Skip to main content

Our Measures

Measures we recommend for improving projects

3E Model

3E stands for discover (entdecken), conquer(erobern) and reach (erreichen). Goals must first be discovered, then conquered and finally achieved. Discovering and conquering goals can only be done by understanding your customers and testing solutions with them. Discovering, conquering and achieving is ideally mapped with short, medium and long-term goals.

Top

5 Why Method

The 5-Why method helps to determine the cause and effect. The goal is to identify the root cause of the problem by questioning the problem five times.

Top

Accept errors

Faults are part of our work. Faults are most likely to be avoided if everyone can talk about them freely and openly. In this way, errors can be recognized and corrected quickly and others can learn from them. Accepting errors should be exemplified by management and by everyone.

Top

Analysis of the Innovation Cycle

The innovation cycle describes the public perception of new technologies in phases. Here the short-term effects are overestimated and the long-term effects are underestimated. The five typical phases of a technological hype are: 1) the technological trigger 2) the peak of exaggerated expectations 3) the valley of disappointments 4) the path of enlightenment 5) the plateau of productivity

Top

Analysis of the dependencies between projects

If several projects are working on a common customer target or value stream, they should be organised in such a way that each project has maximum capability to act on its own. Dependencies between projects should be avoided if possible. Ideally, the individual projects should be organized vertical, which means that they are solely responsible for the entire depth of value creation of a part. In this way, dependencies are avoided through interfaces and teams are interdisciplinary.

Top

Backlog

All upcoming tasks, requirements and features for a solution and for the team are collected in the product backlog. The quality of the backlog is measured by the following properties: 1) Prioritization: Are the entries prioritized according to their urgency and importance? 2) Detailing: Are the entries sufficiently detailed according to their priority and do they describe the "what" and not the "how"? 3) Estimate: Is the effort estimated and the total scope known? 4) Amount: Is a sufficiently large worklist described in quality? A backlog must be continuously edited, updated and detailed. If there is insufficient capacity for this, the team comes to a standstill or works ineffectively.

Top

Business Case Definition

A business case represents the scenarios of a project. The financial and strategic effects of a project are shown. The core is the financial consideration of cost and revenue. In the case of internal projects, the revenue side can often only be recorded indirectly. Savings, gaining market share or other effects can also be included here. However, strategic aspects such as risks or benefits should also flow into a business case.

Top

Business Process Analysis

The business process describes the sequence of individual steps of a solution. Only those who know them can correctly define their data models, recognize the actual business potential and can also implement the error cases in their business model properly.

Top

Competitive Analysis

The aim of the competitive analysis is to assess the performance of various companies in a defined market. The analysis can take place in different dimensions. Examples are: strengths and weaknesses, functions, customers and market position. The competition analysis helps to define the own unique selling proposition, the customer groups and the essential functions.

Top

Component Business

Using components means incorporating or using existing solutions, products and services in your own products. With components, solutions can usually be created faster, better and also cheaper. Nevertheless, benefits, costs and your own core competency must be weighed up before use.

Top

Creation of a Growth Strategy

Expansion is not an end in itself. Accordingly, when expanding, as with any strategic decision, the first question is why. Once the why has been clarified, concrete goals must be defined. The expansion goals are treated in the same way as the other project goals. An expansion tendency results from the goals. Every project has a tendency to expand. This is an indicator of how quickly and in which direction a project or program is expanding: The growth index is made up of three areas: 1) Product growth: To what extent should the product grow. Are new product areas and even a product family planned? 2) Customer growth: How many new customers do I want to win for my product or solution and in what time. 3) The spatial growth: In which regions and markets and in what complexity should my product expand and when.

Top

Critical Success Factor Analysis for Growth

Growth consists of two dimensions, a strategic and an operational. For strategic planning, it is necessary to analyze what supports and what hinders success. Only with this analysis growth can succeed.

Top

Cross-functional teams

Cross-functional means that many, ideally all, of the skills needed to create the solution are represented in one team. In this way, tasks can be solved faster, better and more effectively, as everyone can work on the topic in a targeted manner and with in-depth knowledge. People who work on the topic, but who do not work directly in the team, usually do not know the goals, the current challenges and the customer benefit as well as they are not part of the daily learning and improvement process. Other advantages of cross-functional teams are that they communicate directly with each other, build mutual trust and understanding and share knowledge across departments.

