Are there metrics to show management the need for more resources?

Last post 02:04 pm November 8, 2021
by Paul Mastorides
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07:14 pm November 4, 2021

I have a new scrum team that I have been assigned to that feels that they need more people on their team. Management has told them that they need to show that they need more people on their team through metrics in Jira. I have done a couple of sprints with the team and as a team we have gotten their capacity and velocity to a good level. However this team does operational work and project work. about 55% is operational work which comes in daily and 45% is project work. Both operational and project work is captured in Jira. The operational work is in the form of IT tickets on a Kanban Board while the project work consist of stories that lives on a product backlog/scrum board. This team cannot choose the operational work items as that work comes in daily and can be repetitive. Operational work varies in points and gets assigned points by the team member that gets the ticket. However project work can be selected by each team member during sprint planning and is assigned points during backlog refinements or sprint planning. I want to know if there are metrics that can show if the team needs more help. We does use the various report in Jira such as the sprint report, sprint velocity, burn down, burn up and etc, but what metric or metrics can be used to identify the need for extra employees.

09:07 pm November 4, 2021

I want to know if there are metrics that can show if the team needs more help. 

More help to do what? Isn't the team able to craft a Done and immediately usable increment each Sprint?

If not, metrics concerning technical debt accumulation may be of use.

03:36 pm November 5, 2021

This isn't a direct answer to your question, but are the team showing enough respect (to themselves and others) to go at a sustainable pace?
This includes (but is not limited to) saying no to work that does not fit into the time that they have.

By saying no to something, that can lead to conversations, decisions and the emergence of supporting data.

Scrum Teams are usually more effective when they propose options with a list of trade-offs, in terms the business can understand.
e.g.

These are the options we see to respond to the various demands of the business

  1. We can keep the current team
    This is cheapest, but means we cannot do X and Y.
    Risks include not being able to do Z either when one person is sick or on holiday.
  2. We can invest in improving a certain process (perhaps by automation)
    This will require us not to do A, B and C now, but the reduction in waste is expected to boost operational efficiency by a certain percentage, and is expected to pay for itself in terms of productivity within a certain number of months.
  3. We can grow the team
    This will cost a certain amount in salary and training and will have a negative impact on productivity in the short term.
    But it means after a certain number of months, we expect to be able to offer a certain percentage more in terms of output.

 

04:49 pm November 5, 2021

if you are using the reports in JIra, then Release Burnup chart should show the projection of completion time for remaining backlog. For the tickets alone, if you are using the Kanban approach, Throughput measure can be useful.These reports should be simple enough for management to get the message on how much is left and when it will be done so they can take decisions on budget.

02:04 pm November 8, 2021

I have a new scrum team that I have been assigned to that feels that they need more people on their team. Management has told them that they need to show that they need more people on their team through metrics in Jira.

  • Why does the team "feel" that they need more people? What are they currently not able to do that they want to do? What is not being accomplished?
  • Do they want to do more backlog items but are unable to because of operations?
  • Do they want an additional member with specific abilities (SQL, front-end languages, etc)?
  • Have any stakeholders/customers complained that their needs are not being met in a timely matter, e.g. backlog items remaining undone?
  • What are the product owner's observations, beliefs, feelings?