Traditional lean-agile metrics like velocity and burndown have measured and reported on effort - either in story points or hours or days ; more often than not to justify work completed rather than value delivered. However, effort only measures outputs which can be useful at a team level. The business, on the other hand, cares about outcomes and impact. When it comes to reporting to the business on work ( in this case, what the business wants to see is value-adding work rather than activities completed - be it revenue-generating work, revenue protection work or internal improvements) across an end to end value stream, teams find it difficult to isolate the effort needed for the completion of value units delivered.
In numerous discussions over the past years on making work visible and flow metrics like load (and setting WIP limits) and more recently flow distribution all of which rely entirely on the number of value-adding work items rather than effort; one of the most common questions that surfaces is what about the size of the work item? How does that factor in the reporting?
In this talk, Laksh Ranganathan explores some of the reasons why quantity and context rather than effort is a better gauge of value and how by focussing on quantity can enable teams to not just align better with the business context but also help manage their capacity better. This change isn’t easy and prone to pushbacks - Laksh delves into popular pushbacks to using quantity and how IT teams can address them.
A career technologist, with over 18 years in IT spanning across engineering, project & product management and consulting, Laksh Ranganathan, is passionate about a data driven approach to continuous improvement and leveraging data to make customer-centric products. At Tasktop, Laksh works as a Snr Flow Advisor coaching customers on business agility, value stream management, value stream integrations and specifically on Flow FrameworkTM. More recently she has been helping with large organizations taking their first steps towards a project to product transformation. You can connect with her on social media at in/lakshranganathan and @lrangan