I often get this question from executive and fellow coworkers and I always say there is no set of rules for that, every team has their own metric of success and that must be calculated if you are planning to gauge the success of your technology team. Measuring success requires a clear set of goals and markers and an action plan. In order to create a successful team, you have to make sure you are providing all the necessary tool for your team to succeed.
One of the most important steps in creating a successful team is to set up clear and measurable goals. Ticket estimation is a good way of measuring the success of a team as they provide a clear indication of your team’s ability to understand the requirements and estimate the time it will take to deliver the well tested finished product. Ticket estimations are often taken lightly in some companies and thus result in technical debt or multiple revisions of a code resulting in more delay. Estimation accuracy by team leads might motivate and encourage other team members to follow as well.
Productivity (Bugs/Missing Timelines)
As a leader, it is your job to create a productive environment by clearing out all the roadblocks. Your team’s success is dependent upon their ability to produce clean and well-documented code without any roadblocks or unclear information. If your team is producing a lot of bugs in the code or missing deadlines, you should look at the tickets for all the requirements to make sure they are clear. Utilize the sprint planning meeting to address all the ticket and requirements with the product managers.
One of the side effects of not estimating the tickets correctly is accruing technical debt. Teams often create shortcuts or write bad code because they don’t get enough time to work on the ticket cause of the wrong estimation, thus creating technical debt. This is a serious issue and affects every aspect of the business from time to time. Tech teams are often asked to break the sprint cycle and go against the norms to produce some code that is not technologically sound. Scope creep, Unclear requirements, Wrong estimations are a few things that should be considered and handled in a timely manner, else they would result in reduced productivity. A successful and productive team produces less technical debt, as they handle the sprints effectively and utilize a project manager and other technology leaders to address the communication effectively.
Another measure of success is the ability to repeat the best practices sprint after sprint. A sprint team is a cohesive unit that works together and produces great code. The key to success is keeping constant communication and productivity cycle week after week while learning from your mistakes and improving the overall sprint. Measure how many sprints you have delivered without a rollback or production hotfix.
To conclude, make success a habit and create processes around your teams and help them through the process, and you would see a signifficant change in the overall productivity of your team. Measure success only when you can provide a healthy and productive environment for your team.