How do you quantify the health of your change delivery function?
Sure, we usually know how much change costs, and hopefully can see some value coming from individual projects, but how do you know if you’re delivering as well as you could be, across the portfolio?
One way is to think of change delivery as a pipe, with projects flowing through it. Think of your measures in these terms:
- Time to Market (length of the pipe). Often not measured on projects but easy enough if you can agree on a start point
- Capacity (diameter of the pipe). Simple enough – how many resources are available to work on change across the portfolio, and where are the bottlenecks? (Of course, it’s never as simple as this – see my ’Capacity Constraints’ blog)
- Throughput (speed of flow). This is down to speed of task – the elapsed time of individual activities, especially those on the critical path
- Productivity (how full the pipe is at any point). Is there downtime/wastage across any of the teams, for example where designers are waiting for requirements, or testers are waiting for a working build? Can you measure this wasted time?
- Skills / capabilities match (what the pipe is made of). Harder to measure – one way is to start with your supply forecast. Which teams are consistently over-worked, and which have an easier time of it?
Thinking in this way provides a simple way of articulating the overall state of the function. Of course, you’re still at risk of “rubbish in, rubbish out”, but at least these measures will ensure that your delivery function is optimised. Do you measure these KPIs?