#60 – Agile Metrics

Authors’ Comments:

Many popular metrics, like the ones illustrated above, can help identify areas for improvement, but increasing them is not necessarily desirable in itself. In our humble opinion, the only two things to measure are 1) the satisfaction of the customers and 2) the happiness of the team members. If these two metrics increase consistently, all other metrics don’t really matter.

One way of measuring customer happiness is by calculating the Net Promoter Score. The NPS asks your customers how willing they are to recommend your product or services to others like themselves. Though the rating is focusing on your offering, itself, it will typically also reflect how well your cooperation with the customers is going, and, thus, NPS can also be used with stakeholders for assessing your working relationship. 

For measuring how happy the team members are, there are a ton of frameworks, and one specifically designed for agile teams is the Spotify Squad Health Check. Here, the team assesses themselves on different parameters, such whether they feel like pawns or players, and marks each parameter with a traffic light rating. Here, the rating, itself, is secondary to the comments that team members give, as these can be used as basis for improvement initiatives within the team and across the organization. 

We must remember that working agile is a means to an end and not the goal, itself. Therefore, thinking about what outcome we want by working agile is what we should measure.