Impact of Agile Quantified - A De-Mystery Thriller

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This is the 2014 edition of the ongoing research we're doing at Rally Software quantifying the impact that various behaviors, attitudes and practices to performance.

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Lean-Agile City. This place runs on folklore, intuition, and anecdotes. If you want to know the truth about this town, stick with me. I’ll give you a tour you’ll never forget. But if you don’t want your beliefs challenged with facts, you’d better beat it, kid. I don’t want to upset you.

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My sidekick here? That’s Larry Maccherone. He’s worked in this town his entire professional life.

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I’m going to give you the tools to find the REAL WORLD NUMBERS that can help you make the economic case to get the resources you need and get your people to commit to change. REALLY. See? It says so right here:

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Go Agile. Go Rally. ®

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Correlation does not always mean causation . There are no best practices . There are only good practices in context. The quantity of alternatives rejected indicates decision quality .

Focus on #1:

Focus on #1

Focus on #3:

Focus on #3

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I’ll trade you a poster for a positive review of this talk!

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The investigation continues with... Iteration length

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Crowd Wisdom or Shared Delusion? Iteration length Teams using 1 week 6.2% 2 weeks 59.1% 3 weeks 23.4% 4 weeks 9.8% 5+ weeks 1.5%

SDPI CURRENT DIMENSIONS:

SDPI CURRENT DIMENSIONS Productivity = Throughput Predictability = Stability of Throughput Responsiveness = Time in Process (TiP) Quality = Defect Density

Raw metrics -> Percentiles = Index:

Raw metrics -> Percentiles = Index

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Coming back to... Iteration length

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Facts Discovered: Teams using two week iterations have the best balanced performance. Longer iterations correlate with higher Quality. Shorter iterations correlate with higher Productivity and Responsiveness. However, some teams are acting like “tough guys” when they can’t back it up.

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The investigation continues with... Controlling WiP

RESPONSIVENESS:

RESPONSIVENESS WiP per Team Member vs. TiP Most obvious finding: Little’s Law

QUALITY:

QUALITY WiP per Team Member vs. TiP

PREDICTABILITY:

PREDICTABILITY WiP per Team Member vs. CoV

PRODUCTIVITY:

PRODUCTIVITY WiP per Team Member vs. Throughput

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Facts Discovered: Teams that most aggressively control WiP: Have ½ the Time in Process (TiP) Have ¼ as many defects But have 34% lower productivity

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Recommendations: If your WiP is high, reduce it If your WiP is already low, consider your economic drivers If Productivity drives your bottom line, don’t push WiP too low If time to market or quality drives your bottom line, push WiP as low as it will go

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The investigation continues... Ratio of testers to developers

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Facts Discovered: More testers lead to better Quality. But, they also generally lead to worse Productivity. Interestingly, teams that self-identify as having no testers, have: the best Productivity, almost as good Quality, but much wider variation in Quality.

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The investigation continues... Motive

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Facts Discovered: Motive has small but statistically significant impact on performance. Extrinsic motivation does NOT have a negative impact on performance. Teamwork is not the dominant factor. Talent/skills/experience is. Those motivated by quality perform best.

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The investigation continues... Geography

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Israel-based teams Find more defects overall But have way fewer found in production Theory: May correlate with high use of static analysis tools? Recording bias?

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Facts Discovered: Differences are slight but statistically significant. Australia has the best overall performance. India the worst. However, there could be a reporting bias for defects. Israel seems to catch the most defects before production. Heavy use of static analysis? Recording bias worries?

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One year earlier... http://rallydev.com/agilemetrics

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Stable teams result in up to: 60% better Productivity 40% better Predictability 60% better Responsiveness Teams made up of people that only work on that one team have double the Productivity. Smaller teams have better Productivity. Larger teams have better Quality.

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Facts Discovered: Motive has small but statistically significant impact on performance. Extrinsic motivation does NOT have a negative impact on performance. Teamwork is not the dominant factor. Talent/skills/experience is. Those motivated by quality perform best.

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The saga continues... Want a demo? 30+ other variables being investigated Survey-based assessment and tracking: Customer/Stakeholder Satisfaction Employee Satisfaction/Engagement We now have a predictive Bayesian regression model for performance Recommendations

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A fact without a theory is like a ship without a sail, is like a boat without a rudder, is like a kite without a tail. A fact without a figure is a tragic final act. But one thing worse in this universe is a theory without a fact. ~George Schultz Replace folklore with FACTS Upgrade intuition to INSIGHT Swap anecdotes with EVIDENCE

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Go Agile. Go Rally. ®

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"Hidden" slides

Focus on #3:

Focus on #3

PRODUCTIVITY = THROUGHPUT:

PRODUCTIVITY = THROUGHPUT Throughput is simply the count of User Stories completed in a given time period. Productivity (by default) is the percentile scoring of the raw Throughput metric for User Stories normalized by team size.

PREDICTABILITY = STABILITY OF THROUGHPUT:

PREDICTABILITY = STABILITY OF THROUGHPUT Predictability measures how consistent you are at producing the same amount of work each month as measured by the Coefficient of Variation (CoV) of Throughput. Predictability (by default) is the percentile scoring of the raw CoV of Throughput.

RESPONSIVENESS = TIME IN PROCESS:

RESPONSIVENESS = TIME IN PROCESS TiP shows how long it takes to get one work item through your system. It's the work days that a User Story spends in development and testing. Similar to lead time or cycle time. Responsiveness (by default) is the percentile scoring of the raw Time In Process (TiP) metric for User Stories.

QUALITY = DEFECT DENSITY:

QUALITY = DEFECT DENSITY Defect Density is a representation of the number of defects found in your code. It's the count of defects found in a given time period, normalized by team size. Quality (by default) is the percentile scoring of the raw defect density metrics for both defects found in test as well as those found in production.

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Previous evidence details...

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The investigation continues with... Estimating process

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www.rallydev.com ©2014 Rally Software Development Corp

SCRUM TYPE VS. PERFORMANCE:

SCRUM TYPE VS. PERFORMANCE

QUALITY:

QUALITY Defects vs. Process Choice

IMPROVE QUALITY BY 250%:

IMPROVE QUALITY BY 250% Teams that follow the Full Scrum process perform better than most alternatives, but Lightweight Scrum is actually better overall.

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Facts Discovered: Teams doing Full Scrum have 250% better Quality than teams doing no estimating Lightweight Scrum performs better overall, with better Productivity, Predictability, and Responsiveness

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Recommendations: Experienced teams may get best results from Lightweight Scrum If new to Agile or focused strongly on Quality, choose Full Scrum

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The investigation continues with... Team stability & Dedicating people to one team

PRODUCTIVITY:

PRODUCTIVITY Team Dedication vs. Throughput

PERCENT DEDICATED WORK:

PERCENT DEDICATED WORK

TEAM STABILITY:

TEAM STABILITY

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Another Fact Discovered: One out of four team members changes every three months!

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Facts Discovered: Stable teams result in up to: 60% better Productivity 40% better Predictability 60% better Responsiveness

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Recommendations: Dedicate people to a single team Keep teams intact and stable

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The investigation continues with... Team size

BALANCE YOUR TEAM PERFORMANCE:

BALANCE YOUR TEAM PERFORMANCE Agile recommends that the ideal team size is 7± 2. How ideal is that when we actually look at the data?

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Facts Discovered: Small teams (of 1-3) people have: 17% lower Quality But 17% more Productivity than teams of the recommended size.

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Recommendations: Set up team size of 7±2 people for the most balanced performance. If you are doing well with larger teams, there’s no evidence that you need to change.