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Output vs. outcome. Outcomes boost your Agile Transformation success



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2 minutes


Jeroen Nollet


In my blog on Big Bang Agile Transformation, I mentioned that the goal of embarking on an Agile transformation is often to pivot faster and resist the competition in this new, digital era. But how do you measure the success of an Agile transformation? Let's see and find out why and how outcomes boost your Agile Transformation success.

Output vs. outcome

You usually pull team data from your digital tooling (Jira, VersionOne, Azure DevOps, Rally, etc.) and evaluate it. Unfortunately, this might present a false sense of reality. This data focuses on team output, but does not account for the actual outcome - the value - for your end user or customer. 

An example

You often require multiple teams to work on a new functionality before shipping it to the customer. The teams all plan to deliver this work within the upcoming quarter. But what if all but one plan on finishing it during the first month and the final team only finishes in the last week? 

Would you be happy? The numbers look well because all teams delivered their planned work on time. But your customer had to wait three months on a feature that was already 90% done after four weeks? 

Outcomes boost your Agile Transformation success

A piece of advice

Because of this, I encourage you to invest some time in finding additional data to measure. Measure customer satisfaction, and find out how long it takes to deliver a feature to your customers (lead time).

  • Are these features being used? How often?
  • Was the investment worth the cost?
  • Are your employees happy to work in your company? Why (not)?

All these questions can affect the workflow

Popular scaling frameworks tend to plan quarterly. When doing so, you often try to plan teams towards their 100% capacity. Instead, try focusing on keeping the lead time of your most important feature as short as possible. Visualize dependencies and encourage your teams to own them and keep them managed.

The quicker you deliver functionality to your customers, the quicker they can provide feedback, and you can react when necessary.

So, why do outcomes boost your Agile Transformation success?

The idea behind Agile is to receive early feedback from your customers and to act accordingly. Consequently, the goal is to keep the time you need to deliver value to your end users as short as possible. Keep this in mind when looking for data to monitor the success of your organization. 

Do teams need to be planned to nearly their maximum capacity? You might benefit not to do so to provide time to:

  • Fix unforeseen problems
  • Help other teams deliver their functionality
  • Spend time researching & developing new technologies

It will enable your organization to pivot faster when needed, and lower the lead time, thus improving your company efficiency on a macro-level.

More insights on boosting your Agile Transformation? Check it out in our Insights section or contact us!

about the author

Jeroen Nollet

Jeroen Nollet is Scrum Master and Agile Delivery Lead at The Value Hub. Certified as a Professional Scrum Master (level lll) and Professional Scrum Product Owner (level lll), he coaches teams in their Agile transformation challenges. By deeply examining team dynamics and designing practical solutions for specific problems, he helped out many customers in the scaling of their Agile workflow before. His technical background as a Java Developer turns out to be one of the biggest assets too in working with technical teams and issues.

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