How are agile metrics measured?

In Agile, performance measures the average number of work items processed per unit of time. In a Kanban system, for example, when work is viewed on cards, performance is measured based on the number of Kanban cards that have been completed in a given period (weekly, monthly, etc.). Agile metrics are standards that help the software team monitor the productivity of a team in the different phases of the SDLC. This is where quantitative and qualitative data come into play.

Agile metrics help agile teams establish benchmarks, compare them to objectives, and evaluate performance. Agile metrics usually assess productivity, predictability, quality, or value in some way. The sprint summary graph visualizes how many story points have been completed during the sprint and how many are left, and helps predict whether the scope of the sprint will be completed on time. The delivery time measures the total time from the moment a story enters the system (on the waiting list) until it is completed as part of a sprint or published to customers.

It measures the total time needed to meet a requirement and begin to generate value: the speed of the value chain. Code coverage measures the percentage of code that covers unit tests. It can be measured by the number of methods, statements, branches or conditions that are executed as part of a set of unit tests. We'll learn what they are and analyze some optimization metrics that you should include in your development cycle.

So what metrics matter and how do you choose them? There are dozens of options, developed by brilliant agile minds. The drop in the relationship between what was planned and what was done and the metric of happiness were enough to tell me that something could be happening. Since data and its use are measurable, it's easier to fix deficiencies with the help of these metrics. With the objective of “helping the team to reflect and improve” and the warning that their performance may vary, these are my four benchmark metrics for an agile team to evaluate its ability to influence the levers of organizational success.

The metrics reflect the effort, contribution and, perhaps, even the compensations you have made in terms of priorities or investments. For companies or teams that work within the agile framework, agile metrics help assess the quality of the software. This is not to say that the agile methodology is failing, but most companies have difficulty communicating the value of agility to their organization. This is not to say that agile development metrics, such as speed and quality, shouldn't be measured far from that.

If you don't subscribe to an agile methodology, you'll have more freedom to choose the metrics that make sense to you. Similarly, companies that follow efficient management need to use tight metrics to ensure their success. Whether it's the team focusing on improving the metric (often playing with the system) or management using the metric to make all the decisions, you can end up with a product or organization that looks good, but is actually falling off a cliff. If you use ten metrics, different parts of the organization are more likely to focus on different metrics, creating a gap in efforts to align the organization.

Choose a set of agile metrics that cover a wide range of agile performance, predictability, productivity, quality and value.