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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

By BJR ·
I am a new (6 mo.) manager of my companies Application Development group. My background is in networking, so I am having problems finding ways to measure my teams productivity. Any helpful hints or suggestions?

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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by olopez In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...

I would suggest meeting with your team to discuss what problems that are being encountered. If you get a lot of feedback you know that they are working and they are half way to completing the project. I also suggest contacting the manufacturer of the product and ask them what items do most businesses have trouble with. In addition try to get some hands on expirience with the application. I know that as manager you are probably being pulled on many different directions all day long. But thebest way to determine if you team is being productive is to keep a eye on their progress. While you work closely with each member of your team you'll discover what their strong points are and who you can rely on to carry on a project in the future. congrats and good luck.

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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by BJR In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...
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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by monaghanj In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...

First a few assumptions:
1. You have multiple people that are working on multiple software development projects.
2. You have internal means to measure labor hours of staff for each project.
3. You have a general software development process whichis followed in one degree or another.
4. You team has a history of small and large projects that productivity/resource data may or may not be collected for. But at worst you have ancetortal information about previous projects.

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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by BJR In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...
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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by monaghanj In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...

First a few assumptions:
1. You have multiple people that are working on multiple software development projects.
2. You have internal means to measure labor hours of staff for each project.
3. You have a general software development process whichis followed in one degree or another.
4. You team has a history of small and large projects that productivity/resource data may or may not be collected for. But at worst you have ancetortal information about previous projects.

The work paradigmof software development is ver much different from the world of networking and you will need to learn it quickly. Unlike networking where the answer is more important than the process ie. "Just get the network up, I don't care how". The process used in creating software will determine its success. As manager your focus must be on the staffing of the teams and the process they use to create software. There are many resources available to learn about the process of developing software. Carnie Mellon Institute wit

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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by BJR In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...
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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by Wayne M. In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...

The short answer is "Don't." Most common measures are worthless, e.g., SLOC/Day (source lines of code per day), or completely subjective.

As a manager, you main tasks are to help remove obstacles to your team's work and effectivley communicate project statuses. If your team or certain members need training is some technology, get it for them. If they need customer info to make some decisions, put them in touch with the customer (this is usually better than you getting the info for them).If a project begins to slip, let management know, and negotiate some alternatives, i.e. delayed delivery, reduced scope, or both.

The vast majority of workers really are trying to do their best. You don't need to measure that. Help remove obstacle that prevent them from achieving their best. Also, some project requests will turn out to be impossible or improbable to meet. Address those issues yourself and keep the stress off of your team.

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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by BJR In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...
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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by edahl In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...

The other posts offere excellent suggestions for the new development manager, but if your problem is that you need demonstrated, measurable productivity over time, then you need to know what to measure.

Fromn my experience within and managing software development groups I suggest you start with the easiest and most useful measure: Deadline/milestones met.

There are many different kinds of dev. teams so you have to get creative in your approach. What you want to do is to work with the team to set many deliverables and milestones in their projects. You want a lot of measurement points and lots of opportunity to check how things are going. You should regularly (weekly?) review progress with the team. And celebrate your successes!
You're not looking for absolute numbers here but ratios of hit and missed targets. And share the stats with the team.

You can also structure this so you're measuring individuals, sub-teams or the entire team depending on what you need to emphasize.

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Measuring Productivity (New Manager)

by BJR In reply to Measuring Productivity (N ...
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