Karl A L Smith

human knowledge belongs to the world

Agile Metrics are a View

Agile Metrics are a Data View

Agile Metrics are a data view from several metrics at once in order to establish validated information from several aspects of activity. While this understanding should be common sense it’s not apparent from the numerous metrics being employed both during Agile Transformation activities or BAU that this is understood.

Most metrics say nothing useful

During Agile Transformation activities and BAU it’s becoming more and more clear that the metrics employed are confusing, pointless and highly frustrating. They are often a side of the desk activity that expresses nothing useful about the transformation or the optimizations in the flow of work that Agile is intended to deliver as a continuous evolution in BAU.

Agile Metrics are a View

Instead metrics appear to be useless scorecards that indicate adoption of strategic behaviours, think about that for a second. Agile is about real change with real people, not marketing or mathematical proof, but actual tangible proof in delivery, unless its within production and delivery (of any type of work) its meaningless.

How should Agile be Measured?

Well it’s obvious you don’t measure Agile no one cares about Agile they care about better customer relationships, the removal of the top 100 complaint points, market entry and market capture. The oversight of organisational change belongs to Human Resources and always has because they are better placed to create the support structures that humans need when confronted with change.

How to Measure Optimization in Agile Organisations

Focusing on a single metric can have a disastrous impact on a company, its brand and its market valuation.

A focus on Workflow over delivering to customer needs, disenfranchises the customer so they go elsewhere. A focus Quality over timeliness makes the company come 3rd or 4th to the market and makes it look like it has no ideas of its own.  A focus on Effectiveness over value makes customers wait too long for simple upgrades they become anti organisation on social media or go elsewhere.

So what are these three primary attributes?

  • Quality = End customer (not colleagues or internal customers) based responses
  • Effectiveness = producing desired results
  • Workflow = strategic themes, capabilities, features to delivery including rapid fixes, localisations etc.

Only by combining workflow with effectiveness and quality can a company understand if things are better, getting better or not for their customers, shareholders and colleagues. Its sounds like a really simple thing to do, however like all simple sounding things it requires a rethink about how things work. In this case what is required is to close the loop from CI/CD to customer feedback and to have a maintained chain of custody that is transparent for all products and services. This requires a level of personal and professional maturity to deal with finding out things did not work and that, everyone else know this too.

Who wants change? Who wants to change? Lets see who will win this, in business its first past the post.


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