In my experience, I believe we can’t measure agile teams looking at individuals first.
I see people in sales teams being measured by that. And I think that can work in some companies and help driving the right behavior. Or not. 🙂
Metrics should be team metrics, not individual metrics. Team will make sure to balance numbers and attitude. A team should be responsible to define metrics together with the organization. Remember that quote:
“Tell me how you will measure me… I will tell you how I will behave” — Eliyahu M. Goldratt
If you are looking for an individual metric, I would suggest to measure how much knowledge a person bring to the team. So it’s not about how much one can get things done, but how much can a person help the team to get things done. Questions to be done:
- Is the individual looking for improvement?
- Is the individual engaging the team to work on improvements?
- Is the individual creating knowledge in order to improve?
- Is quality a team focus?
- What about customer satisfaction?
- Is current behavior reflecting on organization revenue?
- Are we, as a team, delivering in a good rhythm?
The process of defining goals to individuals working inside a software development teams is just a way to destroy teams and create heroes. — Daniel Wildt
We should always work so that teams can be recognized as a unit. They should be able to cooperate and work together. More important, they should have autonomy to take decisions. Who needs to get a feedback or even who needs to be released from the team? It’s a growing process.
Specific goals and “triggers” can be very important for those working on a sales team. Some teams use more tangible goals and ways to be measured.
But the same does not apply to a software development team. In my opinion, I don’t want my team to work 15 hours a day. That’s not going to get the job done. That’s going to get a tired team, and a team that will deliver defects. I want them to be focused. I want them to have motivation to come back day after day. I want them to tweet about how good is to be part of the organization and how good is to be part of the team. I want them to enjoy what they do inside the company. I want them to grow and see how much they can learn, get more responsibility and freedom.
Now, I know this is not normal in lots of companies. Specially those that grow a “Dilbert culture”… sometimes people are pointed as leaders instead of being grow leaders.
People should be called leaders because of what they do, not because of a job description. — Daniel Wildt
It’s all about the culture we can find inside the organization.
— Daniel Wildt (check other posts in English)
2 pensamentos sobre “Metrics and incentives – Who needs them?”
Very nice article, Daniel! I do agree with your opinion but a question comes to my mind: how to deal with merit? How to reward those one that stand out? Would like to see your opinion about. Regards!
Hey! Great question! It’s about how they stand out.
I develop people to share and create knowledge as a team. More of an OpenSource mindset. Share, create, grow.
It they are delivering and helping other teammates to grow that’s how I see the big picture. They will get rewarded based on companies possibilities.
If they are looking only for their own growth… they can even stand out, but they will need a different environment. 🙂