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Balanced KPI’s – Watch out!

“What you measure will affect behavior” – the Hawthorn affect

Consider this carefully when setting out KPI’s. How can I stop my KPI’s driving poor behaviour? I’m sure you’ve seen the three factors below:

  • Time – I want it faster
  • Cost – I want it cheaper
  • Quality – I want higher quality

It’s very common to say I want it faster! but do you want the result of that which could be higher cost or lower quality. I hope you can quickly see where this is going.  Let’s apply this to some chosen Agile KPI’s:

  • Time – story cycle time
  • Cost – function point analysis (shows how much work is being done by a team or department)
  • Quality – software complexity rating

Now if we don’t have a KPI for each of these we can unbalance our department!

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