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Measuring Team
Health At Spotify
From Gut Feel To Hard Data



Danielle Jabin
What is great? How do
we knowwhen we’re
there?
You can’t manage what
you don’t measure.
Making teams better,
people happier, and
long-termvalue
deliverysustainable.
What do we
associate with
being Agile?
Breaking down work
into stories and stories
into tasks
Prioritizing said tasks
Delivering said tasks
according to
prioritization
Measuring cycle time,
velocity,value delivered
We add rules on
top of that
Tasks must be less than
X points with no more
thanYpoints per sprint
Standups must be
completed in under 10
minutes
And on and on…
End goal: achieve
sustainable long-term
value delivery
There are a lot ofways
to get there.
If our focus is too much
in the weeds…
…we’ll miss the big
picture.
What is it that makes a
team high performing
then?
Sometimes we relyon
gut feel.
Gut feel is notoriously
flawed.
You can’t manage what
you don’t measure.
The Characteristics
•  Aware of Skills 
•  Embrace and Adapt to Change 
•  Quality Discipline 
•  Delivers Results 
•  Own...
How can we make sure
these conversations are
happening?
Squad Reflections
The Statements
1.  It is clear to me why our team
exists. 
2.  It is clear to me who benefits
from the things we deliver. ...
The Process
Gather the entire team in a room
Read each statement aloud
•  Rate from 1 to 10 (with 1 being
strongly disagree and 10 being
strongly agree)
•  Repeat it 1...
Facilitate a discussion around each
statement
•  “Why do we feel this way?”
•  “X, you rated this a 6. What would it
take ...
Take notes during the discussion
•  Direct quotes and paraphrasing as
opposed to analysis and
interpretation
Review discussion notes and organize
them into themes that emerge
•  Discuss findings with the
team
•  What do they think?...
Re-evaluate in 3 – 6 months
•  Does the team feel satisfied
with the progress made? Do
they have new improvement
points th...
Available at
www.daniellejabin.com/blog
Real-life
Examples!
"I don’t always reflect on orrealize how
muchvalue it isthatwe’re delivering.”
“We do delivera shitload ofstuff, but
once ...
The Characteristics
•  Aware of Skills 
•  Embrace and Adapt to Change 
•  Quality Discipline 
•  Delivers Results 
•  Own...
"I don’t always reflect on orrealize how
muchvalue it isthatwe’re delivering.”
“We do delivera shitload ofstuff, but
once ...
How do we fix that?
"We knowthere arethingsthatwe can
improve, butwe don’t dothem. We don’t
followthrough. It’s notthatwe’re not
aware, it’sth...
The Characteristics
•  Aware of Skills 
•  Embrace and Adapt to Change 
•  Quality Discipline 
•  Delivers Results 
•  Own...
"We knowthere arethingsthatwe can
improve, butwe don’t dothem. We don’t
followthrough. It’s notthatwe’re not
aware, it’sth...
How do we fix that?
Make it your own!
•  What elements are core to your culture? What do you value?
•  What are your expectations on/from team...
Squad Reflections helps
us build a more
comprehensiveview of
a team’s health in a way
that even strictAgile
adherence can’...
You can’t manage what
you don’t measure!
Questions?
www.daniellejabin.com/blog
Thank You!
Appendix
The Process
•  Gather the entire team in a room
•  Read each statement aloud
•  Rate from 1 to 10 (with 1 being strongly
d...
Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare
Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare
Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare
Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare
Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare
Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare
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Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare

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How do we actually know if our teams are doing well? Is gut instinct enough? Furthermore, in a rapidly growing organization such as Spotify, how can we ensure some sort of consistency in our baseline level of Agile knowledge across the technology, product, and design organization?

In this presentation, I’ve shared techniques we have developed and use at Spotify to benchmark health and performance for our teams and some tactics we use to bring them closer to—and beyond!—being the best teams they can be.

