Measuring delivery and engineering outcomes

Measuring delivery and engineering outcomes

Objectives and Goals are only as good as your ability to measure them

I’ve heard even more talk than ever recently about frameworks like OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and GQM (Goal, Question, Metric). This growing trend is great to see as organisations get better at focusing on what goals or objectives are key to driving their business forward. However, I’ve seen time and time again that we all struggle with measuring outcomes to actually determine our success against what we set out to achieve.

A great (I mean bad ????) engineering example from my past was the following OKR:

OBJECTIVE – Improve the frequency and ease of deployments

KEY RESULT – Train 6 engineers in Test Driven Development (TDD)

Remember, the Key Result(s) is meant to be a way of quantifying how you know you have achieved your objective. It was great to see the focus on trying to solve this problem much further upstream in the development lifecycle, but was this a measure of success?

No, it wasn’t. It would certainly be a useful activity to drive this OKR forward, but it’s not a Key Result.

Remember, the Key Result(s) is meant to be a way of quantifying how you know you have achieved your objective.

So, how do you identify the Key Results? Easy… how do we currently know that we can improve the frequency and ease of deployments? Do we currently measure that, and if so, what incremental improvements could we aim for? So, with a focus on metrics and measurements, the following OKR was created:

OBJECTIVE – Improve the frequency and ease of deployments

KEY RESULT – Release Frequency from 1.3 to 2 per week

KEY RESULT – Ease of Deployments health check question score from 3.5 to 4 (out of 5)

KEY RESULT – Release failure rate from 7.8% to 5%

I often argue that you need a base set of metrics to even know where to focus your goals and objectives, and you certainly need to have solid measures once you set those aims.

Plandek users within the Delivery and Engineering departments who are setting their next set of objectives are able to leverage our large library of relevant metrics available. Creating tangible, measurable goals to drive progress and improvements within their organisation.

If you’re not measuring the outcomes of your goals and objectives, how will you ever know if you have succeeded?

We will be publishing a new article in the Customer Success blog post series every Friday. Stay tuned for more updates!

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