KillerApps Solutions is a software products and services provider in the banking, cargo, and travel verticals. Product teams in India have been working for the international market during the last two years. Teams have delivered two releases of products in each of the verticals during the last year but there were major quality issues as well as scope reductions that had to be made to achieve timeline goals for each of the product releases.

KillerApps management has implemented Agile/Scrum from the start with an elaborate process to guide the teams on product development and release engineering. Given the challenges associated with rapid ramp-up of teams as well as the lack of a good process culture and discipline, the US Management team has decided to implement a common productivity tracking mechanism across all teams to measure how teams are doing and drive improvements.

The measure the management team has decided to track productivity of teams is Story Points per person per day. In order to ensure uniformity across teams, they have also decided to standardize on story point definition – with 1 SP equals one average programmer day (what an average developer and tester can deliver in terms of functionality working together per day). Teams are asked to size stories using this standard and story points delivered in each iteration and the capacity of the team in person days used to measure the required metric for each iteration for every team. In addition to this defects leaked from one iteration to the next are also tracked to ensure quality is not compromised. These two metrics in addition to the post release defects reported by customers serve as the primary dashboard for management to track how well teams are doing with respect to each other.

  1. What do you see are some of the challenges that the management team is likely to face with implementing this productivity metric? Where do you see this initiative heading?
  2. What would be your recommendations to the management team at KillerApps to deal effectively with productivity goals?