“Using Working SW As The Measure Of Progress Is Narcissistic….” How Do You Measure The Value Of Agile Instead?

Diego Lo Giudice
Vice President, Principal Analyst
October 18, 2011

Hi all,

My colleague and friend Mike Gualtieri wrote a really interesting blog the other day titled "Agile Software Is A Cop-Out; Here's What's Next." While I am not going to discuss the great conclusions and "next practices" of software (SW) development Mike suggests in that blog, I do want to focus on the assumption he makes about using working SW as a measurement of Agile.

I am currently researching that area and investigating how organizations actually measure the value of Agile SW development (business and IT value). And I am finding that, while organizations aim to deliver working SW, they also define value metrics to measure progress and much more:

  • Cycle time (e.g., from concept to production);
  • Business value (from number of times a feature is used by clients to impact on sales revenue, etc.);
  • Productivity metrics (such as burndown velocity, number of features deployed versus estimated); and last but not least
  • Quality metrics (such as defects per sprint/release, etc.).

I think that today the Agile Manifesto focus on working SW must be (and probably is in those passionate Agile teams) working SW that does have all the qualities Mike would like to see, including UX design and a hell of a lot of "experience creativity." In fact, as you can see above, working SW is not the only measure app delivery teams use!

So while good, attractive, engaging, highly qualitative, etc, working SW is the objective here, I'd like to hear how you are measuring the value of Agile development in your organization, what metrics you are most successful with, and for what goals.

I am also interested in interviewing more organizations, so if you have experience to share and about 45 minutes of time and talk privately about it with me, please fire an email at dlogiudice@forrester.com.

Thanks,

Diego

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