Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL) delivers transformative learning experiences that propel organizations and people to grow together. The company partners with enterprise organizations and serves a global community of learners to prepare today’s employees for tomorrow’s economy. With Skillsoft, customers gain access to blended, multimodal learning experiences that do more than build skills, they grow a more capable, adaptive, and engaged workforce. Through a portfolio of best-in-class content, a platform that is personalized and connected to customer needs, world-class tech and a broad ecosystem of partners, Skillsoft drives continuous growth and performance for employees and their organizations by overcoming critical skill gaps and unlocking human potential.
The Skillsoft engineering team understands the value of being data-driven as a competitive advantage. They set out to optimize their engineering operations, but were having a hard time consistently measuring teams and ensuring that the data was contributing to positive outcomes around culture, team performance, and business value. Skillsoft partnered with Jellyfish to do this evaluation work and share those findings with the executive team.
Today, Skillsoft uses Jellyfish data to get a pulse on what teams are working on, to celebrate successes and drive career growth, and improve operational effectiveness across the organization. This data is then brought to monthly ops reviews to show exactly how teams are allocating their time and helps gauge team health.
Creating a positive culture and driving career growth
Skillsoft’s first goal was to create a metrics-driven organization that uses data to boost employee morale and drive career growth. Each month, teams recognize one person as a significant contributor to an initiative. “We love the team metrics within Jellyfish. We use those to celebrate team members,” Kristen Maguire, Director of Program Management at Skillsoft said. This recognition is shared during monthly ops reviews and the individual is awarded points through the employee rewards system that they can redeem for a prize.
Skillsoft also uses team metrics to provide positive reinforcement and focus on team members’ individual strengths. This helps enforce best practices for promotions early and often. “We encourage managers to analyze Jellyfish data with employees and discuss goal setting. During 1:1s, engineering managers use the Jellyfish activity screen to guide discussions around ‘look how you have been excelling around X, Y, and Z metrics! Maybe push yourself to advocate for promotions more often,’” Kristen shared.
Most recently the Skillsoft team has been looking at Jellyfish metrics across the board to view the top 10 things people are working on (i.e. code reviews, leaving comments, etc.) to better understand the overall organization.
Engineering managers have started using Jellyfish as well to drive collaboration and improve coaching. They ask questions like: Which individuals are at the hub of the activity? What do their PRs look like vs. time to resolve issues? An engineer with more PR comments and reviews on the collaboration chart signals increased collaboration and seniority. This data helps managers to be better coaches, conduct productive 1:1s, and identify opportunities for promotion.
Measuring business value
Skillsoft understands that among the most important ways to empower and engage their engineering teams is by tying engineering work back to business value. By honing in on specific projects and initiatives, engineers can see their direct impact, and focus on quality of work versus volume. “Jellyfish conveniently shows us how many initiatives we’re working on and tells us what we need to focus on more so that we can deliver a high-quality product,” Kristen said.
Each team understands how they should allocate their efforts across initiatives and types of work in order to meet company goals. That has gone a long way in empowering teams to deliver customer value more effectively.
Kristen Maguire Director of Program Management, Skillsoft
We want to ensure that we’re delivering on our plans and honoring roadmap commitments. Jellyfish allows us to efficiently show progress on initiatives.
Team health is a top priority for Skillsoft and seen as a key for successful engineering teams. Skillsoft has 18 engineering teams that vary in maturity, so it is vital that teams are analyzed individually. The organization was able to achieve this with data driven insights provided by Jellyfish.
Team health indicates where your team shines and where they need help. Team health is measured by various metrics in Jellyfish such as:
- Sprint predictability
- Coding days
- Investment category allocations
“We look at each team individually to assess the overall team dynamic which has a massive impact on satisfaction, performance, and velocity. Jellyfish acts as a gut check to conceptualize team health,” Kristen shared. “Some teams might be doing well with only a few initiatives while others are stretched too thin.”
The Skillsoft team has even created a template using Jellyfish data to quantify team health and success. Each team walks through their health metrics, velocity, successes, and what’s coming up next regularly.
Kristen Maguire Director of Program Management, Skillsoft
Senior executives love that they can dig into the Jellyfish data and see how different teams are performing in real time, both at the macro level, and at a more granular level than we could get anywhere else.
The Allocations chart has been very powerful for Skillsoft and velocity charts to analyze carryover. Benchmarking has also allowed the team to better understand operations team to team. “We use benchmarking to look at different teams within Skillsoft. Jellyfish data helps us make sense of how and why our engineering teams operate differently,” Kristen shared.
Skillsoft has seen great success with Jellyfish by leveraging the ability to see team scope, analyze Allocations at a team level, and create goal setting. Skillsoft’s next project with Jellyfish will be to analyze costs per epic via the Cost Capitalization report to ensure costs reflect business priorities.