Agile and strategic thinking

10–12th May 2017 at thestudio

A 45 minute Case Study by:

David Leach

Office Depot

Slides from session

The slides used for this session are available to download from here.

About this Case Study

How do we measure success in agile? Some would say it's easy - just measure customer satisfaction; others (whilst perhaps misinformed) might look at development team velocity.

So what does a good metric look like? In this session I will describe the metrics that can be used at the individual, team, department and organisation level and the impact on behaviour and performance of choosing a good metric, as well as the negative impact of choosing a poor metric.

Learn how we used vision, strategic objectives and measures of success to help ensure our teams had the autonomy to prioritise and deliver against the goals they set. We did this using knowledge of what the business was trying to deliver at a strategic level to help support decision making at the team level.

You'll also find out how having this focused strategy sets teams free to innovate as the measures of success are being defined, not the scope of delivery.

Measurement takes us on a journey of discovery through strategy, customer focus, team behaviour and structure, skills and performance.

A good example in our daily lives is about the weight we lose when dieting, driven by the food we eat and the exercise we take (ie the actions and activities required to reach the metric of weight loss or BMI reduction). Otherwise, it's just luck if we lose weight: how much to we rely on luck in business?

We use the balanced scorecard, lean finance and lean startup to help drive our knowledge and learning about good measures of success that drive continuous improvement, good behaviour, increased purpose and engagement.

This means teams focus on customers and continuous improvement, departments focus on learning and innovation and the organisation also focuses on customers, but carefully balanced with sustainability, cashflow and market share.

The use of vanity metrics boosts confidence short term, but leads to longer term issues with an inability to spot changes in customer behaviour or market trends that could lead to disruption, damaging the organisation's ability to compete.

About the Speaker

Having spent 15 years in digital teams working in most roles within the software dev lifecycle, David is now a senior product manager working on strategy and innovation for Office Depot.

He runs the Lean Coffee Milton Keynes meetup, having helped run the London ones, and also blogs here:


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