Team Health Metrics

Jim Peer and Tim Lund, Paychex 

At AgilityHealth’s EBA Summit, Jim Peer and Tim Lund shared how healthy teams are more productive teams at Paychex. Jim and Tim’s presentation and slides can be found here.

Paychex began its Agile transformation in 2014. Over the past five years, they matured and scaled their Agile processes across 120+ teams and substantially improved their overall portfolio performance.

How did they do this? By utilizing health metrics and dashboards.

Their dashboards combine:
• AgilityHealth® TeamHealth Radar
• PPM
• Jira data

Paychex was able to evaluate at the following levels:
• Team
• Program
• Portfolio
• Enterprise

This approach was valuable because it offered actionable insights and they could manage team health daily.

Let’s take a look at what each dashboard provided.

TeamHealth dashboard

• Indicated how the teams feel
• Team assessments every six months
• Team metrics/maturity
• Team triangle score – how leadership is doing

PPM data dashboard

• Facts about the team
• Team stability
• Team-led staffing
• Overtime percentages

Jira data dashboard

• How the team is performing
• Defect count
• Story commit to complete
• Points commit to complete

Standards & messaging

Successfully collecting metrics across 120 teams requires deploying some basic standards without hurting culture.

  • Two-week sprint calendar
  • Consistent Jira usage (story pointing, sprint start/close)
  • Enterprise DoD/DoR

Initial roll-out of standards taught Paychex some lessons: to include intent as part of the message, and roadshows and smaller sessions were more valuable than large audience presentations.

Dashboard usage

• Teams reviewed after each sprint
• Set expectations and growth priorities
• Set stage for escalation discussions
• Rollup and individual teams reviewed monthly
• Enterprise trend analysis and recommended actions reviewed with CIO quarterly

Data usage

• Backlog readiness example
• Feedback showed strong correlation between PO scores and commit to complete
• Supported by AgilityHealth feedback
• Actions taken
• Updated definition of ready
• Backlog training for all Product Owners
• New metric on backlog readiness

Keys to Success

• Culture needs to support the mindset that team health is as important as project execution
• Standardization of key principles ( sprint cycle, DoD, DoR, Sprint planning) and tool use is required
• Formalize expectations regarding dashboard review cycles should be formalized
• Rollout needs to explain the value of dashboards to teams and programs
• Full support from senior management is needed
• Continuous feedback/adjustments/enhancements

Ready to learn more?