May 6th, 2021

The 10 Most Helpful Agile Metrics for for Scrum Masters

Satyajit Gantayat
Satyajit Gantayat

Satyajit has broad and deep experience in Agile coaching at the strategic senior executive level wh... Read more

Today we'll discuss the useful metrics for Scrum Master. Metrics can be defined as something that lets us know whether we need to make changes or keep our ongoing good work. These are standards that help the scrum team monitor how effective they are as a team. Scrum metrics are powerful tools used for planning, inspecting, and adapting to changes. Metrics help in identifying reality checks to know their track record and Inspect & Adapt from those.

Hence, focusing on the wrong metrics can distract the team from the scrum or make the team less effective. So, we share some of the useful metrics for Scrum Master with you just not to commit this sin. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. You could choose the specific metrics that bring value to you and your team. Let's dive into the details.

Sprint Burndown

This is one of the most useful metrics when it comes to the scrum master. Sprint Burndown is a visual depiction of the progress of each sprint. To make it easy, it talks about the team's progress. Moreover, it provides a means to understand whether the team is working as per schedule or whether it is likely to meet their sprint goal within the timebox.

The chart represents the work completed versus the work to be done. This is considered one of the hit metrics because it gives a quick overview of how the team progresses towards the sprint goal. The X-axis refers to the time. The Y-axis represents the work left. The unit of measurement is hours or story points. The team forecasts the workload at the beginning of a sprint. The goal is to complete the workload by the end of the sprint.


Another prominent metric for the scrum master. Putting it in clear and crispy words, Velocity is the average amount of work the scrum team completed during a sprint, usually measured in story points. Velocity determines how much a team can deliver and in how much duration. The advantage of this metric is that it is useful in future sprint planning.


Apart from that, the product owner can use velocity to predict how quickly a team can work through the backlog because the report tracks the forecasted and completed work over several sprints – the more sprints, the more accurate the forecast. One thing to keep in mind is the velocity that can be changed anytime from good to bad to worst if not used correctly.

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Frequency of delivering DONE increments by Teams

The Scrum Guide 2020 states The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint. This means the goal for The Scrum Team is to deliver a Done Increment every Sprint. When we say done, we mean done-done, with nothing else left to do, includes testing, documentation, verification, security, performance, and everything.

The frequency of getting to Done is a great metric to use. This metric can also be used in defining product quality. We could record the number of defects found and resolved after delivery, the number of customer service requests received, etc., so that it helps in defining product quality.

Epic and Release Burndown

We can relate this metric to the above one. Epic and Release burndown focus on developing over a larger body of work than the sprint. There are many epics and versions of work in a sprint. So, it’s important to track their progress as well as each sprint. The entire team has to be aware of workflow in the epic and version. Epic and release burndown charts make that possible.

Retrospective Process Improvement

The scrum team’s ability to revise its development process to make it more effective and enjoyable for the next sprint. This can be measured using the count of retrospective items identified, the team’s retrospective items to address, and the items resolved by the end of the sprint. Escaped Defects This is perhaps the most important of all the metrics when it comes to customer satisfaction.

The escaped defect is a crucial metric depicting how many bugs were experienced by users in production. Ideally, a scrum team should fully test stories and completely avoid escaped defects. The trend of escaped defects is one of the sources of truth for product quality.

Defect density is also worth watching—it measures the number of defects per software size, for example, per lines of code (LOC). While this metric can easily be skewed, it is valuable in fast-moving projects to check if growth in defects is “normal” given the growth of the underlying codebase.

Customer Satisfaction

Perhaps the most honest and insightful metric. Know if your customers are happy or not. The whole idea of iterative development is to receive feedback from customers if the increment complements their needs. Every company and team need to know. Isn't it? This metric helps us find out if the services and the products we're providing to our customers are up to the mark.

More simply, it's a way to know where we stand? It's easy to know by making google forms, feedback sessions, reviews, or by simply doing random surveys. As per the results, we can continue working on our ongoing path or adjust with some modifications. Or you can follow any of the traditional terminologies such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure how much the customers are willing to recommend the product or service or your organization to others.

A range of numbers could represent NPS. Customer loyalty is an important factor in determining the success of a firm. You can use the Net Promoter Score as a medium for this purpose.

Time to Market

This metric portrays how much time is required for the project to start delivering its values to the customers. Time to market helps organizations recognize the value of scrum projects. Companies with revenue-generating products use this metric as it's beneficial for them as it helps in aiding budgeting throughout the year. Consider the following inputs while measuring time to market -

  • Measure the start time of the project until you first show value to the customer.
  • After delivering each sprint scrum, the team delivers the working bits of the product. That is the duration of the sprint.

We're aware that the scrum is responsible for adjusting to the changes. Project managers have a wide variety of metrics when it comes to choosing. It's just a way to keep track of the work, whether it's timely performed, effectively taking place, and introducing us to the level of clarity of development. Thankfully, metrics help quantify people's level of satisfaction and show us the right path to move forward.

Return On Investment

Return on Investment (ROI) calculates the total revenue generated by the product from the total cost of the sprints invested in that product. Have you heard of it? Scrum has enough potential to generate ROI faster than any traditional method. ROI helps software companies track individual projects and the growth of the company as a whole. Not limited to only this, it furthermore plays an important part in determining the ongoing value of the project.

Capital Redeployment

Shifting the budget from one project to another is known as capital redeployment. So, in other terms, when the cost of future development is higher than that of future value. It is time to end the project. In that case, the team gets redeployed to another project. You can measure capital redeployment simply by -

  • Value (V) of the remaining product backlog.
  • Actual Cost (AC)
  • Opportunity Cost (OC)

Hence, if V , then the project should be completed, and the team must be redeployed elsewhere.

While most of the above-mentioned metrics aim to assess software quality and team productivity at different stages and from different perspectives, monitoring the well-being of your team is important. We will talk about Health Metrics for Agile Teams in a different article.

Satyajit Gantayat

Satyajit has broad and deep experience in Agile coaching at the strategic senior executive level while also coaching and uplifting the capability of teams and individuals. An Agile Coach and SAFe® Practice Consultant with more than 24 years of experience.

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