As an engineering team lead, I spent countless hours pouring over data points, spreadsheets, and graphs in search of the perfect set of metrics to measure our team’s success.

I’ve scrutinised burndown charts, velocity reports, and defect density metrics, searching for insights that will help us deliver more value to our customers in less time. But as a member of the development team, I’ve also experienced the frustration of being reduced to a set of numbers, and the pressure to meet arbitrary targets that don’t necessarily reflect the reality of our work. During this talk we’ll examine how an over-reliance on metrics can be exploited by both developers and managers for status, power and $$$$. And for the less cynical, how a sensible approach to measuring things can actually make a team work better.