How are your software development teams doing? Really, how are they?

You’d probably tell me: “It depends on who you ask.”

Your development teams might say everything’s great, the product managers will tell you “we’re doing fine, but we’d like faster results,” and the QA people meanwhile are drowning in work and say they need more people asap.

It’s not exactly a recipe for confidence when it comes to making decisions, is it?

So how do you get that confidence? How do you know what the bottom-line solution should be when everyone is telling you something different?

Here’s the thing:

When you ask your team members, you’re getting different valid perspectives, but you’re not getting the whole picture of what’s actually happening.

There’s only one way to get to the bottom of how well your teams are doing. And it’s much simpler than you might think.

It’s been some time since I started talking about our Executive Dashboard, and I believe it’s long overdue to dedicate an article to what it is about and who would benefit the most from it.

The Executive Dashboard does two main things:

  • It provides an end-to-end overview of the performance of your entire operations so that you know, at any given time, what your overall metrics look like and how the trends have developed over time.
  • For each of your teams, it offers insights into whether they are improving or struggling, making it immediately evident where you need to focus your attention.

Let’s dive into it.

How to Use the Executive Dashboard to Track Your End to End Performance

Let’s look into this specific example.

Executive DashboardUtilize the Executive Dashboard by Nave to track the performance of your end-to-end business operations. Start a new trial! →

The current setup includes three teams: Management, Customer Support, and Development. On the right sidebar, you can manipulate the filters to include or exclude specific data for a more granular analysis. For example, you can analyze how the trends for work of a Standard class of service develop over time.

You can then use the Executive Dashboard to evaluate your overall flow metrics – cycle time, throughput, work in progress, and flow efficiency—and break down your data to see whether there is a gap between business strategy and execution.

Executive Dashboard breakdownBreak down your cycle time data by work item type to understand where your teams spend their time and efforts. Start a new trial! →

For example, let’s say that your quarterly business objective is to enter a new market. This means that ideally, your engineering teams should be building new features to meet the needs of your new potential customers.

If you break down your data by Work Item type and it turns out that 80% of the completed work so far represents Issues or Technical Debt, that’s certainly a red flag.

If you want to dig deeper, in each widget, you can switch to the Teams view and analyze how each team’s trend has developed so far.

Executive Dashboard: Teams viewThe Teams View in the Executive Dashboard enables you to analyze how your teams’ performance trends develop over time. Start a new trial! →

A word of caution here! Don’t use this feature to compare your teams’ performance. You don’t want to compare their results with someone else’s. That’s simply irrelevant.

Instead, use that view to track how each team’s performance metrics evolve over time to see how your change management initiatives are paying off.

How to Use the Executive Report to Identify Which Teams Need Your Immediate Attention

This is where the Executive Report comes into play.

Executive ReportWith the Executive Report by Nave, you’ll be able to instantly see whether your teams are improving or if their performance is declining. Start a new trial! →

For each team, this report will visualize their current flow metrics and how they compare to the past month, past three months, and past six months.

If there is a significant variation in the numbers, you’ll see a red indicator next to the metric that exceeds your predefined threshold.

Similarly, if the team performance is improving, you will see green indicators. All teams with gray indicators haven’t registered any significant changes in their metrics, which means they are maintaining stable throughput, work in progress, and cycle time.

Executive Report: Variation thresholdUtilize the variation slider in the Executive Report to specify the acceptable level of variation in your business context. Start a new trial! →

The variation slider is what defines your threshold. You can change the variation percentage from 0% to 50%, which is what controls the colored indicators on the report.

For example, if your variation is set to 10%, and the cycle time of your teams goes down by 7%, there will be a gray indicator next to their metrics.

The goal here is to draw your attention to the teams with red indicators so that you can start the right conversations at the right time.

Executive Report: Group cadenceGroup your data by week, two weeks, month, or quarter, depending on your reporting cadence. Start a new trial! →

With the Executive Report, you can switch between weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly reporting so that it’s instantly clear whether the changes you’re making are actually producing the desired results.

You can also export both the Executive Dashboard and the Executive Report in PDF format and share your performance metrics with your executive team.

I hope this has been helpful. Don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more about the Executive Dashboard and how it can help you achieve your objectives. I’m on LinkedIn; send me a DM, and let’s start the conversation. I’ll see you next week, same time and place for more managerial insights. Bye for now!

Do you find this article valuable?
Rating: 4.8 stars (6 readers voted)