AGILE METRICS

Helping you see the wider system, objectively and listen to the stories of seamless flow or hidden pain that your data is telling you.

We use metrics to provide insights and tell stories that help you to see new possibilities. They will help you to see the un-seeable.

Metrics help to reveal the wider systemic challenges that go beyond the team, to show upstream portfolio trends and deployment capabilities.

Simple, visual metrics help to reduce risk, improve predictability, and identify improvements. They are a feedback loop to help you adjust your work and behaviour.

Metrics have been misused and often become toxic. Our focus is on using metrics to create a psychologically safer environment, where teams and others can act upon these insights, rather than hiding the sometimes ugly truth.

We have been pioneering tools to display metrics from Jira and Azure DevOps, with a particular interest in better forecasting and reducing risk.

 We can show you how metrics:

  • Identify hidden aspects and challenges of the wider system and challenges.
  • Help stakeholders see when a project is heading for problems, as early as possible, when they have more options to affect the outcome.
  • Help teams to become aware of issues and improvement opportunities.
  • Establish psychological safety.
  • Provide evidence and lessons from improvement ‘experiments’.
  • Metrics are at the heart of Agile, providing frequent, reliable feedback loops that helps people inspect and adapt.  
  • In addition to process metrics, we also have plenty of experience on the engineering side, around the deployment pipeline (DORA), code-quality and testing.

We have developed a suite of charts for a variety of clients using data from Jira, Azure DevOps, Jenkins and Gitlab. This enables us to provide single dashboards, showing process and technical metrics.  

This is a quick way for you to kickstart your own Agile metrics and continue to build from there. We can provide the tools in either PowerBI or Tableau.  

We offer you: 

  • Six key charts to kick-start your Agile reporting from Jira or Azure DevOps for both Scrum and Kanban projects.
  • You will own and can continue to evolve or create new charts for other areas of your development lifecycle.
  • Support to extract data from other systems e.g. Gitlab or Jenkins.
Benefits of the starter pack
  • Identify process improvements and forecast delivery date ranges.
  • Provide simple dashboards and a common interface to all users.
  • Kick-start your reporting at significantly less cost than writing the charts internally.
  • Benefit from the years of experience we have had creating Agile metrics.
  • Extend the reporting with your in-house skills – no ongoing licensing costs.
Charts for Stakeholders

Engage and provide stakeholders with options to influence the outcome of a project.

  • Burn-up / Landing Zone
    • Predict the range of dates that a piece of work will finish, based on actual throughput rate and increases in scope.
  • Feature/Epic Progress
    • Shows the relative size and completeness of each feature or Epic.
  • Throughput by Type
    • See what type of work the teams have been focusing on and trends in the mix of work they do.
Charts for Teams
  • Item aging
    • See what work has become stuck in a given state on the board.
  • Cycle time histogram
    • Use to forecast likely delivery, fix or user story – with data-based SLAs.
  • Scatter plot
    • Identify pieces of work that took unusually long and seek to improve the process.
Dashboards
  • Stakeholders and Teams can have their charts combined in their own dashboards.

 

Licensing
  • The Power BI (.pbix) files are provided under Creative Commons licensing for you to develop and extend as much as you wish.
  • You have the option of continuing to use our expertise to widen the use of Power BI to other elements of the Agile delivery process.
CC-by-NC icon You can amend the application but these cannot be commercialised and resold.  More info at: https://creativecommons.org/

 

Answer the fundamental question ‘Are we on track?’  

A continually adjusting forecast, based on the latest actual data, enables the stakeholders to get early sighting if the project ‘landing zone’ is drifting out of the target range.   

We offer two forecasting approaches 

  • Simple projections based on history of the project.

We frequently find that that the key variable determining the landing zone is the scope rather than the throughput rate of completed work. Yet, most of the organisation’s questions are asking the team to try and go a bit faster !  

The Burn-up is simple and clear way for stakeholders to answer the question ‘Are we on track?’

The chart clearly shows that there are two key variables determining end date, scope and throughput rate. Too often organisations fixate on the throughput rate.

There is more on this in this blog post  ‘Your project has a landing zone’.

 

Note: This is one of the six charts you receive in the ‘Agile Kick-start Pack’ of charts.

 

  • Probabilistic forecasting, using a ‘Monte Carlo approach. 

Running 1000s of simulation, based on history, to determine the likely range of completion dates. 

This probabilistic approach can be adjusted with what-if scenarios to determine the affect of different variables. 

Our passion for this subject has evolved a data-informed consulting approach over the last
8 years. 
We have found that careful use of metrics data can help reveal where best to apply coaching and provide insights to productively engage teams and leadership.  Metrics data shows the impact of changes which then helps keep the momentum for continuous improvement. 

Expect improvements to governance and oversight by the added transparency and new insights from good metrics.  

Working with senior stakeholders to see what value the charts offer to them to guide and support projects, for example at the portfolio and wider system level.

At the team level our coaching supports Scrum Masters and other roles to get value and insights from the visualisations. We help them to explore and summarise the story that the data is telling. The story enables others to engage and take action.