20 Sep Being Disciplined about the Right Metrics
Posted at 07:39h in Agile
Organizations want to measure progress toward desired outcomes. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of measuring the wrong things, especially when you view metrics as a static choice. While it’s important to have a constant set of metrics to evaluate over time, it’s equally important to recognize that different metrics help us understand different things. Scrumban recognizes that it may be important to track different sets of measurements at different points in time to help us better understand and overcome the challenges we are facing.
When organizations create a culture that elevates business value as the only benchmark, they produce forces that result in a superior alignment of their key systems. Most of the additional metrics that Scrumban introduces are directly tied to the creation or delivery of business value in one form or another.
In contrast, consider Scrum’s primary metric of velocity. This team-based measurement is intended to provide a close approximation of throughput. While the process of estimating story points can be a very effective tool for teams to acquire a better shared understanding of work, these estimates don’t necessarily correlate with either business value or the time it actually takes to complete work multiple teams contributing to a portfolio of efforts.
Ultimately, the value of a business or a system is determined by the consumer of its product or service. Cost is just one of many factors that determine value. Apple commanded a significant market share for portable devices (smartphones and tablets), even though its products were more expensive than most competing products. Examples such as this illustrate why additional capabilities that help a team or organization understand and validate actual business value are invaluable.