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Another session I attended in LAST Conference.

Metrics are an important way to measure the progress of any project, whether AGILE or not.  Following is the gist of what I gathered during the session:

The goal of gathering metrics is to influence economic decisions.  While gathering Metrics, three factors should be given ample consideration:

Why : Why a particular metric is required?

How:  How will it be collected?

Who: For whom is the metric collected?

Metrics provide fuel for meaningful communication, guides actions & decisions and optimise learning. Metrics should be simple, visible and easily understandable.

What is BAD Metrics??

* If it is collected Just Like That because thats the way it has been done always.

* If it encourages gaming of the system.

* Results in bad behaviour.

* Ignores System.

* Doesn’t align with the WHY factor.

Some Common Measures

1. Estimating

a) Productivity Metrics

b) Revenue Per Employee

c) Lead Time per story

d) Mean Time to Ticket Resolution

e) Velocity

f) SLA Achievement Metric

g) Cost per value point

h) Concept to cash

2. Predictability

a) Say/Do Ratio

b) Velocity Variance

c) Feature Comparison

d) Epic Comparison

e) Cycle Time Per story Point

3. Customer Statistics

a) Net Promotor Score Trending

b) Customer Statistics Trending

c) Repeats / Renewals

4. Quality Related

a) Unit Test coverage

b) Automation Test Coverage

c) Defect Arrival/ Kill Rate

d) Issue Reintroduction Rate

e) Defect Density

f) Maintenance Complexity

5. Employee Statistics

a) Attrition Rates

b) Pain Scale

c) Retrospective Outcomes

d) Employee Satisfaction Trending (Surveys)

 6. Responsiveness

a) Cycle Time Per Story

b) Lead Time Per Story

c) Queue/ Batch Size

d) Mean Time to Release

e) Mean Time to Fix

f) Average Impediment Failure

Metrics will provide maximum value when overall alignment is focussed instead of aiming at local excellence. The presenter gave this excellent example of traffic lights: In order to have smoother traffic at a small trisection, new traffic lights were introduced. It gave good results for that road but ended up being the source of long delays and jams on the connecting freeways.

7 deadly sins of AGILE Measurement

1. Using Metric as Levers rather than feedback.

2. Using a Convenient Metric

3. Bad Analysis

4. Motivating people to hide information.

5. Too costly measures

6. Too many measures

7. Too few measures.

It should be remembered and understood that metrics do not tell the story, trends do!