Methodologies & KPIs

Overview

  • Implemented a Project Management Methodology to meet the specific needs of NCTC based on organization size, what business operationally needs, and a shifting set of strategic priorities rooted on Agile / Scrum / Kanban Principles
  • I championed this and remain the primary advocate for this methodology which the rest of the organization now models
  • Accountability, transparency, and 100% focus on the needs of the organization are at the core of this process
  • I lead the “Project Review Board” which determine the business priorities and sets the initial direction and priority of all projects. Members are CEO, VP of Operations, VP of Marketing, and VP of Broadband Solutions
  • Blends all forms of “work” (project work, work supporting business operations, and work related to unplanned fires) into a single flow all tied to executive level KPI’s

Details

  • Bill Routte (LinkedIn Profile)- MobiTV COO – provided mentoring and guidance as I implemented this process, specifically as it related to NCTC Executive Level.
  • Kari Boots (LinkedIn Profile) – Principal at Project3 Consulting – helped our team correctly execute a healthly process focusing on the specific needs of our business.
  • Quantifiable Metrics
    • Track Technical Debt
    • Technical Debt, Recurring Operational Tasks, Candidates for automation
    • UnPlanned work tied back to both Business Departments and Software Applications
    • Missed estimates by IT Department
  • Hold both the business owner and the IT department accountable by aligning success

Our Process

  • Basics
    • 4-week Sprints
    • 2 Kanban Boards
      • Project Board – Represents the Business Priorities
      • Kanban Board – Represent all work for IT; including Project, Business Operations, and Bugs.
    • Terminology – A Project consists of a group of Stories.
  • Prior to a Sprint
    • Project Review Board Sets the Business Priorities (aka Projects) for the 4-week Sprint
    • Projects are assigned a Business Owner and Technical Lead
    • Projects are estimated, stories are created. Projects are then assigned an initial total estimate for the project as a whole
  • During a Sprint
    • The team is committed to keeping the Kanban updated at all times.
    • Daily Stand Up to discuss what each person is doing and any blocked work items
    • Interruptions – Any work that jumps in front of a pre-defined Business Priority has to be approved by either myself or the VP of Operations. In some cases, the requestor must make a case for why the work is so important that it is worth pivoting from a predefined priority
      • Bugs (broken code)
      • UnPlanned Support for Business Operations
  • After a Sprint
    • Executive Review, KPIs, Project Review Board
    • Retrospective
  • Things We Don’t Do
    • We don’t track points per person, we present the work done as a team effort
    • A Sprint is never a failure based on what did or did not get done. Everything is work to support the business, This is unique to NCTC since the Sprint’s priorities are fluid due to the nature of the business,
    • No one can work on more than one “story” at a time
    • We don’t make things complex, we focus on keeping things very simple. This applies to “stories”, “project scope”, and “role out plans”. We avoid things that are complex, monolithic, and risky rather we break things down to small understandable chunks based on business value
    • No one is called out for failure, we succeed and fail as a team supporting each other

Metrics

  • The tool we use is PlanView – LeanKit
  • Most of the metrics are generated in real-time using API integrations between Planview and Google Sheets.
This Board represents the business-critical projects, their priorities (top left most important), project estimate, and real-time progress. This is the key focus of the Project Review Board.