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Engineering Leader's Guide to Goals and Reporting

Engineering Leader's Guide to Goals and Reporting

Active Improvement Comes From Data-Backed Goal Setting

Key Outcomes

Don’t Start an Improvement Journey Without Charting a Course

Without clear, data-backed goals, companies – regardless of industry vertical, size, or structure – cannot compete. When an engineering team (or entire organization) doesn’t have clear operational and business goals:
Misalignment becomes commonplace
Performance, productivity, and value are diminished
It’s impossible to build a culture of accountability and ownership
Dora Performance

Start with Org-Level OKRs

Goal setting should be done at the highest level first. Compile the most fundamental metrics for your whole organization–DORA metrics, leading indicators, and resourcing allocation are good places to start. Use industry benchmarks to understand your current performance and see how far you have to go. You can then set org-wide goals like Reducing Cycle Time by 10% across all teams.
Performance Predictors

Move to Team-Level Goals

Once you’ve set and communicated organizational goals to engineering managers, they can work with their reports to set team goals that ladder up to org-level OKRs. For example, if the organization wants to improve quality, the team with a higher-than-average CFR should set a goal to reduce it.  Just like the previous step, teams should:
Investigate team metrics
Identify bottlenecks
Set 1 or 2 team-level improvement goals
Importance of AI

Use Dashboards and Automation to Keep Teams Aligned to Goals

Now that everyone is informed of the mission(s) at hand for the org and individual teams, it’s time to (1) build team goals dashboards that all stakeholders have access to and (2) set up automated workflows to help you achieve those goals. Ensure dashboards include all of the metrics you’ve set improvement goals against. And incorporate automation that both reminds teams of goals they’re working toward and removes friction points in the developer pipeline.
Performance Predictors

Reporting on Goals, Successes, and Further Opportunities

The final step is to report progress on improvement initiatives with business leaders and your engineering organization. Be sure to tailor your read out for each audience. For business stakeholders your role is translator– that means putting all your data in terms of relevance to and impact on the business. For engineering stakeholders, feel free to dive into technical details, project operations data, specific branches or PRs that are impacting metrics, and progress against goals. Always remember to celebrate successes and remind your team this is about mentoring, not monitoring. Then you can start the process all over again!

Download The Goals And Reporting Guide


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