It’s not often enough that I see teams experimenting. Well, that’s not entirely true. Most teams experiment by trying new techniques, by adjusting their process, or simply by trying something different. I’d call these anecdotal experiments, and they’re very valuable. However, it’s not these kinds of experiments that I want to talk about today. I’m focused on quantifiable experiments. Consider it a data-driven approach to analyzing team dynamics or individual behaviors. For me, this was borne from my affinity for the burn down chart. If used as intended, the burn down is simple, it’s useful, and it inspires a team to ask intelligent, focused questions. If my experiments do the same, I’ve succeeded.
Before I begin, I have a confession. I’ve rewritten this blog post several times now. Each time, it gets away from me so I scrap what I wrote and begin again. Why? Simplicity. I kept losing sight of it. Because of this, I’ve adjusted my approach. I intend to write this blog post in some rather broad strokes while my next will contain more context and examples of experiments I’ve run in my teams.
With my first broad stroke, let’s talk about some of the advantages of data-driven experiments: