Profound Thoughts.

Metric-Centric Management Techniques

I'm a big fan of Management, but working on a remote team, this can be quite a challenge. After all, if you can't look over someone's shoulder all the time, how can you be absolutely certain that they're hard at work building the things you've ordered them to? It's definitely a challenge, but over the years I've fonud some worthwhile solutions.

The key is to treat this like any other engineering problem. The first step is to be able to find something to measure. After all, if you can't measure things, how do you know if you're getting better? We certainly don't want to start relying on subjective measures like how done a developer thinkg a project is, or how happy they are at their work. Even "shipping", that ever-present buzzword, can be misleading if you take it too seriously. What we're trying to get at is real production of software.

I've found the following metrics to be especially helpful for getting at the reality of how productive your team is:

  • Lines of Code Added
  • Lines of Code Deleted (should always be low)
  • Number of Bugs Written -- personal accountability is key!
  • Slack messages sent
  • Mean time to Slack message response (for PMs from me specifically)

I've found this to be a helpful set of metrics to min/max. Once you've got these in good shape, you can be certain that your teams will function like a well-oiled machine!