Engineering productivity governance and improvement in software delivery

Introduce the framework

  • How do you differentiate yourselves from other competitors when delivering a project?
  • What can you do to retain your values, make it sustainable, and even add more value to your clients when delivering a project?

The framework

Overview

The purpose

The ultimate goal

  • Business value — what we deliver should aim to create relevant business values. Objectives and key results (OKRs) could be a way of articulating business values.
  • Engineering excellence and culture — we should influence our clients through a continued pursuit of engineering excellence and developing engineering culture

The North Star

  • Right values
  • Less waste
  • Faster feedback
  • High quality

The Golden Triangle

  • Sensible Default Practices — These are our best practices and core IP, which is why we call it ‘default’, i.e. those practices are the practices being used by default in our delivery projects. The practices here are not only for the developer role, but also include best practices for other roles, e.g. BA, QA, UX, PM and more. You may have different best practices based on your context, the importance is to be aware, adapt and improve.
  • Measurement — You need to find a way of measuring the success, in order to assess engineering productivity, identify problems and areas for improvement. You need to use both quantitative and qualitative ways to measure the success from the outcome of delivery, practices, capabilities, security, team morale and other perspectives.
  • Capability — Capability here not only refers to technical capability, but also includes non-technical capability, for example tasking, estimation, communication, etc..

How to implement the framework

Measures of success

  • Outcome of North Star goals — you need to find relevant metrics to measure the quality, speed of delivery and feedback, waste of cost, resources and processes, in order to ensure you are doing right things.
  • Capability improvement — you can use radar chart to represent desired and current capabilities, which can easily tell how successful you are and where to improve.
  • Team engagement — you can use a combination of quantitative and qualitative questions to assess team’s engagement which is an important part of engineering productivity.
  • Maturity of sensible default practices — you need to understand the team’s awareness of default practices, how well they are being adopted and whether the adoption is consistent over time, the ability of continuous improvement, etc.
  • Outcome of leading/lagging metrics — monitoring and analyzing the outcome of leading/lagging metrics is important to understand the effectiveness and productivity of the delivery, which could inform further actions.
  • Innovative ideas — while following standards or defaults, each team should be encouraged to think about what else they could do to improve, is there any innovative pattern, capability or metric that can be assessed, experimented and adopted

Summary

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