In our webinar on Dec 11, 2014 on Agile Metrics, the questions were overwhelming. We are getting to them one by one. Here’s one on the metric of agile sustainability as it relates to working overtime.

Q: Remember you don’t pay full time employees OT since they are on salary fror the most part.

A: Remember, we are talking about agile sustainability. A sustainable pace is what is important, not whether or not we are getting paid for overtime or not. Perhaps getting paid for overtime makes it a little less painful, but the bottom line is; if you work overtime (paid or not) on a continued basis, you have many ramifications, some obvious and foreseen, others not. Obviously you’ll get more mistakes from being tired, and therefore more defects in the long run. Unforeseen consequences would be weight gain of your employees (some may have weight loss) due to eating late at night and the wrong food. Pizza and sandwiches will only go so far. Additional problems may include higher turnover of employees. Their spouses may also make things unconsciously unpleasant at home. So just remember that although they don’t bet paid, their overtime hours should still be logged so it should be reflected in the sprint’s velocity, i.e., the team should get credit for the work.

Agile sustainability is a key metric. You cannot do a ‘sprint’ forever. You have to maintain pace. The turtle wins the race.