“You are only as good as your team”. We all heard that before, but as a leader, that might not always be in the forefront of your attention. Plenty of concerns take priority instead: how well your product/service is doing, whether company financials are ok, and what your competitors are up to, among many other things. That is precisely why things start to go wrong.
You know your software team is with you and ready to take on challenges, but how do you support their performance to deliver the quality users need?
We’ll get into details on why and how you should keep goals and performance on track to go beyond ‘just getting by’ with your software team.
Why is it important to monitor the performance of your software team?
This might sound like an unnecessary question, but it is one that many leaders don’t ask themselves often enough. Would you prefer knowing your software experts are working their agreed-upon hours on what they’re supposed to, or would you rather know they have work flexibility (working place and hours, for example) and still deliver what you need and more?
It might seem like the latter is the one chosen and preferred. Yet, it is not always the case. As much as the industry has evolved, there are still many leaders that micromanage their software teams. Some still have strict rules and processes for their daily tasks and routines, rather than a results-driven approach.
It is true that might be the best approach for some industries. In our experience, however, it doesn’t always go well when talking about the fast-paced and ever-changing world of technology.
If you have a custom-curated software team for the job, you work on trust and empowerment. More important than that, you prioritize your employees’ flexibility to do their work while delivering great results.
But how to get one? We mean, a custom-curated digital product team? Well, at Ubiminds we are specialists in custom-curating digital product teams and have proven methodology. That’s what we’re best at and where we deliver the most value!
But just don’t take our word on that, download our free calculator on the numbers of hiring internally versus hiring through a company like Ubiminds.
That said, you still need to have a smart way of measuring the deliverables. Such as clear goals, ways of verifying when and how they’re being achieved, and how to compensate and encourage your team accordingly.
How can you evaluate performance with the help of KPIs
Your software team is ready to go, has clear goals and each member knows where you want them to go. So now you need a clear way of measuring their progress and their performance, both in developing your product and in keeping it up and running.
How can you do that?
Truth is, there is no clear-cut answer, no unanimous method that is enough for any and every company. It depends on the methodology you choose to work with (ie. agile, SCRUM, waterfall, etc.).
There are, however, some key elements and points to observe, as well as some basic KPI (Key Performance Indicators) that are commonly used in tech to measure productivity*:
Mean time to restore (MTTR)
Mean time to restore is a KPI that measures how much time your software expert takes to solve a critical problem, such as a system breakdown. Unless it happens every day (which indicates a red light!), you can track it manually by counting the time from the beginning of the crisis until it is solved. Of course, you can also use engineering to automate that monitoring.
Change Fail Percentage
This metric tells you the percentage of changes that result in a failure. It includes rollbacks, hotfixes, fix-forwards, etc. It can easily answer, for example, how many deployments end in a service outage.
Lead Time shows you how much time it takes to commit code to it reaching production. Or, in other words, how much time it takes from a request since the software team starts it until the customer is satisfied.
Represented as a percentage, this metric measures how frequently your software team deploys code.
*You can check it all in detail by reading Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations, by Nicole Forsgren, PhD, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim.
How can you optimize your performance as a leader?
- Have clear communication with your software team members. It’s vital that each one of them know in detail what is expected, and in many cases how to get there. Be clear on feedback, this is how they’ll know if they’re on the right track or if their performance needs improvement.
- It’s important not to just respect your software expert ramp-up curve before they start performing, but also to inspire them to always evolve. Things – especially in technology – are constantly changing, and you and your team need to keep up with it. Promote seminars, conferences, and workshops, encouraging your team to learn new tools, not only for their benefit but also for the inputs they’ll bring into your corporation as a result.
- Be strategic with every new hire. Always keep in mind that each and every member will play a part in your company’s growth.
In case you’re considering new ways of hiring world-class software experts, why not take a look at Brazil’s talent pool? You may be surprised.
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International Marketing Leader, specialized in tech. Proud to have built marketing and business generation structures for some of the fastest-growing SaaS companies on both sides of the Atlantic (UK, DACH, Iberia, LatAm, and NorthAm). Big fan of motherhood, world music, marketing, and backpacking. A little bit nerdy too!