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Agile Metrics: 5 Tips to Achieve Product Success

“What metrics do we need to track?” is a question that new Agile teams ask the Agile coach the most frequently. Thus, we’ll discuss them in this article.

However, it is crucial to take into account the reasons why the majority of teams are expected to track and report metrics before getting into the specifics of the metrics themselves. To learn more,  check out the Scrum master certification course.

Why are we obsessed with Agile metrics?

These are a few things that people typically notice when working on projects.

  • Leadership and senior management are used to seeing metrics. The majority of waterfall/plan-driven business in the traditional project management space tend to have typical RAG (Red/Amber/Green) project health statuses. Although I’m not sure how this method got started, it might be connected to programs like Microsoft Project. 
  • In order to convey the present status of the project to their superiors and project sponsors, team leaders, also known as managers, require data to assist them comprehend it. Typically, they are too busy to be involved in the day-to-day operations of an Agile team.
  • Data is necessary for the Agile team members to manage their work and decide if they are on track or need assistance.

Although these are all good and reasonable reasons to use metrics, teams that try to do so risk falling into a number of hazardous traps. 

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Strategies for deploying metrics

Here are a few suggestions that may help new Agile teams deploy metrics effectively.

1.Start simple

Don’t try to put 20 metrics into place right now, even if they seem easy. In my experience, any metric your team decides to implement usually comes at a higher cost than anticipated, and they can gradually rob your team of important time that could be spent concentrating on performing “real work.” 

Recommendation: Start by limiting the number of metrics you track with the Agile management tool you currently use to no more than three. The majority of industry-standard platforms, including Atlassian Jira and Azure DevOps, include reports and some form of data analytics in the application itself, so starting costs should be minimal.

Agile Metrics: 5 Tips to Achieve Product Success

2.Don’t share it without explaining it 

There will be a temptation to share the data widely with everyone in your organisation as soon as your team begins recording metrics. This means that certain reports might be distributed carelessly or inadvertently. Your team may be in danger right now, particularly if someone in your organisation is unfamiliar with the metrics your team is using (such as throughput, velocity, etc.). This is because someone in charge might misinterpret the data, and they might not be close enough to the work to do so. 

Our advice is to get your team ready and assist them in explaining the information to everyone who might be able to access it. Develop your message-crafting skills to help the target audience comprehend the “why” behind the statistics and to give context.

3.Connect to business objectives and value 

To build on the last point, if your team is able to link the data to the business objectives of your company, it will be much easier to explain the “why” behind the data. 

For instance, if your KPI indicates that your team is averaging 90% completion of the work scheduled for each sprint, they are operating at an exceptionally high level and assisting the organisation as a whole in providing stakeholders and consumers with consistent value. The percentage (90%) by itself has little relevance without the right context, therefore be careful to tie it to the business outcome.

4.Review and adjust regularly 

Your metrics strategy may need to be adjusted as your team gets more experienced, which could seem like a lot of work. Motivate the group to assess their performance and look for opportunities for improvement. Over the course of the year, the organisational objectives are likely to change, thus it is critical for the team to be aware of these changes and adjust as necessary. For instance, it could be wise to start monitoring the defect rate if quality is starting to receive more attention.

Agile Metrics: 5 Tips to Achieve Product Success

5.Automate when possible 

It will make sense to use automation wherever it can be done so when the team adds more metrics in order to lessen the continuous burden of managing the data and metrics. 

Plug-ins for your Agile management program or writing some basic scripts to automate the data collection process are a few potential methods to take into consideration.

Conclusion In conclusion, if your team hasn’t given metrics much thought yet, now would be a good opportunity to do so before your superiors force something that might not be appropriate for your product. By taking the lead and starting to gather and disseminate valuable team data, you can facilitate the sharing of accomplishments and obstacles, as well as foster confidence among sponsors and stakeholders. This will eventually contribute to the development of a cooperative atmosphere that makes your project successful. Check out the Agile certification online free course to learn more.

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