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Topics: Agile, Benefits Realization, PMO
Which are good KPIs for reporting on agile or lean startup projects?
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Earned Value Analysis is a common way to measure project progress and healthiness. The numbers can easily be aggregated and used to get also an overview status of a portfolio. However, calculating EV requires big planning upfront, which does not seem suitable for agile or lean startup projects. Moreover, I've seen that less experienced project managers/scrum masters/business analysis having problems calculating EVA properly and quickly.

Which KPIs do you use for reporting to a the PMO? Some KPI that can be calculated easily? That will be available from the first day in a lean startup?
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You can use EVM (and ESM . Earned Schedule Management) inside Agile environments. You can find it into the internet. I am using them.
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Hi Mirko - couple items for reference:
http://www.methodsandtools.com/archive/archive.php?id=61
https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/earne...tand-agile-6567
https://codetiburon.com/earned-value-manag...tware-projects/
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Mirko -

Forecasting of when a release will be done based on velocity and the remaining size of work in the release backlog is a modified type of earned value management.

But focusing on your main question, key KPIs I'd look for are:

- Value delivered
- Features used/features delivered
- Team member happiness
- Escaped defect counts or trends

Kiron
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Hi Mirko, I think of 3 KPIs. Hope it helps.
-Time Variance: Compare actual duration against scheduled duration to complete a certain task.
-Budget Variance: Compare actual budget against scheduled budget.
-Schedule & Budget Iterations: The number of schedule and budget versions produced before their final approval. A higher number of budget iterations means more time and effort are spent to plan and finalize schedules and budgets.
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I often find that people overly complicate EVM and try to turn it into a science project which results in most of the issues I've seen with it over the years. That being said, take one step back and look at why KPIs are used...

Any project or system has Key Performance Attributes (KPAs). These are the qualities you are trying to achieve and they can include project performance like cost and schedule, as well as other *product* technical measures such as efficiency and even non-technical attributes such as aesthetics.

KPIs are what you use to measure KPAs. In addition to showing the status of the project performance in terms of cost and schedule, it is often very useful to show whether or not you are meeting the customer's expectations with what you are developing. Are you going to do sprints forever, or are you reaching a point in the product development at which you have met the customer expectations/requirements for "good enough"?
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1 reply by Mirko Blüming
Dec 15, 2018 8:37 PM
Mirko Blüming
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@Keith: I like you are pointing out the need to measure customer's expectations. How do you do this? By questionnaire?
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I´m using EVM with Agile as you can see on my final slides of the presentation I gave last Thursday at Conference Agile Spain.

https://www.slideshare.net/Mariocoquillat/mario-coquillat-cas18

I´m using it at aeronautic sector in high uncertainty projects (specially R&D).

Sorry, currently is in spanish. I´ll share in english in a short time.
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@Sergio @Kiron: Thank you for pointing out that EVM/ESV still make sense in agile projects. I've found the following article on PMI how to map burndown charts to EV: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/earne...tand-agile-6567
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 17, 2018 10:59 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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PMI is NOT the best source of information. Go to the basement, not the PMI
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Dec 15, 2018 11:35 AM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
I often find that people overly complicate EVM and try to turn it into a science project which results in most of the issues I've seen with it over the years. That being said, take one step back and look at why KPIs are used...

Any project or system has Key Performance Attributes (KPAs). These are the qualities you are trying to achieve and they can include project performance like cost and schedule, as well as other *product* technical measures such as efficiency and even non-technical attributes such as aesthetics.

KPIs are what you use to measure KPAs. In addition to showing the status of the project performance in terms of cost and schedule, it is often very useful to show whether or not you are meeting the customer's expectations with what you are developing. Are you going to do sprints forever, or are you reaching a point in the product development at which you have met the customer expectations/requirements for "good enough"?
@Keith: I like you are pointing out the need to measure customer's expectations. How do you do this? By questionnaire?
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Most people would say velocity but that doesn't always track value, and Kiron highlighted this.
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Mirko,
How to set and measure customer expectations very much depends on both the project and the customer. A long duration custom project with an individual client will allow different communication than a short term project making a mass market product where you will never meet an end user.

Questionnaires are good for soliciting somewhat generic data from a wide audience. I prefer the most direct communication with my customers that I can get, but often you are limited to whatever you can get.

As a general rule however: Unless you are just soliciting ideas, always propose a solution, or options rather than simply asking what the customer wants. It is far easier to manage your own proposals, than their wish-lists.
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