New Work (%)

New code added to the code base (without replacing old code)

How to Use It?

  • Encourage Innovation and Experimentation: Use "New Work" to gauge the team's focus on innovation versus ongoing maintenance. A predominance of maintenance activities may suggest a need to foster more innovative efforts to avoid stagnation and enhance product evolution.
  • Balance Between New Features and Technical Debt: Engineering leaders should use "New Work" alongside metrics like Churn, Refactor, and Help Others to maintain a healthy balance between adding new features and improving the existing codebase. This ensures that the team's efforts contribute both to growth and sustainability.
  • Optimize Team Dynamics: By monitoring "New Work," leaders can ensure a balanced distribution of project roles, promoting involvement in new initiatives across all team members and preventing burnout by evenly spreading innovative tasks.
  • Volume ≠ Value: Recognize that an increase in the volume of new code does not automatically equate to increased business value. Evaluate new work for its true impact on user experience and business outcomes to ensure that it contributes meaningful enhancements.

Strategic Implementation of New Work

  • Proactive Workload Management: Regular monitoring of New Work helps in effectively allocating innovative tasks, ensuring team members are neither overburdened nor underused.
  • Quality Focus: Fluctuations in New Work, such as spikes without corresponding increases in value, can indicate opportunities to refine development approaches or pivot towards projects with greater potential impact.
  • Cultural Alignment: Implement the New Work metric in a manner that aligns with the team culture, fostering an environment that supports innovation and creative efforts without imposing undue pressure.
  • Feedback and Adaptation: Continually adjust how New Work is measured and used based on team feedback and the changing demands of projects, ensuring the metric remains relevant and effectively drives desired outcomes.

Considerations for Implementation

  • Comprehensive Evaluation: It’s essential to understand New Work in the context of other development metrics to avoid skewed interpretations that might prioritize quantity over quality.
  • Supportive Environment: Cultivate a team atmosphere that values both innovation and the iterative enhancement of the codebase, encouraging a balanced approach to new development and ongoing refinement.