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What KPIs should my CEO use to appraise me as a scrum master

Last post 05:43 pm January 12, 2023 by Kurotamunoye Briggs
5 replies
04:29 pm January 11, 2023

In my organization, we do quarterly appraisals and my CEO usually aggregate product related and many other KPIs to appraise me as a Scrum Master. Pls advise me on what KPIs I can rather ask to be used to appraise me.

07:01 pm January 11, 2023

When the team succeeds you succeed, when the team fails you fail.

Bear in mind that a good Scrum Master has a low tolerance of organizational impediments. Does the company have a means of gauging the effectiveness of organizational change? I'd appreciate any assessment of that, because it's always a key consideration in my mind about whether I stay or go.

09:00 pm January 11, 2023

Are the teams you work with consistently delivering usable increments each Sprint that the stakeholders find to be valuable?  That is the only key performance indicator that I can justify using to appraise a Scrum Master's performance.  In most cases, a Scrum Master does not make decisions about product or product direction.  A Scrum Master does not write any code that contributes to the improvements of the product.  A Scrum Master does not dictate processes.  A Scrum Master does not assign work to individuals.  So no key performance indicator related to those activities are applicable to a Scrum Master.

Given that a Scrum Master is a coach by nature, what kind of performance indicator would be used for a sports coach?  The biggest would be the team's ability to consistently win games. But the sports coach actually has very little to do with winning a game.  That is up to the players to do using the skills and techniques that the coach has helped them acquire and improve.

In the software development world, "games" are won when you are consistently producing functionality that the end users needs and wants to use. Or in Scrum terms, the team consistently deliver usable, valuable increments in each and every Sprint.  

02:04 pm January 12, 2023

Thank for your response @Ian currently there is no means of gauging the effectiveness of organizational change? Its really difficult for me because they just want the scrum team to meet timelines to deliver products to clients and are using same to appraise me

@Danial thanks for responding as well, I get your point but how about a KPI that say the team must complete 100% of stories every sprint, feature xyz must be completed by end of Q1

04:06 pm January 12, 2023

 I get your point but how about a KPI that say the team must complete 100% of stories every sprint, feature xyz must be completed by end of Q1

Neither of those would be something I'd accept.  The purpose of the Scrum framework is to help teams be able to adapt to changes quickly while still delivering valuable, usable increments of change.

The Scrum Guide states that during a Sprint, the scope may be clarified and negotiated with the Product Owner as more is learned.  With that being the case, how could you expect the Developers to complete all of the stories that were chosen at Sprint Planning if some of them could be taken out of the Sprint?  The purpose of a Sprint is not to complete all of the items.  It is to satisfy a Sprint Goal.  It is not uncommon that the Sprint Goal can be reached with only a subset of the items in the Sprint Backlog. Having flexibility to adapt based upon new information learned is critical.  For example, what if while working on items in the Sprint Backlog, it is determined that one of the items cannot be completed until newly discovered work is completed.  The Developers may choose to remove that item and replace it with an item that describes the new work needed.  

As for the "feature xyz must be completed by end of Q1" metric, what if during the work the stakeholders come back with some changes in scope based upon new laws that have been established or because they have changed some business practices?  Are you still working on feature xyz or is that now feature qrs? 

The point I'm trying to make is that the Scrum framework is meant to allow teams to change quickly based upon the empirical evidence found while doing work. I would not accept the KPIs you provided.  And as a Scrum Master, whose job is to help everyone in the organization to understand and appreciate the Scrum framework, I would spend some time educating the CEO on how Scrum benefits the company and how their interactions with the Scrum Teams can be best helpful. 

KPI: The teams you work with consistently delivering usable increments each Sprint that the stakeholders find to be valuable

KPI: The organization able to support the empirical nature of Scrum and agile practices

05:43 pm January 12, 2023

Thank you so much @Daniel I would try and engage my CEO, hopefully things would turn out better. 

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