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“What are the metrics by which you measure your agile development process?”
This question on Quora caught our attention. That got us thinking. This is a question that many organizations are looking for far and beyond in search of answers to.
For this reason, we have written a comprehensive guide on the meaning of agile metrics, types, selecting the right metrics, and much more. We shall get to the central theme of the blog post but not before learning the fundamentals of Agile metrics. Here we go!
There are 3 types of Agile metrics. Each one has its unique function. Types of Agile Metrics-
You might be interested in reading: The Definitive Guide to What Is Agile and Scrum
Here are 10 Agile metrics and their definition. Let’s take a look at them brick by brick.
1. Sprint Burndown: The Sprint Burndown chart shows the number of story points completed during the sprint and how many are pending. It helps in forecasting if the sprint is completed on time. This metric gives a clear picture of the sprint progress and the value delivered to the customers.
2. Epic and Release Burndown: If you think Epic and Release Burndown have something in common with Sprint Burndown, then you’re right. Although, it has one difference. Epic and Release Burndown tracks progress for larger projects.
It is a chart depicting a graphical representation of the work pending over a specific time. Epics are bigger blocks where stories are split into smaller parts. A sprint has a series of epics and versions. Tracking them along the sprint is vital. Epic and Release Burndown takes care of that with ease.
The end of the work diminishes the number of stories till it becomes zero. This is useful when working to achieve milestones. In addition, release Burndown tracks work proposed to complete for a particular release. This metric helps notify teams of the prompt delivery of products or informs them of the change of delivery dates.
3. Velocity: Velocity is an agile metric that refers to the average amount of work a team can finish during a sprint. It is measured in story hours or points and is helpful in forecasting.
How is this beneficial? Product Owners or, in some cases, Project Managers can use this metric to find the time needed for the team to finish all the backlogs.
4. Control Chart: The control Chart projects the time cycle of tasks from the “in progress” phase to the “end phase.” Short time cycles mean great output, and teams that have constant short time cycles mean foreseeable work delivery.
Assessing the cycle times is a way to gauge the work processes and improve them. The shorter the cycle, the better it is.
5. Lead Time: Lead Time measures the total time beginning from the moment a story enters the backlog until it is completed or launched for customers. It estimates the total speed of your value chain.
6. Cumulative Workflow: Cumulative Workflow is a metric that ensures that teams are delivering value continuously. A Kanban metric shows the number of issues that the team is working on.
In addition, it shows the status of tasks such as backlog, in progress, in review, and done. It can detect bottlenecks in the process when many tasks in the workflow experience a problem.
7. Cycle Time: Cycle time is a metric that measures productivity. It measures the time taken from start to in progress or done. The typical cycle time should be half the length of a sprint. If the cycle time exceeds the sprint time, it means that teams are not productive.
8. Work In Progress: Work In Progress keeps a tab on things currently in progress while ensuring that delivery speed is up to date. This increases the delivery time and manages dependencies.
9. Failed Deployments: Failed Deployments help in the assessment of the total number of deployments in testing and production environments. This is a metric that helps in ascertaining whether a feature is ready to go into production.
10. Escaped Defects: Escaped Defects help in evaluating the quality of the products delivered. In addition, it enables you to track the bugs after the product is released into production.
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So, now that you have the key Agile metrics, how do you identify the right metric? What factors should you consider while choosing the correct metric?
Should you look at what your competitors are using? Characteristics of a relevant agile metric-
1. Customer Satisfaction: The metrics that are selected should measure sales figures and revenue. It also includes the number of customer calls and features delivered in time. Even product usage statistics are also an important figure.
2. Business Value: Business Value finds a key prominence in the Agile Manifesto. Any agile metric that you use should be able to have business value.
But, what does business value mean? Business Value refers to prioritizing the most important feature that is valuable to the customer. It’s more than money. It’s about how your product is perceived by users, employees, and stakeholders. Business Value is achieved when you do things efficiently by reducing costs and time.
3. Product Scope: Pursuing short-term goals and keeping note of the progress not only feels motivating but keeps the team occupied and engaged. This practice creates a feedback loop that keeps the project head informed about the progress.
Here are some key Agile KPIs to consider-
1. Employee Satisfaction: Your organization's success in becoming Agile depends on the employees' contentment with the firm. The work environment shouldn’t be toxic. All employees should be able to share opinions and thoughts. Happier employees add more value to the firm and output.
2. Organizational Culture: Organizational Culture refers to the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all employees. Agile transformation is possible only if your vision, mission, and other values make the work environment conducive to optimum function.
3. Team Motivation: Accomplishing success requires motivated team members to come together and work towards fulfilling a common goal. Only if all the team members are aligned towards a common goal will an agile organization be built.
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