Establishing a stable workflow is the key to building successful and productive teams. A stable workflow helps organizations deliver faster to market and brings greater value to customers.

Why Monitor?

The goals of lean management are to improve the quality of products, eliminate unnecessary waste, reduce production times and reduce total costs.This approach requires constant monitoring and analysis to look for opportunities for improvement. Team effectiveness can be measured by tracking flow, throughput, production pace and quality, monitoring is crucial for determining whether you are implementing the model successfully. The efficiency of a team's workflow is among the most important metrics in Lean management. Tracking precisely your workflow efficiency will show you exactly where your weaknesses are and how they affect your team's results.

Through monitoring and analysis only, you would be able to identify issues hampering delivery or quality and take corrective actions in a timely manner. Thus the visibility and transparency yielded by effective monitoring are invaluable. Proactive monitoring is strongly related to performance and job satisfaction. Collect information on the right services and put that information(notifications, feedback) to improve the system.

How to monitor?

Shift Start-Up/Scrum meeting is a brief gathering that takes place at the primary visual display board. It occurs daily and should be no more than 10 minutes in duration. It is a quick status of the day’s events and priorities. The SSU promotes team communication and alignment and is sometimes referred to as a daily huddle.

Primary Visual Display (PVD) board is a visual representation of the team’s performance, priorities and improvements. This is the focal point for workgroup activities and performance metrics. The idea of the PVD is to show process status in a way that anyone, at a glance, can understand what is going on. The PVD contains metrics such as safety, quality and efficiency, along with other measures directly related to the team’s work.

Flow Efficiency, if one of your software engineers needs 5 days to complete a feature, but spends only one day actively working on it, then the flow efficiency of developing this particular feature is (⅕)*100% = 20%. The goal should be to achieve 100% flow efficiency, that is by eliminating non-value adding time (waiting time, blocked time) to zero.

The visual boards (Scrum/Kanban) like Jira board provide charts to track your flow efficiency. Analyze the issues with the longest waiting times and assess how your flow efficiency historical trends build over time to provide improvement in workflow.

The Flow Efficiency Charts are available on can prove to be very useful when you:

    • Want to calculate and visualize the efficiency of your workflow;

    • Calculate how much a given bottleneck is dragging down your productivity;

    • Calculate how long your tasks are spending actively being worked on vs waiting for someone to take action.

In software development, the quality of delivery can be monitored by the bug or issue tracking tools like Jira, bugzilla etc. The issues identified in each delivery and time taken to resolve them is a good indicator of code quality.

We use CICD tools like Jenkins, CircleCI, AWS CodeBuild, Azure DevOps, Atlassian Bamboo etc they have build, test, and deploy stages. The static code analysis plugins used in these tools provide the details on quality adherence. They have a dashboard to show all the development projects going in the organization with issue/quality details of each codebase. Organizations often use these dashboards at strategic locations in an enterprise to monitor and inculcate quality culture.

Similarly, we use hardware and networking monitoring tools to identify any anomalies and take corrective actions.Even the cloud providers and devops tools have inherent monitoring tools and policies to evaluate certain data parameters and raise alarm or take automated corrective actions based on their monitored key threshold parameters.

Common Pitfalls:

There are some common issues associated with the monitoring of your organization development model and collecting usable data for feedback.

    1. Attitude - Client is paying for development not for evaluation and measurement, monitoring and analysis is a waste of time and money, a lack of fundamental understanding behind impact measurement.

    2. Lack of data - Often organizations data collection is either non-existent or missing robust data strategy. If they are collecting data, often they focus on activity and output data which usually do not align and validate the primary mission and vision of the organization.

    3. Data islands - it is essential that the data collection system is aligned with the theory of change based approach. An overwhelming number of organizations still collect results in MS-Excel, Google Spreadsheets or custom database solution. Without robust data management, organizations create data islands over period time making it difficult to track data.

    4. Lack of Data trust - most reporting data is collected just because of some statutory requirement, etc. without impact & outcome alignment. Thus it is the reason for lack of data trust and perhaps the reason for waste of precious resources.