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Metrics Matter

By Dr. Harold Kerzner


metrics matter tn

It is very clear organizations in almost all industry sectors believe that agile, and in particular the Scrum framework, offers great promise in executing their toughest projects.

Yet, as Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber write in their Scrum Guide, “Scrum is simple to understand yet difficult to master.” And, VersionOne’s 10th Annual State of Agile™ report gives us an indication of how difficult it can be.

During the past decade, there has been a rapid growth in Agile Project Management practices, not just in IT, but in other types of projects as well. Most of the principles of Agile Project Management practices have provided beneficial results when applied to non-IT projects. While all of this sounds good, there are also some challenges that accompany the growth.

There is an old adage used in project management, namely “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Therefore, to manage projects using agile techniques, you must establish metrics to confirm that the benefits are being realized and agile practices are being executed correctly. Fortunately, accompanying the growth in agile practices has been a companion growth in metric measurement techniques whereby today we believe we can measure just about anything. There are good metrics for reporting performance.

About the Author:

Dr. Harold Kerzner
Harold Kerzner (M.S., Ph.D., Engineering, and M.B.A) is IIL’s Senior Executive Director for Project Management and a globally respected expert on project management and strategic planning. He is the author of many best-selling textbooks including Project Management 2.0, Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence, and, most recently, Innovation Project Management. Dr. Kerzner has previously taught project management and business administration at Baldwin-Wallace University, engineering at the University of Illinois and business administration at Utah State University. He obtained his industrial experience at Thiokol Corporation where he held both program management and project engineering responsibilities on a variety of NASA, Air Force, Army, Navy, and internal R&D programs.