Top

Customer Integration

The earlier and deeper a customer can be integrated into a project, the more likelihood the solution will be real benefit for the customer. There are various options for integration.

Top

Customer Relationship Model

Customer relationships are multi-dimensional. A customer has several roles. He can be a pure user. But he can also actively contribute, in the form of data, sales services, as a testimonial and much more. Those who understand their customers with their needs build solutions that inspire customers.

Top

Customers Problem Analysis

A customer problem seems to be found quickly. But the problem can only be identified and understood with an exact analysis. Customer interviews is a basis of a proper customer problem analysis.

Top

Daily Standup

The Daily Standup Meeting is a short, ideally daily status meeting of the team. It should be max. 15 minutes. Participants are all team members. The appointment is more effective when everyone is personally on site. Important topics or developments in the project context can be mentioned first. Then it goes in turn and everyone reports what he has done since the daily standup, what he plans until the next appointment and where his work is impeded (impediment). The impediments are collected and a solution is immediately found or a responsible person is named to find the solution.

Top

Definition Role of Sponsor

The project sponsor is the driver of the project. He is passionate about getting the solution and has at least helped shape the product vision. Every project needs a sponsor. He supports the project, is ideally well networked and has a certain influence. He is a sparring partner for the project, criticizes, makes suggestions for improvement and opens doors. If the role of the sponsor is not sufficiently filled, a sponsor should be found or motivated. Only if this is not possible should an alternative internal cast of the role should be considered.

Top

Definition of Meeting Rules

Ideally, an agile project has few meetings. Effective dates are: 1) A daily stand-up 2) A weekly retrospective 3) Regular workshops in order to synchronize and develop. If an appointment is needed, the frequency should first be checked. Does it really have to be a permanent regular appointment? Rules for appointments should be agreed in the team. Examples: 1) Invite only required participants 2) No appointment without an agenda 3) Every appointment must be prepared 4) Start on time 5) Respectful execution (let finish, active participation, only technical discussions) 6) Document decisions and tasks properly and process them follow up

Top

Definition of a Roadmap

A roadmap shows how the solution is planned to develop in phases over a period of time. A good roadmap is based less on the functional presentation and more on the strategic one. If the approach is planned and visualized in a strategic roadmap, the forces can be concentrated on the current strategic goal in each phase without losing control of subsequent, larger goals.

Top

Documentation Standards

Documentation kills head monoples, i.e. people who become indispensable in the project, disappear. The team as a whole gets stronger, so it gets the strength and power to act more independently. Knowledge is democratized. Team members do not have to stay in the project “for life”, they can switch more dynamically. The team is becoming more robust. Documentation should always be so good that everyone in the team can be replaced. Legal and organizational requirements such as data protection guidelines to be taken into account when creating the documentation.

Top

Edit overall assessment result

Use this measure to record the overall result of the analysis.

Top

Flexibility

Flexibility means being open to change. Changes are desired in an agile culture. It is good and important to have a plan. However, if new insights emerge or there are other plausible reasons, you should change your plan. Drivers of change are in particular: Concrete customer demand, measured KPIs, changes in the market or competition and new insights. If you do not know the new way, assumptions are a good support. The team makes hypotheses and describes how to validate or disprove them as quickly as possible. This guides you the new way.

Top

Fuck-ups

Give failures a space. E.g. via a fixed ritual where everyone gets together and talks openly about failures. The more open and bigger the failures, the more the contribution should be celebrated. Every known mistake can be avoided in the future and thus represents a great value for a company.

Top

Get Decisions

Every team needs decisions that cannot be made within the team. This can be decisions by the sponsor, the management, affected areas or other decision-makers. To force decisions have in mind: A clear formulation of the decision need, a clear naming of the decision-maker, an explanation of the effects (also for getting no decision) and a target date. If decisions are often not made or are made insufficiently, there will be a structural problem. In this case, you should look for allies (e.g. the sponsor or other teams) and demand changes in the decision-making process.

Top

Hypotheses and Test Cards

Whenever you create a solution for a customer, you should work with hypotheses. Hypotheses describe expected customer behavior. The fast, practical testing of hypotheses helps to make the right decisions and to avoid conflicts in the team about different alternatives.

