Metrics that Matter - Moving from Easy to Impactful

Metrics are the bane of many organizations, getting fascinated on measurements that don’t matter or can drive improper behaviours. In this session, we walk through a simple grouping for metrics where the groupings not only call out the metrics, but their limits, and help guide to better metrics.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Talk

5 minute - introduce the problem; general intros

15 minutes- introduce the groupings (Simple, Directional, Impactful); discuss how to help teams and organizations move to better measurements

15 minutes - Process Behaviour Charts

5 minutes - Distance to information

5 minutes - questions

Learning Outcome

The main goal is to give attendees a mechanism to do their best 'right now' for metrics, and give them a tangible path to get better.

We introduce three groupings of metrics - Simple, Directional, and Impactful - and then discuss why they might a place to start, but also their shortcomings. Then discuss how to make those metrics more interesting, i.e. if you are in the simple space, how to get to directional; if you are in directional, how to get to impactful

Examples for Simple - Velocity, Number 'Agile', Number of Defects. These metrics are all 'simple' meaning they are easy to collect and if you have nothing, this might an interesting start for an organization. We know velocity doesn't mean you are building the right thing for example, but if right now you have no idea of your rate of delivery or the volatility of your delivery, velocity would be a simple start for you.

Examples for Directional - Increase in code coverage, Cycle Time, Percent reduction in defects. These metrics are nicer than simple metrics and you can align them with a purpose. Additionally, adding the depth of time, you can show improvements with teams. So if as an organization you were trying to adopt test automation or better, test first practices, then showing an increase of code coverage would show that your changes are going in a direction. However, this doesn't mean that they are having an actual impact yet. You might have more tests, but not better design or the tests aren't increasing confidence. You might reduce cycle time, but still are building things people don't use. So these metrics can be improved.

Examples of Impactful - Increase in sales conversion, Reduction of cycle time for a delivery that mattered, making someone's life better. These metrics are much more difficult - they require more intentionality and purpose and require experimentation but ultimately are the outcomes we are looking to deliver. Chaos engineering, when done well, fits into this space as well. We shouldn't care if we are running more chaos tests / game days if we aren't learning from it and that learning has an impact for teams and customers.

As we introduce these groupings and ideas, we also discuss 'how do we get better'. The idea being that hey, maybe you can't get the best, most impactful metrics right now, but where can you start and how do you improve.

Introducing PBC to show if changes are making a difference or just 'noise'

Target Audience

Managers, Scrum Masters, Executives, Product Owners

Prerequisites for Attendees

Basic math

schedule Submitted 1 month ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  1 month ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • ...

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • Mentioning what metrics, what groupings, and the nature of the improvements being desired. This submission is very vague and hand-wavy.
    • Joel Tosi
      By Joel Tosi  ~  3 weeks ago
      reply Reply

      Evening George,

       I added some more depth for you, I hope it helps.  If I didn't explain it the best, and you have time, I hope the slides, blog posting, or video can provide more clarity.

      Thanks for the feedback,

      Joel


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