Measuring Outcomes not Causes – Making Measures Inspirational not Punitive

As discussed in an earlier blog post, you need to measure the desired results.  If Agility and Agile Transformation is going to make you better, then look at the things it is going to make better and set some targets.  If it is going to make you faster, then look at the things it is going to make faster and again set some targets and track against them.  If it is going to make you cheaper and happier, then focus on those things.  This approach begins to make your measurement framework much more inspirational.

Historically, many organisations struggle with their Organisational Measurement getting any traction.  I have seen many organisations where every year they introduce some key performance indicators and by the end of they year, they have abandoned them.  I have seen many organisations with large dashboards with graphs no one understands and no one looks at but a lot of money is spent on them.

You need to change this whole approach.  Measurement needs to change at the organisational level to become more agile – valuing people over processes – collaboration over contracts etc. All the great things from the Agile Manifesto should be visible within your measurement program as well. 

A balanced scorecard organized around the four goals of better, faster, cheaper and happier is a great place to start.  Recently, we worked with KPN and implemented a organizational measurement program using the better, faster cheaper, happier framework. It was an excellent framework for their organisation. It allowed them to look at what is important in terms of getting better – Were they becoming more predictable and were they delivering a higher level of quality?, faster – cheaper - , and happier -    The framework allowed them to look at the problem areas and phrase questions that business and IT could understand. It was so successful that everyone in the whole organization, including the business, embraced the measures with both enthusiasm and commitment. See the case study / webinar for more details.

A better, faster, cheaper, happier balanced scorecard provides a way to communicate the effectiveness of IT in a way that everybody in the organisation can embrace and understand. It also allows you to measure success in a way that is independent of the processes used by the projects and teams being measured – essential if you want to demonstrate that an agile approach is better than more traditional approaches or build a platform to enable you to continually improve and adapt your agile way-of-working.