Measuring Successful Agile Transformations: How Agile Are You? with Mike Guiler and Eric Landes

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This week, Dan Neumann is joined by two of his colleagues, Mike Guiler and Eric Landes,

In this episode, they are answering a listener’s question: Senior Leaders want to measure how Agile they are, which will allow them to demonstrate if they are becoming more Agile. These Leaders are looking for metrics they can use that can show release frequency, show how responsive they are, and allow them to show or measure if what they are releasing is valuable to the customers. They would love to have numbers that they can update at the end of every month if possible. To summarize, this listener wants to know how leaders can explore their agility and see how it changes every month; listen to this episode and find out what Dan, Mike, and Eric have to say.

Key Takeaways

  • Metrics and statistics could be made the same.
    • Let’s not try to measure Agile.
    • An Agile transformation is hard work, are you achieving your goals? Measuring things appropriately can be challenging.
    • If the organization identifies a target but there is a lack of safety, those metrics can become manipulated and consequently unreliable.
  • Let Teams come up with the right metrics for them.
  • How can metrics be useful?
    • A Team wants to move at the speed of its customers, so why not get feedback from customers to know how the Team is doing?
    • Does the Agile transformation have the customer and his needs as a priority? The Team should seek transformation because they want to make the customer’s life better.
  • Deployment frequency metrics are necessary.
  • DevOps research and assessment metrics:
    • Deployment Frequency: How often an organization successfully releases to production.
    • Lead Time for Changes: The amount of time it takes a commitment to get into production.
    • Change Failure Rate: The percentage of deployments causing a failure in production.
    • Time to Restore Service: How long it takes an organization to recover from a failure in production.
    • Reliability.
  • A committed vs an inspirational OKR
    • OKR is a popular management strategy, it defines objectives and tracks results while assisting to create alignment and engagement around measurable goals.
    • For the organization at the Team level, it is important to have OKRs that communicate what we are looking for at a higher level.
  • Once a Team starts measuring a thing, do they continue measuring it forever?
    • Is it useful? If it is not, there is no reason for continuing to measure.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Industrial DevOps

Consulting to Team-Based Organizations: An Organizational Design and Learning Approach, by Kay F. Quam

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