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 😉

ScrumLearning and Pearl Connections / agile metrics / readings in Sebastian Radics (sebastianradics)

Readings Overview

More detailed information

Using Metrics and Diagnostics to Deliver Business Value

Sources: Appropriate Agile Measurement: Using Metrics and Diagnostics to Deliver Business Value (Pdf by Deborah Hartmann and Robin Dymond)

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

Measure up

Sources: Measure up (Essay by Mary Poppendieck)

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?

Sources: Measuring Process Improvements – Cycle Time? (Blog post by Mishkin Berteig)

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.

Agile estimating


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

Sources: Pay for performance and evidence based management (Pdf by Jeffrey Pfeffer)

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
fraughts and problems of pay for performance:

  • 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

Do you have additional recommendations?

Can you recommend next nice source to follow and read? I’m curious to read your comments 😉