Measures Developer Performance, Drives Team Results
Meet Spencer Polk, Development Manager at MindBridge Analytics.

Spencer was looking to measure the performance of his team of developers in a way that was fair and unbiased.

He had tried obvious metrics like how many times someone submitted code or how long an individual ticket takes — but there were problems with this as everyone's code was unique, and there were varying degrees of complexities in each task.

He was concerned he wasn't measuring the performance of his team accurately because there wasn't an objective metric he could rely on.

This was a problem.

In order to give his team feedback, he needed qualitative metrics, as well as an agreement between himself and company stakeholders if there was an issue, and to give accurate estimates and explanations for what his team was delivering.

"In the world of development, we have a concept called Boiling the Ocean, which is when you try to take a task and handle everything at the same time. You haven't broken it down properly so it's not going to really work out super well."

By going through the B2B Leaders Academy, Spencer realized that a single metric to measure his team's performance wasn't the best approach.

He learned how to break things down with leading indicators and activities — and identify "lagging" indicators like delivering features on time, which impacted the team's efficiencies.

Through this process, he realized that while some metrics aren't 100% perfect, he could use many together to get a more accurate picture of his team's overall performance.
Using this knowledge, he broke things down into roughly four categories that he wanted to track and measure going forward:

- What are the triaging issues that are coming in on a daily basis?

- Are tickets targeting things that are active production bugs, which need to be patched ASAP, lingering on the board for a long time (or how long are they on the board)?

- Are we tracking our estimates in how well we're estimating our work?

- How is the software executing in terms of efficiency over time?

- He was able to immediately implement the first two metrics and created a daily routine to track them.

As a result, his team has stopped having a buildup of triage — and if they do, and because he is tracking it, Spencer will take action right away.

He has also noticed his team is taking more decisive action on problems, and he himself is no longer needing to go on "an evidence hunt" to track things and properly assess his team's performance.

Now, he feels in a much stronger position and knows that if he has to give feedback or present to key stakeholders, all the metrics and information he needs are immediately available to him.

"Now that I know how to track things better, I feel like I'm in a stronger position. I know where to go to get the metrics I need if I need to provide someone with feedback, or I need to present to stakeholders, and it's right there."

Spencer is an Elite Leader.

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