Using team data in the organization

There are legitimate and productive ways to use TSP data in your organization. It begins by setting baselines and benchmarks.

The organization needs to understand it’s capability. For example

  1. What is our schedule performance?
  2. How long do similar projects take?
  3. What was the variation?
  4. What factors drive success and variation?

Data aggregated at the team level provides remarkably accurate insight into your development process. Use it for planning, tracking and for targeting improvement.

Individual data might be useful as long as it is anonymous, for example aggregated in a bar and whisker plot. Even with the best of intents, people can be competitive, don’t risk setting up the wrong incentives. Nevertheless, it can be helpful to understand what portion of you work week is applied directly to projects and what is consumed in other activities. It could be very useful to understand the variation in defect removal efficiency at individual levels. Not to target individuals!, but rather to consider organizational training needs or areas for process improvement focus.

In the end, data privacy is all about trust and transparency. You must trust the staff to gather data and use that data to manage their work. In turn they must trust management to use the information in a non-threatening way. If people

  1. understand how the data is used and
  2. are trustful that it will not be used to rate them personally

Then they will reward you with insight you cannot imagine until you actually see it.

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About Bill Nichols

PhD in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University I'm a software team coach and instructor with the TSP Team at the Software Engineering Institute
This entry was posted in Personal Data, Project Management, TSP. Bookmark the permalink.

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