“What gets measured gets improved”Robin S. Sharma
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”Chinese proverb
It’s not working
You’re team is not producing what is needed to succeed. For that matter, they’re not even close.
You know they are capable, but you just can’t move the needle on improvement. Despite meetings, brainstorming sessions, threats, and even just plain patience, the situation stays the same.
There is hope.
Better yet, the solution is actually not difficult at all.
Know where you are going
You will never know if you are on track if you don’t know where you are going. Begin with the end in mind. What does success look like?
Write it down.
By clearly identifying success you will know how far away from it you are. You will also know how to tell when you have arrived.
Identify your “slowest hiker”
This is a concept from the book “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. The idea is that a group hiking together can only proceed as fast as the slowest hiker. The solution is to put everyone’s resources behind getting that hiker as efficient as possible.
What is the single most impactful change you can make to get closer to where you need to go? For one company it was reducing cycle time. Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to move a development task from “To Do” to “Done” (i.e. in production).
Put a number on it
Figure out how to measure the criteria you’ve identified and put a number on it. The company mentioned above set a goal of < 3 days for their average cycle time. Each week they put the average cycle time for the previous week on a score card that tracks a 13 week window (i.e. 3 months or 1 quarter). The team reviews the current cycle time on a status call every week. Short, simple, and perfectly clear where they stand.
The results speak for themselves.
By simply identifying cycle time as a measurable, stating the clear goal, and talking about it on a regular basis the team has reduced their cycle time from “4w 6d 9h” (yes that is 4+ weeks) to 3d 20h in just 10 weeks. They are now working to identify the next slowest hiker.
If your process isn’t working, give us a call at (573) 944-2667 or fill out our contact form. There’s no obligation, at all. We start with a free consultation to help you understand what’s really happening in your development process. Many business leaders don’t actually know.
As mentioned above, a scorecard is a simple way to track 5 – 15 measurables. The scorecard can be kept on a whiteboard, paper chart stuck to the wall, Google Sheet, or wiki. It really doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it each measurable is tracked and talked about.
If you get a measurable on your scorecard that doesn’t help, remove it. Don’t waste everyone’s time tracking it. Over time you’ll identify the 5 -15 core measurables that ensure your team is on or off track. Better yet, because you’re talking about it at least once a week you’ll know when you’re off track sooner rather than later.
Don’t stay in the dark. Pouring money into software that isn’t earning you more money than it costs will kill your business. Fast.
Our process focuses on understanding your business and building software that gets you where you need to go. It is designed to ensure your software is built well, delivered on time, and meets your business objectives with each iteration.
After a FREE consultation, We’ll work up a proposal that will spell out exactly how to ensure your custom software meets your business objectives.
Then, if you want to work together, we will get going.
Let’s have a short call today. Call (573) 944-2667 or fill out our contact form and we’ll reach out to you.