As an agile coach working primarily in the product delivery zone, I once introduced Value Metrics to an organization. After six months of pushing and cajoling to get everything up and running, I finally sat back in my chair, hands behind my head, feet on the table, and took a well-deserved pause. Then, I learned a big lesson: no one used them.

Let me let you in on a little secret. I have worked with global enterprises that don’t measure Outcome and Value. To be honest, I have worked with some that don’t even measure Output. Many who do measure output are of low maturity, with measuring being pretty ad hoc and not joined up across the board.

Before you start with any metric, Value or otherwise, you need to ask: What are you going to do with the information once we have it? You need to ask this question before you begin to measure. If you don’t have an answer, if you don’t know exactly what you are going to do with it, and you are not going to do it on an ongoing basis, don’t measure it.

In the world of agile, metrics are crucial, but they must be meaningful and actionable. Without a clear plan for how to use the data, metrics become just another checkbox, adding no real value to the organization. So, before you dive into measuring, ensure you have a strategy in place to utilize the information effectively. Only then can you truly harness the power of metrics to drive continuous improvement and deliver real value.

Here are some additional thoughts on what the answer should be when considering value measurement in an organization:

  • Purpose of Measurement:
    • Define the specific goals and objectives of the measurement.
    • Ensure the metrics align with the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Determine how the data will be used to make informed decisions.
    • Identify specific actions that will be taken based on the measurement results.
  • Continuous Usage:
    • Establish a process for regularly reviewing and utilizing the metrics.
    • Integrate the metrics into ongoing business processes and decision-making.
  • Stakeholder Relevance:
    • Identify who the key stakeholders are and why the metrics are important to them.
    • Ensure the metrics provide value and insights that are relevant to these stakeholders.
  • Clarity and Specificity:
    • Make sure the metrics are clear, specific, and easily understandable.
    • Avoid vague or overly complex metrics that may not provide actionable insights.
  • Feedback Loop:
    • Create a feedback loop to continuously improve the measurement process.
    • Use the insights gained to refine and enhance the metrics over time.
  • Alignment with Business Value:
    • Ensure the metrics are directly tied to business value and outcomes.
    • Focus on measuring what truly matters to the success of the organization.
  • Communication and Training:
    • Communicate the importance and purpose of the metrics to the entire organization.
    • Provide training and support to ensure everyone understands how to use and interpret the metrics.
  • Avoiding Redundancy:
    • Avoid measuring for the sake of measuring; ensure each metric serves a clear purpose.
    • Eliminate redundant or unnecessary metrics that do not add value.

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