Sunday, May 18, 2014

Interview with Ken Schwaber Part 4

Part 4: 

Next big evolution of Scrum
Coming this spring, Better Software magazine will publish an interview with Ken Schwaber that I conducted.  As part of my blog, I will publish a number of excerpts.  Here is part 4 of 5.  Enjoy.

KS - For us I think the next big evolution is evidence based management (EBM) - to show the value of doing work one way or another.  Not only for businesses to see the value but if they dont act on the value it should be clear that they are doing things that are not beneficial to their corporation.

Evidence based management just says "heres some metrics we can use to see how we are doing" and these are things which I could take right into my management and show them.  It is appealing because is doesnt even start with the idea of change.  It simply starts with the thought that its really a good idea to try to measure what is going on. Its been a problem that management only sees IT as an expense that doesnt provide much value.  If we measure business value, we suddenly change the way we interact with upper management.  They think "this interesting, why dont we measure IT in terms of value and see how much value is actually being provided".  Now of course you cant do that in the absolute sense, you cant say "oh this is 17.4 oz of value", but you can start setting baselines so you can compare trends and predict based on our actions what will happening over time. 

Another problem is that agility has not been measured. Jeff and I seen over and over again a company getting really, really, good at agile and their management believing it is not doing any good.  The idea in EBM is that if you have measurements, just like scales have measurements and manufacturing has measurements, you can see the effects of change and agile.  You bring to management a new way to tell if they are continuing to get better or worse. 

Im hoping that between two thrusts this will work.  One thrust is that management hasnt measured IT or product development - ever. They have been under pressure to have a way of measuring so they can report to their CEO and EBM gives them an answer. The second thrust is that the measurements can spotlight their actions and hold management accountable to some degree of performance in the same way the rest of the organization is.  This raises transparency at the management level just like we have at the development level.

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