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How well informed are you?

It is fascinating to see in these unusual times of a pandemic, how tracking data and stats has become acceptable and part of every day conversation and life. I ring my mum in Ireland twice a week and we compare Irish to Australia Covid tracking stats, is your graph trending up or down, %age of deaths, how will we flatten the curve, what actions must we take to improve the projection.

So in this day and age, where i can talk with my 70+yr old mum on stats and data trends, why would we think it is acceptable to track large scale agile transformation with opinions only?

Is it possible to track and understand how 400+ people are performing and how can we practically assess if we are on the most cost effective path if we don't have data, stats and trends? Should we pivot? Are we on the right course? Is there a better course? Is the outcome worth the cost?

It is very common for people to state that they are doing large scale agile transformations where the initial premise of 'Being Agile' is 'Act, Measure, Adapt' but no one is actually measuring anything and they still wonder what went wrong and why they couldn't spot the problems sooner.

Using data can drive better decision making, but numbers alone can't paint an entire picture.You still need a person to decide what data to 'listen' to and to assess 'What does it mean'

However, data is naturally superior to people in a number of ways. It can observe more data points, quickly and easily. It is not prone to biases, and can collect and analysis the data consistently and repeatedly. It can also use algorithms to predict the likely ending position and outcome as well as leveraging them for scenario planning.

So using data to inform human decisions is the optimal strategy. The goal of the data is to encourage conversation and critical thinking and analysis. It is intended to help you decide where you should focus. Data will always need to be interpreted, but the intent is to give you a strong foundation for making decisions and helping you understanding your 'truth' on where you are today and your likely outcome.

A pilot would not fly a plane that did not have controls and indicators to help him understand his flight path. He knows they provide key information on when you will arrive, are you safe or in trouble and what action should be performed next. He doesn't follow them blindly, but they are key to a successful flight.

So what do you think, is it time to start tracking data on your large scale agile journey?

Next week, I will help you understand what 'data' you should be tracking

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