With the transparency of agile and the granularity of team-based metrics, it's important to be responsible in how you use your measurements. There are five principles Joel Bancroft-Connors adheres to when dealing with metrics: start collecting early and often, be consistent, stay focused, measure the project and the teams separately, and—most importantly—measure responsibly.
Whatever your feelings on metrics, organizations will expect them for your team. You don't want to measure only one aspect to the detriment of other information, but you also don't want to measure too many things and scatter your team's focus. Here are four metrics that balance each other out and help gauge an agile team's productivity, work quality, predictability, and health.
The traditional ways of finding employees are changing. If you want to get a role that will make you happy to contribute to the team, you need to rethink the way you apply for roles. If you are the resource manager, change how you recruit. This article focuses on the qualities you should be exemplifying or looking for if you want to form a team with an agile mindset.
Simply putting a handful of developers together and calling it a “team” doesn’t cut it. There’s a better, more analytical approach to team assembly that results in more cohesive teams, faster ramp-up times to peak velocity, and improved innovation, business outcomes, and value.
For any agile-based operation, you can introduce the concept of "velocity values." Depending on the organizational culture, these values may come as monetary rewards, recognition, or other incentives. This can go a long way toward helping management understand how their respective teams work and can provide great insight into mentoring at both the individual and team levels.
The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.
Using metrics such as cumulative flow to monitor throughput and quantitative thinking may not seem very humanistic, but by depersonalizing the work being done, we can focus our energies on solving actual problems instead of conducting a daily witch-hunt and shaming people into high performance.
Hiring is difficult to do well, Johanna Rothman writes in her latest management myth piece. Because everyone who is looking to hire has a job, they think they know how to hire. But it’s not easy. You want to hire the best people you can who fit the team and the organization.
Jean Richardson shares a story about how the idea of pervasive leadership can help you manage a successful project. In order to practice pervasive leadership, one must change one's mental model of "I" and "thou," act locally and think holistically, and enact empathetic stewardship.
Kathy Iberle writes that when working on a project, you should take a systems view, which allows you to see the whole development system at once. When you put on your “systems view” glasses, you’ll see that you need to deal with the whole system, not just a single team’s part of it.