Real Agile Team Metrics LIVE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
I have the privilege of coaching a few teams building a product and I have the ability to show their real team metrics LIVE - I might add the team has also given me permission to show their metrics to others, as we know that some metrics that a team keeps may only be intended for use by the team (we’ll highlight what these metrics are in the session). Hence in this short demonstration session, we will pull up the team’s metrics live and see what’s going on - the "good" stuff and the "bad" stuff, as the reason to use metrics to guide team improvements is they tell us the TRUTH about what's really going on. We will look over metrics such as cumulative flow across the full value stream, story cycle time, story lead time, block time and others. We will go over how to review the data from multiple metrics and look for trends resulting from changes to the team and/or the team’s process - such analysis can stimulate lively discussion in team retrospectives so as to assess the impacts of changes the team makes to their process and also to identify adverse trends and/or bottlenecks to target with future changes and improvements. We will also review how the team’s data is communicated to other teams via a monthly Operations Review meeting focused on program-level / multi-team improvements where teams exchange information on what they are working to improve, why they are seeking to improve, and what indicators / metrics are being used to assess the impact of changes. Attendees will leave having observed a demonstration how to use quantitative data to achieve improvements using the scientific method.
Outline/Structure of the Demonstration
For fun it’s Friday evening with less than 2 hours until the deadline for AgileDC submissions, nothing like throwing one more quick NEW idea out there for consideration for inclusion on the program at the "last responsible moment."
All kidding aside, I do a fair amount of training and coaching on how to setup and use metrics to help teams improve, and while I’ve talked about metrics before and given presentations on the topic - as mentioned in the abstract lately in training sessions, I’ve just started pulling up real team data and reviewing / discussing it just as I do when I’m coaching a team. The real life examples and live data have been observed to promote better engagement in the discussion / demonstration of how to use metrics to support team / performance improvement.
Moreover, I’ve received feedback that once people see an actual demonstration of metrics & trend assessment using live data, it better enables teams to adopt the practice within their retrospectives, and has motivated teams to invest the time to establish a measurement system (either via manual charting or proper tool setup / configuration) so that they have access to quantitative data to support application of the scientific method to changes they make seeking to improve their process.
Metrics / Analysis Items to be highlighted include:
- Cumulative Flow data seeking to identify bottlenecks - then identify the root cause of any suspect flow trends / changes observed
- Cycle Time data including mean and statistical analysis / forecasting - discuss how historical cycle time trends allow for forecasting of when future stories will be complete
- Capacity allocation across story types / projects
- Story Block Resolution Time - linkage to root cause analysis and follow up actions / resolution for common block types
Demonstration will be guided by questions and observations raised by those in attendance as we explore the live data.
As this is a live demonstration, there are no presentation materials; however, a worksheet which summarizes the key metrics reviewed, why they are reviewed, and how to analyze them will be provided to all attendees to reinforce what is demonstrated.
- Attendees will gain exposure in how to analyze data from multiple team metrics so as to determine the impact of process changes
- Attendees will observe techniques for metrics and/or trend analysis for inclusion in team retrospectives
- Attendees will gain awareness of use of metrics for program level improvements via Operations Review meetings
Coaches, ScrumMasters, Retrospective Facilitators, Those interested in learning the value metrics provide to agile teams