We get asked frequently how we ‘measure’ and report on our teams within Product Development. So rather than write a long post explaining it I thought I’d simply share the template with you along with a brief post explaining each slide. If you’d like a physical copy of the template — email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to mail it to you.
The key things to remember are: -
- The reporting we do for the most part is not an exact science — when you’re dealing with human beings it can’t be!
- We only use 4 key metrics to report on teams ‘delivery’ capability
- We don’t compare teams to one another, all of us as Development Managers are strongly against this, our teams are made up of many different people working on a variety of products at different lifecycle stages, what looks great for one team may be average for another at a different point in the lifecycle and introducing comparisons sets unrealistic and unfair expectations
- We use a number of the slides in this template to build a narrative around a team and how they are doing, some things are simply proxies to a follow up discussion or a simple indication of success or potential problems, the key plank of our role as Development Managers is having conversations with people, not spending hours pouring over reports on efficiency and effectiveness
- We do these quarterly and all use this template (the 4 Development Managers at Redgate)
Slide 1 — the intro
You have to start somewhere right? What the programme is, what year, what quarter and who is presenting it. In our case its the Development Managers who present these to the rest of our senior management team.
Slide 2 — Meet the team(s)
This slide is all about introducing the teams within the programme and listing any significant changes to the people including moves, resignations, new joiners etc.
Slide 3 — The teams purpose
The team purpose is taken from the teams OKRs and is normally the ‘North Star’ i.e. the why we are here piece. It should be clear and understood by everyone in the team. We include it here as a reminder to our stakeholders of the teams/programmes purpose
Slide 4 — Team OKRs (For last quarter)
The next stage is to revisit our OKRs for each team for the last quarter, we do our reporting in retrospect, looking back on what’s been achieved before looking forward to what is planned next. We also include a helpful RAG of how close the team was to meeting the OKR or make clear that the OKR still has time to run to be completed
Slide 5 — OKRs (for last quarter) that may have been stopped
We’re also transparent on where plans have changed for the team, in this case sharing that the team decided to not complete an OKR in the last quarter because it was no longer the right area of focus for them — autonomy in action
Slide 6 — The 4 key metrics
We report on just 4 metrics for our teams, the 4 key metrics from the Accelerate book. These are in place for every team across each of their products. We also add a helpful RAG to let stakeholders know whether we (And the team) are happy with where the metrics are for the last quarter.
The key point of these metrics is not to compare team to team but for the team in question to know why the metrics are where they are right now i.e. if change failure rate is at 20%, why was this? What happened? What did we do to recover service? What did we learn?
Slide 7 — Team Successes
In this slide we list the key successes of the team for the last quarter, this isn’t meant to be war and peace but a high level summary that we can talk about for each team
Slide 8 — Team Challenges
In this section we discuss the challenges the team faced in the last quarter, again it’s a summary, transparency is important including things we tried that didn’t turn out as expected
Slide 9 — Team Health
This section is a really important area for us to report on and covers the teams health — measured against the 9 lean principles using a simple RAG — key is above
We do this in consultation with our team leaders for each team, asking them to rate their teams on how they deal with change, quality deliverable etc. Its not an exact science, but then we don’t pretend it should be, instead it’s a useful indication for the team lead and us as to where we can best focus our efforts with teams.
We also dig into personal development plans and whether they are in place, succession plans (For people in the team expressing an interest in their next role) and the stars who have shined in the last quarter
Slide 10 — Improvement Actions (Last Quarter)
This slide is where we revisit the areas we identified in the previous QDR as areas of improvement and the status of these areas
Slide 11 — OKRs for the coming quarter
In this section we share what the teams OKRs are for the coming quarter. We review OKRs at least quarterly or whenever the team either decides the current OKRs have been met or are no longer the right thing to work on. This means that sometimes our OKRs can be very short lived or can extend across multiple quarters.
Slide 12 — Improvement Actions — for the coming quarter
In this section we share what the areas for improvement are for the coming quarter — these will then be reported on in the next QDR session
As I said above, this isn’t a science, but we have found this proves to be an effective and honest appraisal for us on where our teams are at a given point in time. Its a simple 12 slides that cover what we think are all the key areas for us to report on.
If you have any questions on the above, feel free to comment below.