Metrics to make a CEO smile
Jira, Jenkins, Xray, GitHub and Service Now are all words that are foreign to most CEOs. Let alone the fact that they are very much a key part of the modern technology supply chain, which enables the business to compete as a modern enterprise. Modern CEO’s clearly need to understand technology and how it is delivered and the value it creates. CTO’s have traditionally been the fountain of all wisdom when it comes to technology. However, CEO’s now have to demonstrate that they understand technology.
The world is a different place. Gone are the days where technology was a budget black hole. The new world is all about transparency and value, and that means CEO’s need to understand where the money is being spent and the value it is creating, to ensure companies are getting good value for their buck.
The business of keeping a CEO informed
We are all time poor, but CEO’s (being one myself) value their time highly and want to get straight to the point – and take the shortest journey to the answers they seek. This means with a bit of knowledge CEO’s can ask far more insightful questions of technology teams than in the past. This means if you do not have the right information to hand it can lead to more direct questions.
Having the right information to hand can demonstrate you are ahead of the curve, but what are the right metrics to place in front of your CEO?
Which metrics really matter?
There are metrics and there are metrics that matter. There are many technical measurements that companies can use. Establishing a simple set of core metrics that provide the biggest bang for buck is the best place start to keep you CEO informed. This enables you to educate them on what is important, without creating a lot of white noise.
The below are our top five metrics that matter:
Cycle time is the amount of time from creation of a work ticket to the time it is shipped. For example, the time taken between a ticket being logged in Jira for a new button on an application, to the time it is deployed into production. This gives you the elapsed time it takes to complete one task. When looking at the overall project you can then see how quickly change is delivered. The shorter the cycle time the better.
A burndown chart representation of work left to do versus time. The outstanding work (or backlog) is often on the vertical axis, with time along the horizontal. Burn down charts are a run chart of outstanding work. It is useful for predicting when all of the work will be completed. This is a great metric for meeting specific goals. Machine learning can be used provide more accurate forecasts based on various variables like work patterns.
Time In State
There is a whole raft of metrics that can be use as part of a Value Stream Management (VSM) approach to measuring the flow of value across the technology supply chain. The best one to start with is time in state. This is how much time each ticket (task) spends in each phase or state is measured. This is a very powerful metric as it can be used to identify bottle necks in a process, team or function.
Reopen rate measures the amount of rework need in any task that is reopened once it has been closed or completed. For instance, a defect is set to test and then fails testing, it is re-opened and sent back to the developer. If for instance you have a reopen rate greater than 10% in any one area, this would be of concern when looking at a project or group of projects. The number of reworked hours is also a very powerful metric at a project level which can be captured through combining time in state with a reopen rate.
These are our pick for the top metrics to make your CEO’s smile. At neuro we are looking to the future by combining multiple data sets from across the toolchain with multiple machine learning models to provide far reaching insights into the technology supply chain. Look out for exciting new features in the near future