Top

Impediment Management

Everything that hinders in daily work is an impediment. Ideally, these are brought up in the Daily Standup. Impediments, for which there is no immediate solution, must be handed over to a person and the implementation must be tracked. If problems are not resolved permanently, too slowly or poorly, there is usually an organizational problem. This needs to be found and solved: Often access to third parties and decision-making competence is missing or there are conflicts with objectives, priorities or interests with related projects and organizational units.

Top

Improvement in internal decision management

Ideally, agile teams are self-organized, so they decide themselves that they achieve the goals set within the given framework. There are various options for team decision-making (in particular coordination, discourse, consensus or decision with veto).

Top

Improvement of Scrum

Scrum is a simple method. But it only works if the essential elements are introduced and applied in daily work.

Top

Improvement of external decision management

If decisions outside the team have to be requested, they should be clearly formulated (what has to be decided, why has to be decided, alternatives, consequences, benefits, costs, opportunities, risks). If decisions take too long in the long run, there is usually a structural problem in the organization. Projects themselves usually cannot solve this. Changes in the corresponding organization must be requested here. The sponsor should support here.

Top

Issue resolution

Errors should be corrected quickly. In particular, every task must be subjected to quality assurance before it is considered completed. In addition, each project needs its own quality management plan.

Top

Journey maps

Journey maps represent the individual steps of the customer through a solution. For each step in the journey, aspects are collected that help to understand the customer and his motivation. These can be: goals, emotions, needs, obstacles, information channels, interactions and other goal-oriented aspects. The customers journey should ideally start well before the actual interaction with the solution and also ends afterwards. This is the best way to really understand the customer. A journey map is ideally created for a specific persona.

Top

KPI Monitoring

Measurable goals are a key driver of success. Their current achievement should be presented transparently for the team and all relevant stakeholders. If performance indicators can be recorded automatically, highly current, otherwise they should be recorded and visualized in a defined cycle. Use historical comparison and trends. Decisions can thus be made on an objective basis.

Top

Knowledge and Learning Management

Knowledge management describes all strategic and operational activities to collect knowledge and make it available. In the project context, this means making all experiences made in the team and in the environment accessible to everyone at the right time. The most important building blocks are orderly communication and knowledge storage. So there should be a place where experiences can be shared, e.g. in the daily stand-up. And it needs a place where knowledge can be put in writing, e.g. in a project wiki. Ideally in a way that you can find it again.

Top

Lessons Learned

Every organization should find a way to share experiences, successes and general obstacles and problems especially between team boundaries.

Top

MVP

An MVP is a first solution in a minimal expansion stage but with real value for the customer. The MVP helps to test the customer promise in front of customers before the actual solution is created. The MVP shows how and whether customers use the solution. MVPs prevent unnecessary work and avoid unnecessary costs.

Top

Market Studies

Market studies are part of the market analysis. They provide a systematic analysis of market data for certain markets at a specific point in time. Market studies can be created yourself, but mostly there are already studies that can be used. Companies often also have their own experts or departments that can be used.

Top

Market Trend Analysis

A market trend analysis examines the developments in the market environment. It helps to define the business potential and the corporate or product strategy. In particular, market data and market trends are analyzed and evaluated.

Top

Market and Industry Standards

Every market and every branch have their standards. These can be standard procedures or models, or customer expectations. Among other things, they can be of a technical, legal or organizational nature. You don't necessarily have to follow the standards with your solution. You can also consciously break them. But you should know them in order to be able to demonstrate the advantages of you solution or to ensure the compatibility of your solution.

Top

Multi-variant Tests

Multi-variant tests (also A / B tests or split tests) compare the results of different variants of a solution. The tests can be carried out in the actual solution in normal operation or in advance with prototypes or preliminary versions. For a test, the measurement criteria are defined beforehand and after the test the results of the variants are compared. They help to make decisions based on real customer behavior and not based on assumptions or guesswork.

Top

OKRs

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are an effective method to define goals and to advance and measure their achievement in steps. Measurable key results are assigned to each objective. Successes are measured at regular intervals and new OKR defined. Goals are quasi points on a map and key results the measuring scale on the way there. Initiatives can be added to the methodology. These are activities to achieve a key result. Goals should be formulated desirable, key results sporty, but feasible.

