In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, engineering excellence is not just a competitive advantage but a necessity for businesses to thrive. To ensure a strong connection between engineering efforts and desired business outcomes, organisations can rely on Engineering Excellence to Business Outcomes (EEBO) metrics. These metrics provide valuable insights into engineering practices, enable data-driven decision-making, and drive continuous improvement.
Here, we will delve into the significance of EEBO metrics, explore the key metrics involved, highlight the importance of tracking them, discuss industry benchmarking, examine Polaris' approach, and touch upon the tools and benefits of adopting a metric-driven approach.
Recommended EEBO Metrics
EEBO metrics consist of two main categories: The engineering excellence metrics and the business outcome metrics. By tracking these metrics, organisations gain a comprehensive understanding of their engineering team's outcome and their correlation with business objectives.
Engineering excellence metrics
- Lead Time: How fast can you take a new revenue generating product / feature to market. Deployment Frequency: How often can you push a new revenue generating product / feature or a critical fix to production.
- Meantime to Restore: How fast can you recover from non-availability of your products & services caused by an external attack or a botched up release.
- Change Fail Percentage: What changes to production had to be rolled back or hot-fix / patched.
- Build Failure Rate: Very frequent build failure may imply absence of unit tests, right build tools or non-adherence to coding standards & other best practices by the engineering team.
- Security Warnings: How many security warnings are currently being reported by the underlying tools. In the short term, high is good as it indicates such issues are being caught early.
- Tech Debt: How much additional rework needs to be done to clean up the hastily written code to enable speedy delivery at the cost of quality.
Business outcome metrics fall under one of the category
- Improvement in efficiency & effectiveness: Metrics on how the products help improve the efficiency & effectiveness of the workflow the products is the part of
- Improvement in experience: Metrics on how the products improve experience for those interacting with it and extracting value from the product.
- Increase in Influence: Metrics on how the products increase the influence of the business (in the market, within their domain, vs the competitive forces or with regulators)
- Future Sensing: Metrics on how the products help executive leadership sense the early trends in the market to react to them in time.
Importance of Tracking EEBO Metrics
- Establishing baselines and measuring progress: EEBO metrics help establish a baseline for engineering performance and provide a quantifiable way to measure progress over time. By tracking improvements in these metrics, organisations can correlate how a project helps to achieve goals, identify areas that require attention, set realistic goals, and ensure continuous growth and improvement.
- Acting as guardrails: EEBO metrics act as guardrails, ensuring that engineering practices remain aligned with business objectives. They provide early warnings when performance deviates from desired outcomes, allowing for timely intervention and corrective actions. By maintaining a close eye on these metrics, organisations can proactively address any issues that may impact business outcomes.
- Facilitating transformation and enhancing stickiness: Tracking EEBO metrics facilitates organisational transformation initiatives. It enables organisations to demonstrate the value of engineering efforts in achieving business outcomes, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. By showcasing the positive impact of engineering practices, organisations can enhance customer satisfaction, strengthen stakeholder relationships, and drive long-term success.
- Enabling evidence-based conversations: EEBO Metrics provide tangible data for discussions and decision-making with stakeholders. By presenting quantifiable results, engineering teams can effectively communicate their contributions to the business, align priorities, and make data-driven decisions. This strengthens the relationship between engineering and other business functions, fostering collaboration and achieving better outcomes.
Anti Patterns of EEBO
EEBO Metrics offer valuable insights when evaluating the overall engineering excellence; however, they may not be the most effective tool for analyzing specific scenarios or pinpointing bottlenecks. To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the engineering performance, it is vital to augment EEBO Metrics with drill-down metrics and engage in meaningful conversations with developers to conduct a thorough root cause assessment.
A Metric-Driven Approach with Thoughtworks Polaris
Thoughtworks Polaris advocates for a metric-driven, tool-assisted approach to delivery excellence. Thoughtworks Polaris, simplifies the measurement of EEBO metrics and helps identify root causes that impact fitness metrics. The user-friendly nature of Thoughtworks Polaris platform facilitates seamless deployment and navigation, allowing teams to optimise their engineering practices efficiently.
Industry Benchmarking with Thoughtworks Polaris
Thoughtworks Polaris focuses on industry centric approach and helps to understand how peers and competitors perform in the industry. Industry benchmarking allows organisations to compare their engineering practices against industry standards. By examining industry benchmarks and best practices, organisations can identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement. Benchmarking provides valuable insights that drive continuous improvement efforts and help organisations stay competitive in their respective markets.
Effective Correction with Remediation Handbook in Thoughtworks Polaris
One crucial aspect of EEBO metrics is the inclusion of a remediation plan when under-performing. It's not enough to simply track metrics; organisations must have a plan in place to address issues and make meaningful corrections. A knee-jerk reaction to poor performance can lead to short-term fixes or temporary solutions that may not address the root causes of under-performance.
Including a remediation plan as part of EEBO metrics ensures a thoughtful and systematic approach to problem-solving. When a metric falls below the desired target, instead of rushing to implement quick fixes, organisations should take a step back, analyse the underlying factors, and develop a comprehensive plan to address the issues at their core. Organisations shift their focus from reactive responses to proactive, strategic initiatives. This approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement and allows for more sustainable and long-term growth
Thoughtworks Polaris comes with a comprehensive Remediation Handbook that offers contextualised improvements and suggestions for improvements. The remediation plan outlines specific steps and actions to be taken to improve performance. The remediation handbook prioritises areas of improvement based on their impact on engineering metrics and how to course correct. By utilising the Remediation Handbook with sensible defaults, organisations can easily implement best practices that address the identified issues.
Considerations for Metric Capture in Thoughtworks Polaris
While capturing metrics is crucial, it is equally important to strike a balance. Organizations must be cautious not to overwhelm management with excessive metrics. Capturing and maintaining metrics can require significant investment in terms of cost, time, and effort. Therefore, it is essential to select the metrics that establish a clear line of sight between engineering efforts and business outcomes.
Thoughtworks Polaris focuses on EEBO metrics to create a line of sight from engineering excellence to business outcomes. By focusing on EEBO metrics organisations can ensure that their metric capture efforts are efficient and effective and can have meaningful conversations backed by data
In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, engineering excellence is crucial for organisations seeking sustained success. By leveraging EEBO metrics, organisations can establish a clear line of sight between engineering efforts and business outcomes. Tracking these metrics provides baselines, guardrails, transformation support, and facilitates evidence-based conversations. Organisations can capture and analyse EEBO metrics effectively, driving continuous improvement and achieving tangible business outcomes. Embracing a metric-driven approach with Thoughtworks Polaris propels organisations toward engineering excellence and positions them for long-term success.Cross posted on LinkedIn