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Ability to Innovate

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

Update: In early 2022, a product reboot has happened, which pivoted the product much more towards setting goals (OKRs) but still has its roots in teamwork, metrics, and evidence-based management.

The Agile Tools service is currently focusing on organizations producing software, so the context of innovation is set around digital products and services. There are so many factors influencing the success or failure to deliver new innovative services that it is hard to enumerate them, let alone have a set of good metrics selected.

What if you, as a company, would have a tool that would not only offer you the possibility to have them listed as some static spreadsheet but instead as dynamic living actionable story-telling charts? Sometimes bi-yearly questionnaires aren’t enough. Maybe reading a book and a handful of endless internet articles (like this one) will inspire individuals. Still, the lack of operational knowledge needed to take charge in driving the innovation activities forward will most probably render the attempt fruitless.

Starting with the team’s Ability to Innovate seemed a good start as I have yet to witness a personal, one-person band, successful software product. Of course, each individual is an essential part of any product, but the team makes it possible to create great innovative products. Great organizations are usually made out of great teams, which are made out of great individuals.

Agile Tools will focus on team, product, and organization metrics.

In early Beta, you will be able to create an insight into a team-level Ability to Innovate Key-Value Area. There will be three more areas Agile Tools will cover: Current Value, Time to Market, and Unrealized Value.

There can be many metrics in organizations producing software products practicing Scrum agile framework for software development. The radar chart below presents 6 of them:

  1. Backlog Health

  2. Forecast Accuracy History

  3. Velocity History

  4. Scope Change

  5. Velocity Fluctuation

  6. Defect Leakage

Combined, they are driving the central Ability to Innovate score – number 89 in the example below.

The algorithms will be configurable per team and per organization in later releases. The defaults could also be community-influenced. Imagine comparing your settings with the average from the industry you are part of.

There will be more metrics; just don’t forget on most valuables – people!

And do not use numbers for bonuses, the idea is to build the team, the product and the organization.

Charts are there to guide, and each has a story and a purpose.

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