Main KPIs for effective team work

Main KPIs for effective team work

Hello everybody!

My name is Petro and I work in one of the big banks, I will talk about IT management in a big organization. Today, the first topic will be the KPI system for managing teams. I will tell you why KPIs are needed at all, what path our company has taken, and at the end I will reveal the secret of what an ideal KPI system should be.

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KPIs are meaningless and even harmful

Do you need to manage a team?

And as one wise man said:

You can only manage what you can measure.

Since all managers in a large organization are very busy, and they are not very well-versed in IT, they can manage only by looking at some dashboard with numbers and seeing indicators in the “red” zone there. A discerning reader will already understand here that such a manager is not engaged in management, but in control. Well, maybe so, from the point of view of the manager, management/control is necessary to:

  • business goals were achieved on time

  • long-term goals did not fall out of focus

  • IT development costs were minimized

  • all people and resources were busy and no one was idle


As the organization grows, the complexity of managing teams increases and at some point the CEO gives a team to build an IT management system. After several months of thinking, the chief strategist prepares a list of KPIs for the “single dashboard”:

  1. Lead Time

  2. Time-to-market

  3. Frequency of releases

  4. The number of detected bugs on different stands

  5. Autotest coverage

  6. Number of users, DAU, MAU

  7. Number of user requests

  8. and much more

5 minutes flight is normal

Some time will pass and after looking at the excellent dashboard, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will see a lot of numbers for each team, product or division – these are calculated values ​​from our KPI list, and here we also added a comparison with the previous period, a nice coloring, and other sexy infographics , depending on the ambitions of the visualization team. Lost in all these numbers SGD gives the command

I don’t need all these details, count one indicator that will definitely tell if the team is doing well or not.

The next time, only one red, yellow or green number will appear on the dashboard opposite each team. This number is calculated according to the latest methodology, just like Google, Apple, well, somehow:

We make a slide

Having finally found the philosopher’s stone as the main kpi, managers begin to consider the dynamics of team development, compare teams and even employees among themselves. In particularly difficult cases, contests are held for the best team, they are awarded prizes, and they are written about in corporate publications and newsletters.

We’re boarding

The teams soon realized that they were no longer required to develop a new product, they were only required to have GrandKpi values ​​in the green zone. People who wanted to work gradually leave the company or remain in junior positions. Employees who have perfectly mastered the technology of “painting fences”, namely how to maintain accounting systems so that everything in kpi is in order, move their careers upward.

The collapse of all hopes

Since all these employees have gone to other companies, no one can tell the management that the teams have stopped developing a new product, and the managers themselves are not qualified enough to understand this. In the best case, a fresh person will accidentally come to the company and bring to the management the idea that something is going wrong and our motivation system is not working, but in the general case, the company will slowly “water down” until it completely dies.


The most important manager – do not agree to count metrics by teams. Your managers do not understand anything about IT and try to hide it behind a “single dashboard”. Fire them, let them go to their competitors and destroy their business. Hire IT managers, and how to understand which teams are working well and which are not, I will tell you in the next publications.

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