KPI was implemented, but they forgot to ask the analyst…

KPI was implemented, but they forgot to ask the analyst…

Mental map by KPI

Introduction

A week ago, I was asked to suggest one labor case at a time.

In some companies, managers (especially those who have moved from sales department heads to IT business managers) do not feed them bread – give people some kind of efficiency plan sales employees to make

And some universities still divide the salary into a basic salary and a premium component. Which naturally can be cut for any convenient or inconvenient occasion.

🏭What, you thought jokes about IT factories are all jokes?

Let’s go to the essence of the case:

As you may have guessed from the introduction, the management of company X is everyone business analysts introduced a bonus in addition to the basic salary.
The amount of the premium was tied to KPIs.
KPI was defined as a metric the number of bugs / change requests after the implementation of the project

I was asked for my thoughts on the topic, and how adequate is this metric, and what other metrics it is possible to invent to at least slightly increase the degree of adequacy in the company.

Before reading the article, study mental map in a hat to get even better into the context of the problem.

I am a person of action, I don’t like to spread demagoguery, because if the situation happened, then you have to draw conclusions and try to solve it.

But to begin with, it is still worth understanding the terms and limitations of our task.

Deadlines

  • Metrics – These are indicators that reflect actual data for the selected period. For example, the number of advertising clicks per week.

  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – indicators that help set goals and evaluate the effectiveness of achieving the required metrics. For example, the goal of achieving “1000 clicks per week” or “CPA up to 500 rubles” can be used as a KPI.

Simply put, a metric is an actual indicator, and a KPI is a specific value of an indicator that can be targeted by a business. Accordingly, each of the metrics can be used to set KPIs.

PS The description is taken from this article.

The main limitation

One cannot help but agree that:
To pull out this or that situation – you need to have a certain weight in the company.
I know that a colleague tried and repeatedly started a conversation on the topic of KPI with managers.

But come on, who will listen to a line specialist – an analyst?

Correct answer: good manager.

But if the company has such an idiotic KPI culture, let’s still add to the limitation that our manager is bad.

Now let’s figure it out:

Why is the culture idiotic and the business analyst has nothing to do with it?

Yes, a business analyst can influence the number of bugs and CR (change request) metrics. But let’s try to think from the other side.

To finalize the product, you need to create its increment.
An increment is usually a feature. Any feature is packaged in the delivery.
And if an error has crept into the delivery, then when placing a bug in Jira, one of your first tasks should be to determine what/who caused it to occur.

WITH important moments:

  1. Bug is always comma responsibility. Because in the case of an unsuccessful deployment on Friday evening, the entire team will get up and analyze what went wrong.

  2. No one will ever prove to me that the bad work of the analyst is 100% the only reason for the appearance of bugs or the creation of CR on the project. This will be very painful for the whole project.

The trick is that it can also go wrong:

  • and the business customer, who made a mistake when forming a new tariff for the service and its target audience;

  • And the developer, who smelled the wrong branches, and his division with stubs left for prod;

  • And the tester, who was too lazy to conduct regression testing, and as a result, their service fell off at neighboring colleagues;

  • And the project manager, who normally did not agree with his colleagues and support about the sequence of delivery implementation. According to the results, someone acted earlier, someone later, and no one understands what the problem is.

So, we received an answer to the question of a colleague from the inquiry:

And how adequate is this metric in relation to the analyst?

Answer: a bug-in-progress metric may be applicable, but only if it is also tied to all team members. And in particular to a business customer.

A business analyst is not the person on the team who is solely responsible for pressing the “DEPLOY” button and is responsible for everything that happens after.

He is and should be responsible for this Team.

Now let’s smoothly move on to the next question:

And what metrics can be tied to the business analyst’s KPI?

I would start from several directions. And you can attach your metric to each direction:

  1. Analyst and Business processes

    The business customer also has several key areas where he should prove himself, namely:

    • making money by developing or creating a new business process

    • increasing the efficiency of the business process

    • cutting the bones to service the business process

Usually, during the implementation of any project or product introduction, we receive business value in one of these areas. And maybe even several.
And the task of a business analyst help the business customer to formalize the approach to the implementation of these projects through requirements gathering and business modeling.

Accordingly, one way or another, a business analyst affects on how much money the business will make, how efficiently the new business process will work, and so on.

Therefore, I would play around with linking typical business metrics (here you can briefly read about them) to the KPI of not only the customer, but also the business analyst.
My hypothesis is that the analyst’s involvement in business analysis will be increased if he understands that with this project he brings the company money. And his salary depends on this money.
That is why the project in the head of the analyst should not end immediately after fixing all business requirements and transferring them to the development or system analyst.