Top

Open Business

Open business means opening up to others. The value of a solution is usually not to have the secret ingredient, but to network. To open up means to gain new partners and new potential. Adding partners also means focusing on your core competence.

Top

Open working culture

An open working culture is characterized by open and transparent communication. Teams organize themselves largely independently, problems are addressed openly and everyone seeks solutions together. Teams work independently and largely autonomously. The management sees itself as part of the team and provides support through the servant-leadership approach without overruling the decisions of the team. However, an open work culture also means that teams are responsible for their own performance and for achieving their goals. Open also means communicating successes, goals and plans clearly and transparently within the company.

Top

Optimise Feedback Culture

Everyone in the team should know that feedback is a gift. Feedback provides a comparison between the self-image and the external image of the feedback giver. Feedback can be positive, but also negative. If you give yourself critical feedback, the feedback provider should observe the following basic rules:
Clarify that you are only presenting your own point of view
Remain objective and in the situation, do not generalize
Submit criticism privately
Combine expectations with positive consequences
Choosing the right moment
Be open to feedback Of course, positive feedback is always welcome. But it should be appropriate to the situation and not exaggerated, otherwise it will be unbelievable.

Top

Optimise Task Assignment

Tasks should always be assigned to the people who have the appropriate qualifications, motivation and time. This simple rule is often forgotten. Address the topic in a team and find a way for you, how you can organize the assignment of tasks and how everyone can find and implement suitable tasks according to their motivation and qualifications. The assignment of tasks should always be a decision of the implementing person and not the management. Find a solution that appeals to everyone. Also ensure that everyone has a similar workload.

Top

Optimise ask management

As projects become productive, the list of tasks grows. Tasks can come from different directions, e.g. new features and ideas, errors, but also administrative tasks, customer requests and much more. This is where central task management helps, ideally with an integrated process management tool. The various tasks should then have different types (eg tasks, errors and stories. If the tasks are prioritized and accessible to everyone, the overview will not go lost. It is also helpful to have only one list and not others on notes or task lists.

Top

Partner Analysis

Everyone in the team should know that feedback is a gift. Feedback provides a comparison between the self-image and the external image of the feedback giver. Feedback can be positive, but also negative. If you give yourself critical feedback, the feedback provider should observe the following basic rules: 1) Clarify that you are only presenting your own point of view 2) Remain objective and in the situation, do not generalize 3) Submit criticism privately 4) Combine expectations with positive consequences 5) Choosing the right moment 6) Be open to feedback Of course, positive feedback is always welcome. But it should be appropriate to the situation and not exaggerated, otherwise it will be unbelievable.

Top

Partner Strategy

For a partner analysis, it should first be clarified what the objectives are. Then you can analyze how far the partners fit to the given objectives. You can group the partnerships. The main groups are: 1) Sales partners help to market and distribute the product. 2) Service partners provide additional services to the product and are therefore often direct or indirect sales partners. 3) Technology and innovation partners bring in missing and complementary know-how and additional necessary products. 4) Cooperation partners support topics outside of your own core business. 5) Content partners can provide content for upgrading the product or are interested in the content of your project. 6) University and research partners can help with existing knowledge or build up specific knowledge. 7) Political and interest partners give power and influence. 8) Media partners help to generate attention. 9) Network partners are people who are well networked within a field or an industry and who open doors. 10) Capital partners bring capital into the project.

Top

Personas

A persona is a description of a person about his essential characteristics. It is the personalization of a target group and helps to make assumptions about customers. Properties are e.g. name, photo, place of residence, résumé, marital status, age, income, education, skills, attitudes and hobbies. Personas help to adapt solutions to specific customer requirements and to keep the customer in focus.

Top

Product Vision

A product vision clearly and motivatingly defines why a solution is created. It should be emotional, so that it drives every team member out of bed in the morning to push the solution ahead. But it should also be well-founded and clarify the target group, their needs and the advantages. There are different methods for creating, e.g. via a concise description of the product idea (elevator pitch) or a fictitious product customer rating, press release or product packaging. The project sponsor should work out the product vision with the team.

Top

Project Organisation

Your project does not seem to be well organised. You should take this feedback seriously, because it is an important indicator. The reasons are many and varied. Talk about how you can better organise yourself as a team. Ideally do a team retrospective and find out where exactly you need to get better organised.

