Managed Chaos

Vanity Metrics

Let’s stop this folks!

There is no joy in collecting few metrics/measurements for the sake of it. Vanity metrics are worst bottlenecks to any system. Despite knowing that these metrics do not add ANY value, organisations insist on collecting them for it gives them a sense of control. One of the most abused and overused measurement in an Agile context is ‘Velocity’. Despite screaming our lungs out about how relative measurements are not comparable, there are organisations who swear their dear life on this metric. Sometimes, they go a wee bit overboard and create baselines in the name of scaling. Sadly, it not only pressurises the team members, it also limits them from going ‘beyond’ the mundane. On the contrary ‘Turn Around Time’ for every user story is a good ‘indicator’ to show how much time a particular team takes to generate value. Again, this is an ‘indicator’ to identify the flaws in the system and not a ‘measurement’ to be used for performance appraisals. If TAT is high, it could be because of n-number of reasons and user story size itself could be one of them. It gives room for improvement and the improvement itself could be measured through TAT. That is a valuable metric and averaged out ‘Velocity’ is NOT!

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