- Be careful that the measurement drives the intended behavior. Organizations respond to how they are measured. This is useful in that measurement provides a way to change behavior. On the other hand, it is dangerous in that measurements can drive undesired behavior. For example, insisting that every project exactly meet the initial estimate of schedule, cost, and content will lead to risk aversion and drive innovation out of the organization.
- You can't manage what you don't measure (taken from Lord Kelvin) -This is one of those universal truths that applies to every field.
- Don't measure what you do not intend to manage - Measuring without a way to respond to measurement adds overhead and lowers productivity
- For development organizations, one size does not fit all -The measures need need to reflect the mixture of work the team is doing. For example measurements for a team doing level 3 maintenance work may not apply to a team building a new platform.
- The Einstein test, make the measures as simple as possible, but no simpler.
I suspect there some other principles that should be added. But these are a good start.
In a later blog, I will discuss levels of measurement.