Top

Pulse Meetings

Pulse meetings are regular, ideally weekly, meetings where representatives from all teams and areas of a program or organization come together to discuss progress and issues of the week. Each team should be given a maximum of five minutes to present. Problems for which no solution is found in that time are discussed after the appointment in a small round with representatives of all involved areas.
Effectively conducted, these appointments provide everyone involved with an overview of the status and problems are solved quickly because everyone is on the spot.

Top

Qualitative interviews

With qualitative interviews you get to know the customer. The interviews are about understanding the customer as a person and his motivation, worries, problems, needs, product wishes, expectations, preferences and the job to be done. The interviews are about understanding and empathy. Ideally, the goals, values and motives of the user are determined.

Top

Quality Management

Quality is the degree of compliance with requirements. This means that for proper quality management, the quality requirements must first be defined in the task description. In an agile context, this works very well with acceptance criteria that clearly describe the desired and undesired result. In quality assurance, the result must be checked against the acceptance criteria and general quality criteria after creation. What, how and by whom exactly has to be checked and tested is very individual depending on the project and should be defined in a test concept or a quality management plan.

Top

Resource clarification: Manpower

If the team does not have adequate staff, the desired goals cannot be achieved. If there are deficits here, it is worth analyzing whether there is a lack of quantity or lack of qualifications. Human resource problems are ideally solved with transparency. Scenarios help you make decisions. An agile team should clearly show what can be achieved by when in the existing team strength. If a team has built trust, the relevant stakeholders will follow the given recommendation.

Top

Resource clarification: Work Equipment

Every project needs tools. If these are not available in the required quality and quantity, there is a loss of productivity. Often tools cannot be provided in the desired time and quantity. Sometimes there is no uniform opinion of what the best tools are. Problems with work equipment like to lead to crises. Accordingly, problems should be discussed openly and solutions should be sought together, ideally together with the project sponsor and other participants. Conflicts often result from a lack of knowledge by individuals.

Top

Retrospectives

Retrospectives are the best way to continuously improve teams. These are team meetings that ideally should take place weekly, but at least every three weeks. In a retrospective, all team members look back together and evaluate what went well and what went bad. They also analyze why things were good or bad so as to define measures for improvement. The measures should be chosen so that they can be implemented until the next retrospective.

Top

Risk Management

Risk management is the supreme discipline of project management. The project risks are identified, analyzed and assessed here. The assessment is carried out in two dimensions: probability of occurrence (unlikely - often) and extent of damage (insignificant - catastrophic). Risk management should take place regularly and measures should be defined and tracked for the main risks. The group of participants should be chosen carefully. The project sponsor and at least representatives of all project roles should participate. Risk management is also important in agile projects because external influences can have a massive impact on the assumptions made.

Top

Role Descriptions

The larger a project and its environment, the more important role descriptions become. A team member usually has one or more roles. The role descriptions essentially define the responsibilities of the roles. If necessary, further aspects can be described, e.g. the need for qualifications. Roles give the team members orientation and clarity about who is responsible for what. Standard roles, such as Product Owner, should be taken over 1: 1 if possible, otherwise there will always be confusion.

Top

Service Design

Service Design is used to analyze and optimize the experience of services and products. Service Design is consistently thought of from the customer's point of view. The aim is to understand the customer's needs, to map them and to exceed them if possible. When designing the service, the customer is integrated as deeply as possible. Service design is carried out in an interdisciplinary manner with all available competencies in order to merge processes, products and technologies into a holistic solution.

Top

Shared Services

Shared services are supporting services for teams that can be used when needed. Provision is always appropriate when the demand for these services from one team alone is not continuous and/or extensive enough to keep people busy (e.g. for legal issues) or when they are cross-cutting, also for other teams (e.g. the creation of design guidelines). To ensure maximum support, shared services should be dedicated to the teams and not be the responsibility of an external department with its own interests.

Top

Stakeholder Analysis

The stakeholder analysis gathers all groups of people who can influence the project or are affected by it. If all stakeholders are known, they can be evaluated in a 2x2 matrix according to their influence and interest in the project. Stakeholders can act consciously and unconsciously and have a positive or negative influence. The actions of people and groups can be better understood through stakeholder analysis. Optimization measures, such as integration or proactive communication, help improve relationships.