PS Yes, you can argue with me on the topic that money is more about a financial analyst / consulting. And you will be right!
But still, we know how broad the role of an analyst is on a project.
And I have seen such cases when business analysts were widely immersed not only in the construction of business processes, but also in the economics of the product, calculation of service tariffs, and so on.
Therefore, the metrics should be selected and tested according to the hypothesis, and not the other way around. Thereby pulling the owl on the globe.

2. Analyst and People

Here the metric is quite simple, but no less effective.
And that CSI.

This metric is included in my personal top for evaluating the effectiveness of products, services, and even employees.
You can read about this metric here.

After reading the article, you will say – but there was talk about product metrics? Why is the analyst here?

The fact is that the calculation of CSI usually occurs through surveys.
And in this case, CSI can be implemented through feedback collection those people who interacted with the analyst throughout the project.

By asking the right questions, you can determine the analyst’s impact on the project, as well as its effectiveness. And then include this assessment of the KPI of the employee.

3.. Analyst and Software Development Cycle

Here I will say honestly that in this point you can leave room for fantasies.
Write in the comments which metric you yourself would suggest to enter.

For my part, I will leave a few metrics that seem to work well when tied to KPIs.

Disclaimer: describing each metric, I specifically do not indicate its specific weight in the KPI. Such a model must be built by the manager, and it can change and evolve from project to project.
So this whole story with metrics ONLY works through construction of hypotheses and their verification.

Let’s go back to the metrics:

  • Project assessment: There is always an assessment of the project stage by an analyst before the start of the project, there are actual implementation deadlines. The quality of the analyst’s forecast and assessment of his work can be included as a performance metric in the KPI

  • Bugs: Yes, this metric is currently the baseline in my colleague’s situation, but as we discussed above, it is not ideal. The reason for each bug must be clearly communicated to the team. Because the responsibility for the product is the team’s, yes. But responsibility for personal shoals should always be personal. The number of bugs with the target reason type “Flaw in analysis” can already be used as a metric.

    Fixing the root cause of the bug is normal. And you can implement this through a separate field in the Jira ticket.
    Call it “Reason of failure” and then make a list of possible values ​​in the form of “Flaw in analysis”, “Flaw during development”, “Infrastructure failure”, etc.
    At the same time, there is no need to hit anyone on the hands! Bugs need to be analyzed, fixed and learned from. And to learn not one person personally, but the ENTIRE team.

Best practice

When I was an intern at Alfa Bank, I was always told: criticize – suggest. Therefore, below I will share with you the KPI practice that seemed to me suitable and working. It was used in the nuclear team of Alfa Bank 4 years ago, now everything is possible in a different way.

I can’t remember the exact formula, but the concept was as follows:

  • You have 3-4 quarterly goals. Each goal is your task/project/side activity. Each goal also has a weight in %.

  • If you achieve all goals, then your KPI is conditionally 100.

  • Next, this KPI was multiplied by the coefficient of your management (how well the entire management worked). In numbers, it was something like 0.9 – 1.1.

  • Then there was a multiplication by the value factor (1-1.1), which was set by the team leader himself (there were 20 people in the team). Thus, the distribution of the bonus was regulated not only by the % completion of your projects, but by the real (aka subjective) value of what you generally do in the team. And in our case, the expert opinion of the manager was always there justified and fairand no one complained.

  • That is, we did not have such a restriction as in the article (about a bad manager).

Accordingly, you received a bonus depending on your grade, multiplied by the KPI indicator. Which could be 0, or could be 1.2.

The scheme really worked. But it was a fat 2018.
After February 2019 and COVID, the management ratio fell sharply, and for two consecutive quarters, the premium came to everyone cut by almost half.
But this was not a problem of the bonus scheme. Business was hurting all over the country, and everyone missed the prize last.

Conclusion

It seems that within the framework of this article I managed to answer the question of a colleague and propose a number of metrics for testing that can work in evaluating the effectiveness of a business analyst.
In addition, I shared with you the best practice of bonus schemes in Alpha.

But the most important point is probably that if your situation and system do not change, and your bonus continues to depend on the mindset of the “seller” in the head of your manager – run away from this place 🙂

Save your nerves, save money and look for a company with a reward system fair.
But of course, do not forget that you should always be guided by the salary, and not the bonus when choosing a job – with this part, you are very unlikely to be fired.

Good luck!


PS You can find more life stories about analysts of all stripes on my TG channel https://t.me/godnolytika.

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