Mindset Book Cover

We are quickly closing in on the end of our re-read of Mindset.  I anticipate two more weeks (Chapter 8 and a round up).  The next book in the series will be Holacracy.  After my recent interview with Jeff Dalton on Software Process and Measurement Cast 433, I realized that I had only read extracts from Holacracy by Brian J. Robertson, therefore we will read (first time for me).

Today, we review Chapter 7 in Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (buy your copy and read along).  Chapter 7, titled “Parents, Teachers, Coaches: Where Do Mindsets Come From? explores the impact of some of the most intimate and earliest relationships on our mindsets.Understanding how parents, teachers, and coaches affect mindsets helps us learn to lead change. (more…)

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Resources include the tools of the trade and every trade has tools.

Resources include the tools of the trade and every trade has tools.

The simple Measurement Readiness Checklist will be useful for any major measurement initiative, but is tailored toward beginning a measurement program.  The checklist will provide a platform for evaluating and discussing whether you have the resources, plans and organizational attitudes needed to implement a new measurement program or support the program you currently have in place.

I have divided the checklist into three categories: resources, plans, and attitudes.  Each can be leveraged separately. However, using the three components will help you to focus on the big picture. We will address each component separately over the next several days.

Here we continue the resources portion of the checklist:

Cash

Change costs money. Costs can include consultants, training, travel and an odd late-night pizza or two.

7 – A reasonable budget has been established and the implementation team can draw from the budget for planned expenditures.  Emergency funding can be attained to handle issues as they arise.

3 – A reasonable budget has been established and approved; however, access must be requested and justified for all expenditures.

1 – Any time that money is required funding must be requested and approved.

0 – Donations are sought in the organization’s lunchroom on a periodic basis (consider a PayPal donation button on your measurement team’s homepage).

Support Note:  Having the cash to support programs is just as important as having the cash to implement a measurement program.  Where the cash gets spent might be different for a support program.

Effort

Even if you have bales of cash, developing and implementing measurement processes will require effort. Effort will be required from many constituencies including the process-improvement team, management and from the teams being measured, just to name a few.

7 – A reasonable staffing plan has been established and the measurement program is the only project the assigned resources have been committed to.  Dedicated teams make sense for process improvement in software development.

4 – A reasonable staffing plan has been established and the measurement initiative is the highest priority for the assigned resources.

1 – All resources are matrixed to the measurement initiative and they are also assigned to other high priority projects.

0 – The program has access to all the effort needed after 5 PM and before 8 AM and during company holidays.

Support Note:  Dedicated resources might be more important for a program in support mode than even for an implementation project.  The issue is that we (us humans) tend to be distracted by new projects which means paying less attention to the projects in support mode.

Projects

Measurement requires having something to measure and then something to influence.  The organization needs to have a consistent flow of projects so that measurement becomes about the trends rather than about specific projects.

7 – Projects are constantly beginning and ending which will provide a platform for generating a continuous flow of information.

3 – There are numerous projects in the organization; however they typically begin early in the year and end late in the year or on some other periodic basis that makes data collection and reporting erratic.

1 – The organization does only a small number of projects every year making trending difficult.

0 – The organization only does one large project every year.

Support Note:  Like dedicated teams, access to projects to measure is really important to ongoing measurement programs.  Being able to continually generate reports and presentations on the data will help keep the interest stoked.

Calendar Time

Calendar time is a resource that is as important as any other resource. Severe calendar constraints can lead to irrational or bet-the-farm behaviors, which increase risk. This is especially true in big bang implementations (which is a strong reason to avoid such implementations).

7 – The schedule for implementing the measurement is in line with industry norms and includes time for tweaking the required processes before appraising.

3 – The schedule is realistic, but bare bones. Any problems could cause delay.

1 – Expectations have been set that will require a compressed schedule; however, delay will only be career limiting rather than a critical impact on the business.

0 – The measurement program implementation is critical for the organization’s survival and is required on an extremely compressed schedule.

Support Note:  If you are using the checklist to find areas to improve the support of your measurement program, I would drop this question.

Further Note: Also if you have rated this items a ‘0’ I would suggest that you have a very serious issue and should seek consulting support.

Next planning questions . . .