Published in: Leadership & Management

Measuring team performance at spotify slideshare

  1. 1. Measuring Team Health At Spotify From Gut Feel To Hard Data Danielle Jabin
  2. 2. What is great? How do we knowwhen we’re there?
  3. 3. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
  4. 4. Making teams better, people happier, and long-termvalue deliverysustainable.
  5. 5. What do we associate with being Agile?
  6. 6. Breaking down work into stories and stories into tasks
  7. 7. Prioritizing said tasks
  8. 8. Delivering said tasks according to prioritization
  9. 9. Measuring cycle time, velocity,value delivered
  10. 10. We add rules on top of that
  11. 11. Tasks must be less than X points with no more thanYpoints per sprint
  12. 12. Standups must be completed in under 10 minutes
  13. 13. And on and on…
  14. 14. End goal: achieve sustainable long-term value delivery
  15. 15. There are a lot ofways to get there.
  16. 16. If our focus is too much in the weeds…
  17. 17. …we’ll miss the big picture.
  18. 18. What is it that makes a team high performing then?
  19. 19. Sometimes we relyon gut feel.
  20. 20. Gut feel is notoriously flawed.
  21. 21. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
  22. 22. The Characteristics •  Aware of Skills •  Embrace and Adapt to Change •  Quality Discipline •  Delivers Results •  Ownership and Responsibility •  Iterative Discipline •  Continuous Improvement •  Fast Decision-making With Shared Understanding •  Positive Energy •  Collaboration •  Exceeding Expectations •  Visualization •  Focus and Clear Purpose •  Technical Proficiency •  Small Teams •  Intra-team Feedback •  Customer Engagement •  Presence •  Celebrates Wins and Learnings
  23. 23. How can we make sure these conversations are happening?
  24. 24. Squad Reflections
  25. 25. The Statements 1.  It is clear to me why our team exists. 2.  It is clear to me who benefits from the things we deliver. 3.  I feel that my team is able to influence the world of Spotify. 4.  I'm happy with how frequently we deliver value to our users. 5.  I'm proud of the value we deliver to our users. 6.  We regularly identify the most appropriate way forward. 7.  We continuously improve our way of working. 8.  I give feedback to my team members. 9.  I get feedback from my team members. 10. I feel a sense of purpose when working on this team. 11.  We get support from the rest of the organization.
  26. 26. The Process
  27. 27. Gather the entire team in a room
  28. 28. Read each statement aloud •  Rate from 1 to 10 (with 1 being strongly disagree and 10 being strongly agree) •  Repeat it 1-2 times so people can absorb it •  Reveal at the same time
  29. 29. Facilitate a discussion around each statement •  “Why do we feel this way?” •  “X, you rated this a 6. What would it take for you to give it a 9 or 10 rating next time? What changes would you need to see?” •  “Y, you rated this a 10 whereas the rest of the team rated this at 5 on average. Where do you think we’re excelling in this area?
  30. 30. Take notes during the discussion •  Direct quotes and paraphrasing as opposed to analysis and interpretation
  31. 31. Review discussion notes and organize them into themes that emerge •  Discuss findings with the team •  What do they think? •  What do they want to focus on? •  The team needs to have a sense of ownership of their continuous improvement
  32. 32. Re-evaluate in 3 – 6 months •  Does the team feel satisfied with the progress made? Do they have new improvement points this time? Woohoo! •  Do the same points come up as last time? :( Perhaps it’s time to think more critically about how to have more effective and long-lasting impact. There could be many reasons for this. •  Dig deeper with a root cause analysis.
  33. 33. Available at www.daniellejabin.com/blog
  34. 34. Real-life Examples!
  35. 35. "I don’t always reflect on orrealize how muchvalue it isthatwe’re delivering.” “We do delivera shitload ofstuff, but once something slows down it feels like you’re not delivering (whenyou really are).”
  36. 36. The Characteristics •  Aware of Skills •  Embrace and Adapt to Change •  Quality Discipline •  Delivers Results •  Ownership and Responsibility •  Iterative Discipline •  Continuous Improvement •  Fast Decision-making With Shared Understanding •  Positive Energy •  Collaboration •  Exceeding Expectations •  Visualization •  Focus and Clear Purpose •  Technical Proficiency •  Small Teams •  Intra-team Feedback •  Customer Engagement •  Presence •  Celebrates Wins and Learnings
  37. 37. "I don’t always reflect on orrealize how muchvalue it isthatwe’re delivering.” “We do delivera shitload ofstuff, but once something slows down it feels like you’re not delivering (whenyou really are).” Pattern: Celebrates Wins and Learnings
  38. 38. How do we fix that?
  39. 39. "We knowthere arethingsthatwe can improve, butwe don’t dothem. We don’t followthrough. It’s notthatwe’re not aware, it’sthatwe don’t dothem.”
  40. 40. The Characteristics •  Aware of Skills •  Embrace and Adapt to Change •  Quality Discipline •  Delivers Results •  Ownership and Responsibility •  Iterative Discipline •  Continuous Improvement •  Fast Decision-making With Shared Understanding •  Positive Energy •  Collaboration •  Exceeding Expectations •  Visualization •  Focus and Clear Purpose •  Technical Proficiency •  Small Teams •  Intra-team Feedback •  Customer Engagement •  Presence •  Celebrates Wins and Learnings
  41. 41. "We knowthere arethingsthatwe can improve, butwe don’t dothem. We don’t followthrough. It’s notthatwe’re not aware, it’sthatwe don’t dothem.” Pattern: Iterative Discipline
  42. 42. How do we fix that?
  43. 43. Make it your own! •  What elements are core to your culture? What do you value? •  What are your expectations on/from teams?
  44. 44. Squad Reflections helps us build a more comprehensiveview of a team’s health in a way that even strictAgile adherence can’t.
  45. 45. You can’t manage what you don’t measure!
  46. 46. Questions? www.daniellejabin.com/blog
  47. 47. Thank You!
  48. 48. Appendix
  49. 49. The Process •  Gather the entire team in a room •  Read each statement aloud •  Rate from 1 to 10 (with 1 being strongly disagree and 10 being strongly agree) •  Reveal at the same time •  Facilitate a discussion around each question •  “Why do we feel this way?” •  “X, you rated this a 6. What would it take for you to give it a 9 or 10 rating next time? What changes would you need to see.” •  “Y, you rated this a 10 whereas the rest of the team rated this at 5 on average. Where do you think we’re excelling in this area?” •  Take notes during the discussion •  Direct quotes as opposed to analysis and interpretation •  Review discussion notes and organize them into themes •  Discuss findings with the teams •  The team needs to have a sense of ownership of their continuous improvement •  Identify 2 - 3 focus areas •  Re-evaluate in 3 - 6 months

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