Agile metrics: Evidence Based Management (EBM) and Objectives and Key Results (OKR) create Flow. EBM + OKR = Flow.

What can we measure?

Measure everything you can measure! With the immediate remark that you do not use all data immediately. Collecting a lot of data is okay, but please do targeted improvements. Focus!

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

OKRs mainly focus on output and activities. These measurements and associated improvement agreements are good for improving process flow (Lean flow - figure 1) and for getting into a flow as a person (personal flow - figure 2). Think of measuring cycle time (how long does an activity take), lead time (total turnaround time) and takt time (rhythm) or WIP (work in progress) and velocity (quantities per time unit). These measurements involve a challenge to optimize by, for example, eliminating waste.

  • Five successful improvement actions per month,
  • 20% reduction of the findings from the acceptance test this sprint,
  • an increase of 5 storypoint in the velocity of the next sprint,
  • decrease to an average of 10 in the number of outstanding issues before 1 May,
  • halving the resolution time of outstanding problems within 2 months.

Evidence Based Management (EBM)

EBM * focuses on outcome and added value (instead of output). In organizations where Agile methods and frameworks are used, “value driven” choices are made. So if you want something different or something extra, you must immediately indicate what is less important and what you may want to drop. So prioritize!
The use of EBM helps by linking OKRs mainly to value. Four Key Value Areas (KVAs) have been defined for this.

  • CV Employee morale: a score of 4 on a scale of 5 for the team happiness by taking more time for each other during the next 2 sprints,
  • CV Stakeholder satisfaction: a higher Net Promoter Score (NPS) compared to last quarter,
  • UV new customers: a higher percentage of new customers vs existing customers this half year,
  • UV market share trends: a 2% growing market share in the next 3 months,
  • A2I new experiments: a 10% higher number of newly tried initiatives these 2 sprints,
  • A2I continuous improvement: 20% of the available time usefully spent on improvements from now on,
  • T2M Recovery Time: a 30% decrease in recovery time after MTTR error,
  • T2M Lean waste reduction: 20% more efficient and effective production in the coming six months.

EBM + OKR = Flow

Where OKRs do not offer a holistic perspective on product management and delivery performance, EBM’s Key Value Areas offer a balanced perspective of both customer and internal factors. Factors that support improvement that are badly needed in this time of disruptive change. By using OKRs in combination with EBM, it becomes clear to everyone who contributes what is expected and how we can deliver more value to the organization together. The combination of EBM and OKR creates flow, both in the process (figure 1 - Lean) and in the people (figure 2 - Personal flow). "Be SMART!".

Measurements by Ctrl Improve

Our slogan is: “What is not controlled cannot be improved”. Ctrl Improve as an organization stands for measuring, controlling and improving.
In addition to EBM and OKRs, at Ctrl Improve we also use assessments to measure the maturity of teams or organizational units. These are then focused on Lean and Agile values. You can also contact us for individual assessments to determine personal development points and goals. In this way we do everything we can to help create Flow.



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Richard Hoedeman

Richard Hoedeman


Accredited trainer / coach for Lean-IT, DevOps, PRINCE2, Agile PM, PRINCE2 Agile, OBM en Scrum.