Hello to all, today I want to share with you one of my challenger: How to measure if the team is progressing in agile. I am not a lover of KPIs and I have to recognize that some times, I saw them as the worst thing to check. I don’t know you, but in my case as soon as I listen KPIs, I start to think hard in:
“Tell me how you will measure me and I will tell you how I will behave.” – Eliyahu Goldratt
In the other hand, as part of manager team, I full understand that managers need some kind of metrics to take decision and guide the company. Running an organization without some basic measurements is like driving a car without a dashboard.
After a lot of readings, talks and discussion, I decided to try something in one of our agile teams, my big questions before start were: how? what should I measure? how should I present it?. I didn’t want to drop in the long, and some times frustrating process of evaluating each person of the team, and/or sending the wrong message to the team with the wrong measure.
I had experiences with “old” evaluation processes, and today I have a lot of concerns how those kind of evaluations/measures could impact in one agile team. I wanted to avoid metrics dysfunction like:
- Wrong things rewarded
- Individual stature
- Promote myself
- Desire to become an SME
- Me first, team second
- Me versus everyone else
- Worst: feeling like it is a ruse
However, I am very sure that if we want to measure one agile team, we have keep in mind these simple points:
- “Barely sufficient”
- Easy to collect and/or coalesce (<5 mins)
- Affirm the Agile principles
- Focused around delivering customer value
- Should not cause any “metrics dysfunction”
Based on all what I explained above, I propose to the team (dev team, PO and stakeholders) one system based in “score cards”. The idea is:
- Stakeholders will fill up one score card at the end of each sprint: “Stakeholder sprint score card”.
- Stakeholders will fill up also one score card every quarter: “Stakeholder quarter score card”.
- PO will fill up one score card every quarter: “PO quarter score card”.
- Each member of developer team will fill up one score card every 6 month: “Team score card”.
In these cards will be only 4 or 5 items to evaluate with a range between 0-100, and only 3 lines to write down something else. We really focus items to team performance and costumer value delivered. With one card at the end of each sprint from stakeholders we really will have a very fresh feedback.
You could see our first drafts here:
As you will see, all cards are very simple, and we think we cover all agile aspect of one project. We will try them for about 3 months, and we will evaluate the result. We estimate that after 3 months, we should have between 8 and 12 cards. It seems to be a good number for us to get a very first feedback of this way to evaluate teams.
After our evaluation, we will be able to “inspect and adapt” this process.
What do you think? Are you try it something like that? Do you want to share your results/comments? Any feedback is welcome.
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