Value Should Be Your Primary Metric

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I spent some time talking to a software engineering manager yesterday. His team was facing a conundrum. No one at his company had any idea how his firm's software development productivity should be measured. Managers were trying to figure out what should be done, but he wanted to bring them a solution.

Measuring a complex service (such as programming) is very difficult. Measuring it in a way that non-technical managers can understand is often thought of as impossible. Any single measurement system will be imperfect, but some are clearly better than others.

commodity pricing
The Harvesters Pieter Bruegel the Elder

I would argue that all three metrics are valid, but companies should strive to move away from the metric at the top (measuring a by-product of work), toward the metrics lower in the list (measuring effort and, ultimately, value created).