Value Metrics for Agile Governance

Value MetricsThe software development industry has made great strides in leveraging metrics to improve performance; however, the metrics being used in Agile implementations today are often focused on the team level and not on the organization as a whole. With the proper software value visibility metrics, an organization can better manage Agile software development initiatives to ensure these investments maximize the value potential.

An article I recently wrote that discussed these value metrics was published in Techwell’s Spring 2016 edition of Better Software magazine. In the article, I set the scene by discussing current practices, beginning with examples of metrics used in a waterfall organization: delivered as promised, productivity, timeliness, quality, and accuracy. Although these metrics can be tremendously valuable in many ways, they do not provide the necessary details for governance. I also discuss the metrics challenge for Agile and the differences between Agile and waterfall metrics. 

The significance of the article truly comes in the discussion of a solution that helps organizations implement value metrics that are useful to individual Agile teams as well as proving beneficial for executives. To learn more about my proposed solution, take a few minutes to read my Better Software article. I’d welcome your thoughts on the article or ideas you have to help improve software value.

Note: You can view the complete article by clicking on this link: Value Metrics for Agile Governance. You will be asked to subscribe to Better Software. It is quick and painless. You will then have access to the article, courtesy of Better Software magazine.

 

Mike Harris
DCG CEO

Written by Michael D. Harris at 08:49

Techniques for Retrospectives

RetrospectivesIf you haven't noticed, we've been talking a lot recently about retrospectives. Like so many things in development (testing, for instance), retrospectives are highly important, yet often overlooked!

Because retrospectives are so valuable, it's important for a team to have several techniques at their disposal to address different situations. In fact, we so strongly believe this, that we have covered this topic at UNICOM's Agile Methods conference in February (Mike Harris, CEO, presented), as a webinar in March (Tom Cagley, VP of Consulting, presented) and even in a Trusted Advisor report!

The bottom line is that your team needs to understand the value of the retrospective and select a retrospective technique based on the team dynamic and the project at hand.

Learn various retrospective techniques and how to select the right one:

Looking for help in improving your team's retrospectives? Learn more about AgilityHealth Radar's TeamHealth Retrospective Assessment, a three-hour strategic workshop that focuses on the top areas that affect team performance and health.

As always, if you have questions, we're here to help!

Written by Default at 05:00
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About DCG Software Value

We provide numerous materials about ourselves and how we can help our clients. But, sometimes it's best to hear it straight from the top.

This video, from our CEO Mike Harris, explains, in his own words, who DCG Software Value is and why we're in this business.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to Mike directly at m.harris@softwarevalue.com. Of course, if you're looking for more information about the company, you can download our Corporate Profile or check out the About page of our website.

 

Written by Default at 05:00
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Agile Competency Development

Mike HarrisOne of the 12 principles of Agile Manifesto states: "Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done."

Most often this is taken as a purely technical injunction e.g. servers, tools, etc. However, there is an important dimension of human motivation that is not directly addressed in any of the Agile methodologies or in many of the actual practices: Career progression and, more simply, pay.

Historically, companies addressed this issue via a matrix structure with tiers of seniority and columns of capability. Career (and pay) progression involved moving up the tiers of seniority, one by one, in a single column of capability (e.g. junior tester to senior tester to team lead) until the capability columns merged at certain points (e.g. head of testing promoted to head of all development).

For good reasons, Agile implementations have disrupted the traditional organizational certainty by introducing roles that significantly improve software development value delivery and enhance the working experience of the participants. Agile implementations have also flattened or removed hierarchies (e.g. people can change roles from junior tester to Scrum Master to senior tester), removed whole functions (e.g. the Project Management Office), challenged managers to become “servant-leaders,” and encouraged individuals to broaden their capabilities across several of the old functional boundaries.

In many cases, organizations are “force-fitting” the new Agile roles to the existing seniority-capability (grade-pay) matrix. Transitioning between different Agile roles as its champions envisage becomes challenging. When niggling thoughts about absolute and relative pay and grade levels get in the way of autonomy, mastery and purpose, Agile implementations are doomed to failure in the long run.

So what’s the answer? We think we have one – and we’re excited to share it. Learn more here.


Mike Harris
DCG President & CEO

 

 

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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Training Classes with DCG

DCG Training

If you're in need of software-related training, we can help! Not only do we offer on-site training by request (course catalog here), we also have a full schedule of public training classes in the U.S. and the U.K.

Online Training

Here's what you need to know:

  • All of our classes are delivered via the GoTo Training interface.
  • Group discounts are available for 5 or more individuals from an organization.

Our list of available classes currently includes only Function Point Fundamentals. In this course, attendees will learn and apply the current International Function Point Users Group 4.3 counting guidelines through exercises and case studies.

Location-Based Training

Here's what you need to know:

  • Classes are available across the U.S. and U.K.
  • Group discounts are available for 3 or more individuals from an organization.

Our current course listing includes:

  • Agile Metrics (one course option only): Learn how to use team, program and portfolio metrics for improved performance.
  • Function Point Fundamentals (U.K. only): Learn and apply function point counting techniques.
  • Leading SAFe (U.S. and U.K.): Learn how to lead an Agile program with the Scaled Agile Framework®.
  • TMMi Professional Qualification (U.S.): Learn how to effectively use the Test Maturity Model integration.

If you are interested in registering for a class or need more information, please contact Tony Manno at 610-829-9122.

 

Written by Default at 05:00

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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