Agile Metrics: I’ve Got Goals and a Whole Lot More

October 16, 2013 Matthew Badgley

I often find myself talking about agile metrics with many teams using VersionOne.   Agile metrics is sometimes a very challenging conversation — some agile development folks don’t like them because they are sometimes used for EVIL! Well, maybe not evil exactly, but what does happen are things like using velocity to motivate or push a team to increase velocity. Ok, well talking about velocity is another topic altogether. But I think you get my point. That being said, VersionOne has a ton of canned reports that help you get a picture of what is going on with your projects and your teams. Also, if you have VersionOne Ultimate Edition, you have access to some really cool agile visualizations and, of course, advanced Analytics reporting.

A hidden reporting gem within VersionOne is the Goals feature. As stated in VersionOne Help:

Goal – A measurable, strategic target that helps to drive the direction and work of the project team. Goals help align project work with the company’s or organization’s strategies.

Let’s look beyond the obviousness of using Goals for strategy and instead focus on the term “measurable.” At the end of the day, this is what goals are — a way to measure how much of our product backlog is aimed at achieving or satisfying some need — whether it’s an organizational goal or any one of the following uses:

  • Capture how much the backlog is aimed at a specific persona
  • Understand how much the of the backlog impacts a specific system
  • Expose how much of our backlog is Technical Debt
  • Quantify how much of our backlog will impact specific key customers or customer categories

Goals in VersionOne

Do you see the pattern here? Goals are a way to answer the question, “How much of X do we have?” Now, before you say it — yes, Feature Groups, Epics and Sub-Projects can do the same. But the really cool and powerful thing is that there’s a many-to-many relationship between Goals and backlog items. So this means a Goal can be associated with multiple backlog items, and backlog items can be associated with multiple Goals.

To learn how to use Goals in VersionOne for agile metrics, check out the Goals video on vTV.

Previous Article
The 4Ls, a Retrospective Technique
The 4Ls, a Retrospective Technique

As of late I have had several questions from teams on how to improve their retrospectives.  The idea behind...

Next Article
Fall 2013 Release: I Plan to Re-plan
Fall 2013 Release: I Plan to Re-plan

Some years back, Luke Hohmann introduced me to the phrase, “I plan to re-plan.” It’s a somewhat awkward phr...