in the direction metrics. As the year ends and performance reviews and setting new goals and objectives is knocking on the door – a lot of reading investment went in this direction.
I finally finished reading The Human Side of Agile – How to Help Your Team Deliver and Real life Scrum (Minibook on InfoQ by Jesper Boeg). Book notes are provided soon 😉
- Appropriate Agile Measurement: Using Metrics and Diagnostics to Deliver Business Value (Pdf by Deborah Hartmann and Robin Dymond)
- Measure up (Essay by Mary Poppendieck)
- Measuring Process Improvements – Cycle Time? (Blog post by Mishkin Berteig)
- Agile estimating (Presentation and Youtube Video with Mike Cohn)
- Pay for performance and evidence based management (Pdf by Jeffrey Pfeffer)
Using Metrics and Diagnostics to Deliver Business Value
|Attributes each metric should provide|
This really helpful article gives a lot of background for aligning metrics with agile principles. It defines what makes a metric a good one, what to consider for metrics and gives some hands on examples for metrics and according diagnosis.
A good agile metric
- affirms and reinforces lean and agile principles
- follow trends not numbers
- measure aggregated values
- do not track below levels of a team and an iteration
- belongs to a small set of metrics and diagnostics
- just enough metric approach
- too much information can obscure the information
- +6 more
In this essay Mary Poppendieck describes – Measure-UP, the practice of measuring results at the team rather than the individual level.
“If we measure people solely on results over which they have full control, they have little incentive to collaborate beyond their own sphere of influence to optimize the overall business”
“Practice of measuring results at the team rather than the individual level, keeps measurements honest and robust“
Measuring Process Improvements – Cycle time?
Mishkin Berteig describes the value of combining the measurement of Cycle time with measuring the customer satisfaction (using the Net Promoter Score) and the ROI.
“Cycle time is the measure that is most closely related to process improvements, but ROI and customer satisfaction should also be used to ensure that process improvements don’t accidentally harm the organization.“
Thank you Mike Cohn! After struggling a long time with the concept of story points this video helped me to get an answer to questions like:
- Is story points an expression of effort or not?
- How to factor complexity, risk in?
- What about this brain surgeon and kid example?
Pay for performance and evidence based management
Jeffrey Pfeffer describes the flaws of working with Pay for Performance system as driver for performance improvements.
If you want to improve performance – invest in underlying culture and quality of the management (the pay system isn’t the way to go):
- sustained investment in training & development
- job rotation
- on the job training
- formal status distinctions are downplayed
- less salary differences across levels
- contributions are important and valued
- delegation of decision making to skilled people
- rewards that share organizational success
- high pay to reduce turnover and attract the best
- employment security
- evidence of widespread dissatisfaction
- believe that performance was inaccurately evaluated and
- the measures used to access the performance are not understood
- often arbitrary and capricious way for the implementation
- absorb vast amounts of management time and resources and make everybody unhappy