I facilitated a Hackathon week recently and on the last day, we went through all the questions and topics that made it in the Parking Lot during the week.
One discussion went in the direction of metrics and KPI’s defined by management and imposed on the teams, the resulting detailed release reports and the fact that management always wants to know so many things from the teams in order to feel a sense of control and certainty (I’m guessing).
One participant had the brilliant idea of the “Confidence Meter”. This is basically a visual indicator of how confident the team is to release feature X. If a team feels very confident, or confident enough to release their feature, isn’t this enough information for management?
Of course, the confidence meter would be the result of many metrics that lead to the confidence level of a team but these metrics are tailored to, owned and tracked by each team. If management still wants to know the ‘Why’ behind the confidence meter, they can ask for details. Especially if the confidence level is rather low, it could be a good idea to talk about the ‘Why’ and see if management can help with anything to increase the level.
But if a “green-ish” confidence meters is a good-to-go sign from the team, why wasting time with looking at the details? Ship it!
This is about distributed decision making, autonomy, empowerment and trust. And this leads to engagement, which should be a built-in property of every organisation.