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Metrics for Agile Teams

Published by Pearson

Intermediate content levelIntermediate

Forget Velocity: 42 Other Things to Ponder

Velocity is one of the most commonly used - and abused - development metrics. Teams (and their stakeholders) often focus on “improving velocity” without either a proper consideration for root causes that impact velocity or a holistic view of a team’s outcomes.

Join Andy Cleff in a lively discussion that explores how we can remove perverse incentives and instead provide healthier ways for teams to gain meaningful insights into the outcomes of their experiments.

First, a presentation, followed by an opportunity to put theory into practice by exploring metrics meaningful to your ecosystem.

What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

  • Walk away with a framework of key principles and measurement options that you can employ to build and refine dashboards of useful metrics.
  • Learn to use dashboards to gain meaningful feedback loops on your teams’ experiments.
  • Develop insights that inform next steps for business strategy, organizational transformation, as well as the next generation of instrumentation (oh, a reinforcing loop!)

This live event is for you because...

  • You are a Team Leader, Group Manager, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, or part of a team that works in a complex adaptive system
  • You want to help individuals / teams build metrics dashboards to provide double-loop feedback systems for their experiments
  • You want to catalyze learning, collaboration and innovation across teams and at scale
  • You want to increase organizational resilience, engagement and retention



The time frames are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing.

Twelve Rules for Measurement from M3.0 (25 mins)

  • Measure for a purpose
  • Shrink the unknown
  • Seek to improve
  • Delight all stakeholders
  • Distrust all numbers
  • Set imprecise targets
  • Own your metrics
  • Don’t connect metrics to rewards
  • Promote values and transparency
  • Visualize and humanize
  • Measure early and often
  • Try something else

Check-In / Q&A (10 mins)

  • Break (5 mins)

A Framework for Metrics (40 mins)

  • Process Health Metrics: Assess day-to-day delivery team activities and evaluates process changes.
  • Release Metrics: Focus on identifying impediments to continuous delivery.
  • Product Development Metrics: Help measure the alignment of product features to user needs.
  • Technical / Code Metrics: Help determine the quality of implementation and architecture.

Check-In / Q&A (10 mins)

  • Break (5 mins)

Team Health (20 mins)

  • Indicate team health and well-being.
  • Reveal issues that impact a team’s ability to overcome adversity, maintain resilience, operate at a sustainable pace and maintain levels of engagement.

Guidelines for How to Choose (20 mins)

  • Why “this metric?” Why does it matter? Who does it matter to?
  • What insights might we gain from it?
  • What is expected to change? Are we looking for variability, consistency, trends or absolute values?
  • How might it be gamed, misused (or abused)?
  • What are some trade-offs/costs of improvement?
  • How often would we like to “take a data point”?
  • How long will we run the experiment?
  • How when we know when we’re “done” with this metric?
  • How will we make our measurements transparent?
  • Is this metric a leading or lagging indicator?

Check-In / Q&A (10 mins)

  • Break (5 mins)

Workshop - Let’s Put Theory to Practice (25 mins)

  • FINE Experiments
  • Pick a framework category (process, release, product, technical, team well-being)
  • Choose metrics to consider
  • Work thru guidelines (insights, trade-offs, potential abuses, life-span)

Close (5 mins)

  • Sharing ideas
  • Q & A
  • Close

Your Instructor

  • Andy Cleff

    Andy is an experienced and pragmatic agile practitioner that takes teams beyond getting agile to embracing agile. His chief weapons are well asked questions, insightful retrospectives and an ability to withstand awkward silences. And if all else fails, beer.