At first, it is important to understand that quantifying individual performance in agile is challenging, as it goes against how agile delivery is designed.
In agile, the focus is on measuring team performance and using metrics such as team velocity or cycle time to track progress and identify areas for improvement. By measuring team performance, the team can identify bottlenecks, refine processes, and work together to achieve better results.
Suppose you want to go down this route anyway and quantify individual performance. In that case, it is vital to weigh up the risks. The main ones - team could be encouraged to put too much emphasis on individual performance and on the estimates themselves.
That could undermine the spirit of collaboration and teamwork and become counterproductive. In such scenario the leaders may end up dealing with situations when team members are focused to deliver a certain number of story points per iteration rather than achieve its objective.
Also team members may find it encouraging to overestimate individual work packages and become motivated to pick higher number of smaller tasks just to make the numbers look good. For sure that’s not the culture and mindset the stakeholders wanted when they asked to measure individual performance.
So what did they want? More often than not they wanted a great quality working software delivered in the required timelines. So how do we balance this with providing them visibility into individual performance?
It's important to note that individual feedback and recognition are still valuable in agile teams, but it should be done in a way that encourages collaboration and teamwork rather than competition or putting too much emphasis on making up the numbers.
A few things that can be done to nurture such culture and make stakeholders happy:
- Focus on qualitative measurement of individual performance where peer feedback is key. Find an easy and comprehensible way to gather, share and present such qualitative feedback with stakeholders. Team skill-will matrix could be great way to present it visually.
- If you really want to get quantitative - track number of bugs the team produces over time. Break it down by team member and make it visible to everyone.
- Make sure its all transparent and the team is aware what stats are being tracked and why
The above is in addition to the usual approach in agile is to measure individual performance indirectly by assessing how well a team member contributes to the team's objectives and how well they collaborate with others.
Such assessment is done in retrospectives, where the team reflects on their performance and identifies areas for improvement. The focus is on identifying ways to improve the team's performance as a whole rather than pointing out individual achievements or mistakes.
Follow our latest insights on Adroiti Linkedin.