Disciplined Agile

Organize Metrics

This ongoing process goal describes strategies to organize the metrics strategy within your team. This strategy will be driven both by your team's culture and skills as well as the needs of your stakeholders - your metrics will likely need to "roll up" to the program or portfolio level.

Your metrics strategy will focus on several important questions:

  • What is the focus of our measurement strategy?
  • What is our overall measurement strategy?
  • How will we aggregate, or “roll up”, measures throughout our organization?
  • How will we communicate measures both within the team and externally to our stakeholders?
  • What types of measures will we take and communicate?
2021 Project Management Institute Organize Metrics v5.3 Choose Measurement Focus Measure outcomes Measure outputs Measure inputs Choose Measurement Strategy Goal Question Metric (GQM) (agile) Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Goal Question Metric (formal) Consistent metrics Popular metrics None Aggregate Measures Consistent categories Consistent metrics No consistency No aggregation Communicate Metrics Audio Pull Push Text Visual Report Metrics Visual controls Automated dashboards Parking lot diagram Status reports Metrics reports Ad hoc Choose Measurement Type Automated Leading/predictive Manual Production Production capability Ranged Scalar Trailing/lagging Trend

Figure 1. The Organize Metrics process goal diagram (click to enlarge) 

You can use the DA Browser to learn more about the options in the goal diagram of Figure 1. 

Why This is Important

There are several reasons why this process goal is important: 

  1. Metrics should be driven by context, not by mandate. Every team has unique outcomes and improvement goals to measure. This observation is the critical driver for context-based metrics strategies such as objectives and key results (OKR) and goal question metrics (GQM). Where these strategies walk you through how to take a contextualized approach to measurement, they don’t go that final step to help you to select metrics that are right for you (supported by the Measure Outcomes process goal) or to how you’ll communicate them (supported by this goal).
  2. Process improvement requires contextualized measurement. With validated learning strategies such as Guided Continuous Improvement (GCI), part of running an improvement experiment is to assess the effectiveness of the new way of working (WoW), and to do that you need to measure what you’re hoping to affect. Your context will drive what you measure, how you measure, and how you communicate your measures.
  3. Effective governance requires contextualized measurement. You need to provide visibility to whomever is governing you, thereby providing them the information that they need to govern well. An important aspect of that visibility is access to metrics, ideally in real-time. This process goal provides options to aggregate and report measures.

Key Points

  • You need a metrics reporting strategy that reflects both your team’s needs and your organizational needs.
  • It is highly desirable, and possible, to allow teams to have a fit-for-purpose metrics strategy.
  • Automated measures are generally preferable to manual measures.
  • Leading measures are generally preferable to trailing measures.
  • Trends are generally preferable to scalars.
  • Ranged measures are generally preferable to scalars. 

Agile Metrics

Agile Metrics Micro-Credential

Become an agile metrics expert and elevate your career with our 7 PDU specialized course. Help your team and organization thrive by learning why, what, and how you should measure, as well as how to report results to management.

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