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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Sep 3, 2021

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by Quincy Jordan, Director of the Innovative Line of Service at AgileThought. In this episode, Dan and Quincy dive deep into the topic of metrics, especially in the aspects that should be taken under special consideration while running an Agile Team. These Agile experts go through different areas in which metrics can be applied such as: 

  • Velocity and why leaders tend to be interested in it, 
  • Number of stories, testing, and how much ahead is healthy for a team to be, 
  • The value of tracking points per person in a team, and 
  • The Acknowledgement piece: giving credit should be a result of delivered value.


Key Takeaways

  • Value, metrics, and how they relate with velocity
    • There is a common struggle in applying metrics to a work that has already been valued.
    • What is the real intent of velocity? How can velocity help the team? It can be pervasive to apply velocity in the way Frederick Winslow Taylor suggested.
    • Putting output over the outcome is the opposite that an organization needs to do. The most important is what the team achieved and that it is valuable to the organization and its customers.
  • Velocity and its interest in leadership
    • Leaders tend to compare teams’ velocities. A team’s velocity depends on its composition and its expertise in the actual work that they are doing. A team may appear to go slower but that might be due to how complex the tasks are they were assigned.
    • Instead of going after the metric of velocity, it is more efficient to check how consistently a team is doing its job.
    • Velocity can be used to anticipate when new capabilities can be expected.
  • Pay attention to how the stories are carried into a sprint.
    • Comparing the number of stories that were tested in a sprint versus the last sprint can be tricky.
    • There is a problem in pushing things through without testing them.
    • Each sprint is almost considered its own project.
  • Pay attention to an unusual number of stories that are completely refined and fully ready in the backlog.
    • Have you planned up too far? This can be a problem since things might change in the meantime.
    • It can be frustrating to have a lot of work done that will never be used.
  • Can tracking points per person have a healthy value?
    • If points have been tracked per person, that information shouldn’t get through the team. Do not share those metrics across the board, they belong to a one-on-one conversation.
    • Ask yourself: Is the team making increments of value as the product backlog levels? Is the product built and tested?
  • People seek credit; acknowledgment is important.
    • Team encouragement is crucial to remain as enthusiastic as possible, but getting credit for an outcome that hasn’t been properly achieved is dangerous.
    • Teams need to get credit for delivering what was intended to be delivered, not just for doing the work. (Users and customers don’t really care about the work, they only care about the value that is being delivered).


Mentioned in this Episode:

God Is My CEO: Following God's Principles in a Bottom-Line World, by Larry S. Julian


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