Continuous improvement with the help of Evidence-Based Management

Solving real business problems and delivering high-quality value is not an easy task. It requires a lot of focus, consistency and commitment. Moreover, our clients/partners need to be put in the first place, when thinking about our actions, improvements and daily work.

Business Problem: How to show the value of our services?

First of all, SolDevelo is a mission-driven company:

“We deliver high-quality solutions for modern world challenges.

As IT professionals, together with our partners, we build a digital future.”

“Our vision and long-term plan is to be an organization able to effectively solve the real business problems of top players.”

This is why we are constantly looking at how we can improve our services and the delivered business value to our partners. Our strategic goals for this year are related to several different areas, like structure and processes improvements, business growth and talent development. We decided to use the OKR framework to define and track our progress on these multiple aspects.

However, we truly believe that these actions will allow us to improve our effectiveness and the quality of our solutions to our Partners. We want to build teams with better structure, using best tools and following world-class standards, able to work more effectively and, at the end of the day, deliver bigger value. These aspects are usually very hard to measure and show in a readable and easy to follow way.

 

Solution

This is the moment where we used not only our experience and know-how, but also decided to re-use some of the EBM guidelines and advice. Its guide describes the idea very well:

Evidence-Based Management (EBM) is an empirical approach that helps organizations to continuously improve customer outcomes, organizational capabilities, and business results under conditions of uncertainty. It enables organizations to systematically improve their performance over time and refine their goals based on better information.

Time tracking apps

EBM Focuses on Four Key Value Areas:

 – Unrealized Value – What is the additional potential value that could be achieved?

 – Current Value – What value is currently delivered by the organization?

 – Time-to-Market – How long does it take to deliver new value?

 – Ability-to-Innovate – How effective is the organization at improving value?

 

EBM clearly describes the approach, listing all the elements, intermediate steps and actions that should be taken to maximize the success. Moreover, the guide also lists an example set of Key Value Measures, which could be taken into consideration when implementing this framework.

In the context of effectiveness and quality improvements, we need to know where we are at the current moment. This is why we need to measure various aspects of our work. This shouldn’t be a one-time step, as we need to constantly measure our progress to see how exactly our improvement actions are influencing our ability to effectively deliver high-quality solutions.

The measures we use should really allow us to improve ourselves. This is why we should look at several different aspects. Moreover, the measures we track should also evolve going forward, as we and the projects evolve, and our abilities, partners’ expectations and environment change over time. We should look at the following three aspects:

  1. Basic technical Agile/SCRUM/operational measures, like: velocity, predictability, number of tickets/story points, etc.
  2. Value/quality of our work, like: number of incidents from production, number of bugs, rework time, bug fixing time, etc.
  3. Our process effectiveness, like: release frequency, release stabilization period, lead/cycle time, first time right/debt/on-product index, innovation rate, etc.

 

Some of the measures we track in our projects should be consistent throughout our company. This is why we decided to track the following in SolDevelo:

  1. SD Quality metrics
    1. Production incident count;
    2. Defect trends;
    3. Code coverage.
  1. SD Effectiveness metrics:
    1. Velocity;
    2. Average Velocity;
    3. Lead Time / Cycle Time.

 

Other measures should be agreed in the projects directly between our partners and involved team members. I am pretty sure that most of the chosen measures will be the same, but we need some flexibility and openness as partners could have different needs and priorities.

Consistent measuring and analyzing could not only allow us to become better over time, but it will increase the business value for our partners and, at the end of the day, will be coherent with our Mission and Vision.

Result

We are eager to improve ourselves on a daily basis and challenge ourselves with hard to achieve goals. This is why we want to improve our efficiency and quality by at least 20% each by the end of the year.

If the above sounds interesting and you would like to be involved more deeply in these actions, please let me know. I would love to talk with you about it!

 

About SolDevelo

SolDevelo is a dynamic software development and information technology outsourcing company focused on delivering high-quality software and innovative solutions. An experienced team of developers, customer-oriented service, and the passion for creating the highest quality products using the latest technology are the undeniable advantages of the company.

Using Atlassian products since 2009, SolDevelo always strives to exceed customers’ expectations. ISO 9001 confirms our dedication to the highest quality and ISO 27001 shows that we treat security extremely seriously. Over 70% of our team members are certified Scrum Professionals, over 35% are Oracle Certified Professionals and 100% of our quality assurance team has ISTQB certificates.