This blog post is based on my experience with 4DX (4 Disciplines of Execution) framework (check this blog post if you are new to 4DX). Today we will look at the role the scoreboard plays in the process.
First things first – what do I mean by “scoreboard”? I will answer with a question: have you ever heard of “information radiators”? Their job is to inform you about some important information about projects (even if you do not want to know). Usually they are visual-based (e.g. a big screen with build status or a lava lamp turning red when there is some issue on production) but not necessarily (e.g. cantine bell telling you that a dinner is ready). Their common properties: they are hard to miss & they inform about something important.
The scoreboard fits nicely into this category as we will soon see.
Out of sight, out of mind
The first gain of having a scoreboard is that it reminds you constantly about your WIG. So you better keep it well visible. If it goes out of sight other urgent matters will come into play and you’ll start working on them forgetting about the WIG.
Are we winning?
The main purpose of the scoreboard is that you can tell at a glance whether you win or lose. No head scratching or any computations needed – you take a look and you know instantly.
Some sport scoreboards have this property. For example:
Another example is a burndown chart used by many Scrum teams. At any given moment you can see instantly whether you are above the trend line (losing) or below the trend line (winning):
Your scoreboard might look differently from any other in the world, but it has to show clearly whether you win the game or you lose it.
Give it all you’ve got!
Have you ever played card game without any prize or penalty? Not very exciting, right? But once you decide to play for some tokens (even valueless but something you can gain or lose), the game changes instantly. You start to care more.
And this is what happens when you have a scoreboard. The team knows the game is for real. The team realizes that what they do impacts the result of the game (the WIG). And this a real game-changer.
Who owns it?
An now something slightly different. Who should own the scoreboard? The answer is clear: the team that the lead measures presented on the scoreboard belong to.
As a rule of the thumb: you should never measure the performance of others; you should measure your own.