Mar 1 2016 - New subject line, workshop promo, measuring velocity

Measuring throughput? You're doing it wrong. 

Measuring throughput? You're doing it wrong. 

I've just recently returned from Tokyo. From 350m up it is as vast as it is exciting.

One of my favorite questions to ask when starting with a new client is, "How do you measure success?" The responses invariably start with, "Good question" and are then quickly followed, in almost all cases, with one of these words: throughput, velocity, shipping, or features. Getting features out the door and into customers' hands serves as the hallmark of productivity and success. It's the basis of the teams' plans and the foundation of the company's incentive structure.It's also fundamentally flawed.

Don't get me wrong. I firmly believe that ideas without execution are nothing more than wishful thinking. However incentivizing your teams to get an increasing amount of features produced only ensures that your products will have more features. Nothing more.

The reason for this phenomenon lies largely in management incentives. Measuring features is easy. It's binary. You shipped it or you didn't. Because it's easy to measure, it's easy to manage. Alternatively, giving teams problems to solve without dictating a specific solution means they determine the best way to achieve that with success determined by a desired outcome. An outcome is a measurable change in customer behavior. This is a variable range and therefore more difficult to measure. Subsequently, managing to outcomes becomes more difficult because the clarity of a binary choice is lost. Because of this many companies resist this approach. And yet, time and again, teams that get to choose what solutions they work on build more successful products, work more efficiently and are generally happier at work.

Does your company manage to velocity or outcomes? I'd love to hear how you do it. Just hit reply.

Josh Seiden and I have submitted the first draft of our new book, Sense and Respond. In it we tackle how technology facilitates a new style of organizational management that allows for continuous learning, agility and managing to outcomes. Learn more.

2016 has kicked off amazingly well with the first 4 workshops so far selling out well in advance. If you're considering an upcoming workshop, don't wait. If I can help your company with training, workshops, keynotes or coaching, please don't hesitate to reach outUpcoming workshops:

Denver, Colorado - March 2, 2016 (less than 10 seats left)Stockholm, Sweden - March 21, 2016 (extremely limited seating)Manchester, UK - March 23, 2016 (less than 15 seats left)Brussels, Belgium - March 25, 2016 (first time!)Austin, Texas - March 31, 2016 (last US workshop until at least September)Berlin, Germany - April 18, 2016 (last time this sold out 3 weeks in advance)Brighton, UK - April 26, 2016Milano, Italy - May 17, 2016 (just added!) Complete listing can be found here.Don't see your city? Let me know. I look forward to seeing you this year.


Have you signed up to learn about my new book with Lean UX co-author Josh Seiden? 


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