Outcomes Over Outputs: Measure What Matters to the Business (Las Vegas 2020)

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 across an end-to-end value stream, teams find it difficult to isolate the effort needed for the completion of value units delivered. Typically, the business wants to see value-adding work, rather than activities completed - such as revenue-generating work, revenue protection work or internal improvements. In numerous discussions over the past years on making work visible and about flow metrics like Flow 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 focusing on quantity can enable teams to not just align better within the business context, but also better manage their capacity. This change isn’t easy and prone to pushbacks - Laksh delves into popular pushbacks to using quantity and how IT teams can address them. This session is presented by Tasktop.

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Laksh Ranganathan

Senior Manager, Product Operations, Tasktop

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