How do you Measure your Team?

When you think of the work your team does, what metrics are important to you?

  • How often they are in the office?
  • How many bugs originate from code they are writing?
  • What their overall contribution to releases are?
  • What their bug return rate from QA is?
  • How many unit tests they create with their code?
  • How many customer cases they close?

These are all quantitative metrics that are easy to measure.  We have systems that can help us do this and churn out a dashboard on who’s our best performer simply by refreshing the browser.

But are they good metrics?  Do they tell the story of how your team is doing?  Do they give you the “finger” on the pulse that you are yearning for?  Do they leave you to feel satisfied the growth and development of your team?

The failure in the above traditional metrics is that they rooted in counts with little context to show from them.  Translation – they are pretty to look at but little value should be associated with them.

The following are metrics that would stop and make you think how you collect data on them, what steps you need to undertake to ensure they are not subjective and give you the context to know how your team is doing when compared quarter over quarter, year over year.

The problem is, they require much more involvement, from you the leader to collect, summarize and deliver to properly understand.

  • The number of times people on your team stood up and volunteered to help out a customer or someone on their immediate or another team?
  • What training they took this year and what did they get out of it?  How much of this training were they empowered to put into practice?  Did any of this learning make it to the prototype stage?
  • How often do they challenge the status quo and look to try something else?
  • When did they last suggest a new library or framework to improve on the product?  If they haven’t, why not?
  • What goes on when you are not there?
  • How efficiently are they at working remotely vs having to be in the office?

The list can go on (I hope it can) yet the purpose is singular in nature.  These are difficult metrics to use to measure the output and growth of your team.  Most will be derived manually, some will involve talking directly with your team to get the answers out of them you need and conversely ask them the tough questions that you need answers to.

But measuring the growth and output of your team is not meant to be a checkbox or survey results session discussed in the boardroom, it’s meant to be much more.  The secret to every leader using these metrics is that your team is dying for you to start asking these questions so real growth can begin to take place.

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