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Don't run with sharp metrics!

Don't run with sharp metrics!

There are a thousand metrics floating around and it is difficult to tell what is truly important. Whether you’re the person who is being measured by something that doesn’t quite make sense or the leader that is trying to figure out just how the heck to show to others that her team is successful, there are a lot of questions out there and a lot of people that are just feeling injured by metrics.
Julia Wester will share examples of good and bad techniques for using data when coaching teams. Come, listen and learn how to avoid the pitfalls of managing by numbers, including how to identify and avoid vanity metrics, how to choose metrics that drive desired behaviors, and ways to visualize balanced team metrics that enable continuous improvement.


Julia Wester

June 14, 2016


  1. Don’t run with sharp metrics @everydaykanban Julia Wester Improvement Coach

  2. @everydaykanban A bit about me…

  3. @everydaykanban Why do we gather metrics?

  4. @everydaykanban Three types of business analytics Descriptive What has happened?

    Predictive What might happen? Prescriptive What should happen?
  5. What you measure shows what you value… @everydaykanban

  6. @everydaykanban Are you running with sharp metrics?

  7. @everydaykanban Common Metrics Mistakes Making Metrics Safe Example from the

  8. Diagnosing with metrics before defining your goal @everydaykanban

  9. @everydaykanban 1 2 3 Define goals Gather metrics Develop Strategy

    Necessary order of operation
  10. @everydaykanban Measuring everything obscures what is truly important

  11. Fooling yourself with vanity metrics @everydaykanban I sure do get

    a lot done! I add so much value!
  12. @everydaykanban Don’t confuse activity with progress

  13. @everydaykanban Thinking shame will produce desired behaviors

  14. @everydaykanban Too many good people are punished for bad systems.

  15. Lacking awareness of the wider picture @everydaykanban Pictures from “Re-Zoom”

    by Istvan Banyai
  16. Treating metrics like targets @everydaykanban The goal is 95%, no

    matter what
  17. “If you give a manager a target, he will meet

    it, even if he has to destroy the organization to do so.” @everydaykanban Dr. W. Edwards Deming
  18. @everydaykanban Common Metrics Mistakes Making Metrics Safe Example from the

  19. @everydaykanban KNOW YOUR

  20. Translate the goal to metrics @everydaykanban Goal Questions Metrics

  21. Does it: • matter to my customer? • help me

    make a decision or take action? Subject each metric to the “So What?” test @everydaykanban
  22. Understand how each metric can be gamed @everydaykanban

  23. Involve your team to get a wider perspective @everydaykanban Is

    the reward worth the risk? What is the impact? How can you game it?
  24. @everydaykanban Throw out expired metrics that aren’t driving change

  25. Keep a balanced metrics inventory @everydaykanban Source: Larry Maccherone

  26. @everydaykanban Don’t be afraid to make trade- offs in order

    to maintain balance
  27. @everydaykanban Common Metrics Mistakes Making Metrics Safe Example from the

  28. @everydaykanban Real-world example of balanced metrics DO IT FAST DO

    IT RIGHT DO IT ON TIME KEEP DOING IT - Open vs Closed Trends - Cycle Time Trends - Incidents by application Trends - Customer Satisfaction - % of SLA Breaches for the QTR + Trend - Ongoing project progress - Team happiness (subjective wellbeing) - QoQ trends used for all metrics (in all quads)
  29. Your set of metrics should fit your unique context and

    problems. No one has the perfect set of metrics that blindly apply to all teams. @everydaykanban
  30. Takeaways @everydaykanban § Map your metrics to goals using questions

    § Understand the risk of each metric § Get rid of expired metrics § Keep everything in balance § Don’t use anyone else’s prescription
  31. Download these slides at http://tiny.cc/julia-devops-slc-16 @everydaykanban Julia Wester @everydaykanban www.everydaykanban.com