Top

Steering Framework

Every agile project needs a steering framework. The framework can be customized to the needs of the project. The rules and roles must be clear to everyone involved.

Top

Structured work according to working methodology

Every agile project needs a steering framework. The framework can be customized to the needs of the project. The rules and roles must be clear to everyone involved.

Top

Target Group Analysis

A target group is a group of people you want to reach with your solution or actions (such as marketing). It is important that the people in the target group are as homogeneous as possible. Target groups help to understand markets, to define and address customer potential. Defining your own target group is important in order to understand your customers. Personas help with the actual development of solutions, so that typical representatives of the target group can be seen.

Top

Task and Issue Aanagement

Every project needs proper task and process management. Since there are different types of tasks and processes, a management tool is almost always the best choice. Task and process management means to manage all tasks in a structured way, to prioritize them, to plan and to implement them at the right time by the most suitable people according to the defined work process. Task and process management must provide the planning views required for the selected control method and, ideally, also have additional dashboards to keep track of them.

Top

Team Development

Team development is a generic term for improving teamwork, efficiency and team spirit. Aspects of team development are: 1) Improvement of communication 2) Clarification of roles and responsibilities 3) Development and improvement of work structures and processes 4) Promotion of the social structure and social skills 5) Conflict resolution 6) Problem-solving on a factual and relationship level 7) Optimizing interfaces with other teams and areas.

Top

Team Motivation

Motivated teams are more successful and effective. Every team and every company is different. Nevertheless, there are essential drivers for motivated teams. These are:
a management that exemplifies what it expects
clear, challenging and desirable goals with which everyone can identify
acting in a self-responsible manner
interesting, challenging tasks
opportunities for personal development
backing and support of the teams by team leaders and project sponsors
continuous disclosure and solving of problems in the team

Top

Team Planning Meetings

In team planning meetings (e.g., SAFe PI planning), the requirements, plans, and objectives of teams in a program or value stream are regularly presented, shared, and aligned. This synchronizes activities and creates a common understanding of the overall product and the problems and successes.

Top

Team Qualification

The qualification describes the professional competence and key qualification to accomplish the upcoming tasks. In case of deficits, the tasks do not match the qualifications of individual team members. There can be two reasons for this: a skills deficit or an incorrect allocation of tasks. A qualification analysis is worthwhile: Which qualifications are required and which are available. For the deficits, measures should be worked out together with the team. If the tasks are allocated incorrectly, either the proportion of corresponding qualifications is incorrect or the process of assignment has changed. It is easiest if everyone takes the tasks that fit their qualifications.

Top

Team Rotation

Rotating team members stimulate team dynamics, provide new impulses and new structures. Radiation also increases productivity. If a project has multiple teams, team rotation is a plus. When team members rotate according to certain rules in the teams, the positive elements such as know-how and best practices are usually distributed among the teams.

Top

Team Synchronization

If several projects work in parallel on related and conditional solutions in one program, permanent team synchronization is important. The minimum of synchronization is mutual knowledge of task planning. It is better to carry out sync workshops regularly so that people and working methods are synchronized.

Top

Tracking of Measures

Projects often have no knowledge problem but an implementation problem. Therefore, all identified measures should be collected properly and their implementation should be tracked. Best in a task management system. Rather implement fewer measures, but be binding.

Top

USP Analysis

The USP is the unique selling point that makes your own solution special. The USP must be worked out clearly and be clear to all team members. This is the only way to create a solution that is really unique.

Top

User Tests

User tests are the simplest form of customer and user involvement. Here users can test the solution in a pre-release version. To do this, it must first be clarified what should be tested. Function, usability, integration capability, design and more can be tested. It is important to choose the testers according to the desired prior knowledge and suitable for the target group, to prepare the tests well and to record all results properly so that all errors, improvements and findings can be processed in a structured manner afterwards.

Top

Value Proposition Chain Analysis

With the Value Proposition Chain, customer relationships and value propositions can be explored and described, especially in the context of solutions in a B2B context. B2B solutions often have several customers who are in relationships with each other and decisions often cannot be made by one person alone. In addition to the user, purchasing, further departments as well as experts are often involved

Top