Q&A on KPIs for Agile Project Managers and Business Analysts

The questions below came from our latest webinar on KPIs for Agile Project Managers and Business Analysts. What are some leading BA KPIs? Stakeholder satisfaction by Feature (Satisfaction) Stakeholder activity by Feature (Engagement) Cycle time from ideation to Feature approval Business value per Feature (Value) Test coverage for Feature (Quality) Number of defects per Feature (Quality) Feature Completeness (Inspection or Peer Review) Is it common practice to have stakeholders sign off on KPIs prior to development? Yes, however, stakeholders should also be actively involved in their development. Getting stakeholder approval is key for all KPIs. What is a good way to minimize the time to get signoff on requirements WITHOUT getting poor/missing/misunderstood requirements? Optimally, requirements should be reviewed as they are being created.  To do this requires an automated requirements tool such as Enfocus Requirements Suite™. Here are some specific recommendations: Break down the solution scope into separate independent components (Features). Validate each Feature and eliminate Features that provide little or no value. Define solution requirements only for validated features. Assign a BA and a Sponsor to each Feature Allow stakeholders to review and comment on each requirement as they are being developed using an automated tool such as Enfocus Requirements Suite.™ Obtain review and signoff on a Feature by Feature basis using stakeholders that are involved in that feature.  This procedure can prevent a lot of noise. Measure the cycle time from Ideation to validation and validation to acceptance. Where can I get the benchmark for any metric? There are many benchmarking services, including: APQC The Hackett Group InfoTech Enfocus Requirements Suite™ (RequirementCoach™) Process Intelligence What tool was...

The Three C’s of User Stories

User stories provide agile practitioners with great success because they help focus on the value being delivered to users. As Mike Cohn writes in his book, User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development: “Rather than allowing product backlog items to describe new features, issues to investigate, defects to be fixed, and so on, the product backlog must describe some item of value to a user or to the product owner.” And that’s why a key component to agile software development is effectively managing the user story backlog. Typically in an agile operation, an initial set of user stories is defined as part of the discovery process, and additional user stories are continuously added by the team as needed during delivery. Defining user stories is a convenient way of capturing requirements at a high level of detail while focusing on user goals—which is why they can be so successful at helping you determine what is valuable to your uers. Good user stories are much more than just statements. A good user story consists of three elements, commonly referred to as the three C’s: 1. Card The user story should be able to fit on a 3”x5” note card, efficiently capturing the most important information. While this “C” sometimes refers to an actual note card, we mean it to refer to the optimal size of a user story. As Jeffries writes, the card should not contain all information about the requirement, but rather just enough to be used in planning to identify the requirement and remind the project team of the story. Each user story should follow the standardized format of:...