How does Usain Bolt motivate himself for the next Sprint?
He is the fastest sprinter in world history. But ever wondered what is Bolt's motivation to win the next 100m sprint? What is his focal point before the gun shot of the next big run? One thing is for sure. If he thinks about a single thing before the run, then it has to be the "9.58 seconds" mark.
That is the benchmark he has set for himself. Similarly, teams alighting in the agile sprints want to have a benchmark with themselves which they try to achieve and make it better with every sprint. That is the pursuit of being better than the best. That is where speed of delivery comes into picture. And that is where the concept of agile productivity is born.
Today Agile Development practices are a widespread phenomenon as several organizations see it as the faster-better-cheaper way of project delivery. But when same organizations want to manage productivity, which is an indispensable need today, they are faced with multiple practical challenges. Though there are some means to measure productivity through velocity or ideal-time, they are not full-proof on the turf owing to dynamic nature of teams/sprints. Some techniques may indicate an improvement but the question remains whether it is ‘good enough’ and comparable.
Productivity management comprises definition, measurement, base-lining and improvement which forms the crux of our model. It extends the idea of story-points as a size-measure by capturing user story complexities (functional/non-functional/project-specific). The novelty lies on ensuring that each category of work in a sprint is sized in repeatable units which is the stepping stone towards formalized productivity measurement in combination with actual effort. The productivity, thus obtained, brings in the much-needed capability to benchmark internally against available team capacity and, more importantly, externally across sprints(vertically) and projects(horizontally). Thus the model equips an Agile organization to rightly gauge the “good enough” aspect building way for continuous productivity improvement hence resulting in delivering more with less, increased capacity and doing better than the best in order to attain the ultimate goal of greater customer delight.
In order to be recognized as the fastest man on earth, Bolt has to run with other participants on the same turf where speed is measured through a common automatic clock. The model discussed here tries to exactly provide that level running ground to all the agile participants and measure their speed through the same repeatable scale.
So, what is your "9.58" number that motivates you to stay ahead and still perform better?