Measure What Matters
While working with Agile projects, tracking and showcasing the progress of the project is an integral component that is of special interest to the account managers, product/ project managers, product owners and business stakeholders. A typical Agile project would be working with estimates, story points, velocities, burn-up or burn-down charts.
I have witnessed numerous sprint reviews and showcases where the business is only waiting to see those few slides of the presentation where there is the "actual" red worm, running against the "planned" green worm, trying to catch-up. If the red worm is ahead, I have seen a smile on the faces of the stakeholders. If it matches the green one, there is a sigh of relief. And as a development team you should just pray that the poor red guy is not falling behind the green one, lest it might lead to a lot of questions starting with why, how, what etc.
There have also been times where there have been some unfortunate heated discussions that last forever on why did the team end up not claiming a few points that they had committed. What gets lost is what the team accomplished in the sprint that adds good value to the product. There have also been times where the estimates are being questioned by the product owner or account managers. If you are working in a distributed setup where the product owner is working out of a different country, the problem is even bigger.
Let us think about a scenario where the project gets completed on time, budget and scope. Majority (or all) of estimates were correct. However, when the product went live to the market it failed big time. What is the use of building such a product?
Are we focusing too much on numbers and points and overlooking the other important aspects of Agile software development such as producing software that delights the customers and looking for ways on how we can measure that? Are we measuring if we are creating a solid, robust and a scalable platform that is ready for future developments and enhancements? Are we measuring the outcomes of the time we are spending in the shoes of the people who will actually use the software?
The objective of this session is to promote the thinking of measuring what matters for your project. To measure the goals that your software development wants to achieve. I don't plan to showcase an exhaustive list of measurements that can solve all your problems, however, I instead want to highlight some samples that I have used in my projects with the help of my team, that helped us to measure things that add value to the business and development v/S simply creating burn down charts.
Majorly, I want to encourage the audience of this session think out of the box to identify what measurements will really matter for your projects. Perhaps from the eyes of the users and business and see what things if measured will add a lot more value than simply estimates, and will help in creating a valuable product that will truly delight the business and the users of the product.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
- Introduction to the session
- Some interesting quotes to talk about the usefulness (or read uselessness) of statistics/ measurements
- Addressing people who love to work with story points, velocities, burn-up or burn down charts etc.
- Some classic questions we receive from the business & what business interprets when we are measuring the progress of a project based on burn down charts
- Case of a failed project that completed on time, budget and scope
- Two schools of thoughts: The Estimates group v/S #NoEstimates group
- Cone of uncertainty
- Samples of some measurements that mattered for the projects I worked with
- Closing thought: case of speed control in Canada
Promote the thinking of measuring what matters for your project
To measure the goals that your software development wants to achieve
- Some samples of measurement of progress v/S typical burn-up or burn-down charts
Project Managers, Account Managers, Project Leaders, Team Leads, Scrum Masters, Program Managers, Product Owners.
schedule Submitted 3 years ago
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About the company
Philips is a healthcare multinational company that focuses on building complete health care products and solutions for emerging markets, in addition to developing solutions and products for global markets, across the three sectors Healthcare, Lighting and Lifestyle. Using the expertise of its nearly 2000 engineers in Bangalore and aligning the marketing and sales teams the campus is responsible for creating and rolling out a complete set of products that include a whole host of solutions for global customers. It also contributes to global solutions in critical health care component development for connected consumer devices and renewable energy.
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- Establish a release pipeline with continuous integration (supported by Automation)
- Adopt a DevOps Culture with focus on Continuous delivery (to production environment)
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- Defect reduction co t 45%
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- Coordination - 1 FTE
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