During a development process, it’s extremely important to know for sure if your team is on track or not and ensure that the software meets all the requirements. For this purpose, using KPI metrics is crucial, as they help you get a high-quality product and a productive team that doesn’t miss deadlines.
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is used to evaluate a certain project, team, or developer, demonstrate the effectiveness in achieving certain business goals and monitor achievements and failures at different times. Various metrics are used in important business processes, but are there certain metrics that evaluate the software development most accurately? In this article, we’ll cover the most important KPIs to measure software development that will help you stay accountable to the goals you or your company set.
KPI is an indicator of success in a certain activity or in achieving certain goals. We can say that KPI is a quantitatively measurable indicator of actually achieved results. A good KPI must be SMART. It means that a metric should:
Using the right KPIs is extremely important because they bring certain benefits to your project. Namely:
There are different KPIs that reveal various aspects of the software development process. We will focus on the main Agile metrics that make a difference to today’s software teams.
What Is Velocity? This is one of the key performance indicators of software development. It indicates the amount of work that your team can accomplish in a given amount of time, known as a sprint. Velocity may be measured in man-hours or story points.
What Is Velocity?
How To Measure It?
Velocity is usually measured during each sprint and to estimate the amount of work, you should know the average speed. For example, if your team completed 40 story points in the first sprint, 50 in the second, 50 in the third, and 60 story points in the fourth, then the average velocity is 50 story points in one sprint. By knowing this value, you can accurately predict how quickly your team will complete the project. For instance, you need to complete 300 story points, which means that your team will need 6 iterations to complete the project. If velocity is high, then team productivity is increased and an additional value for your customers is created. However, at the same time, do not focus only on velocity, take into account the high-quality performance of the team. For example, increasing professionalism and gaining new experience increases your team’s quality and performance, but does not necessarily increase its velocity.
What Is Sprint Burndown?
This metric shows the amount of time remaining to complete planned tasks and allows your team to manage the progress and stay on track. If you see that your team may not achieve its goal, then you need to plan for making certain adjustments, monitor if the load is correctly distributed, and if the work has been delayed for a certain period of time.
How To Measure It?
To visualize the workflow, special charts with the X and Y axes are used, where the X-axis is the vertical axis, which represents the story points, and the Y-axis is the horizontal axis, which shows time. The dotted line in the diagram stands for the amount of work remaining in the sprint, and the blue line represents the actual state of the workflow. If the dotted line is below the blue line, it means that the team is doing everything on schedule. However, if the dotted line is above the blue line, it means the project is behind schedule and adjustments need to be made.
What is Cycle Time?
This metric indicates how much time a team spends working on a specific task. This metric allows you to assess the effectiveness of the development process, as well as predict how quickly your team will be able to provide new features to customers.
What is Cycle Time?
The cycle time is calculated using the following formula:
α - β
α means the end date of a cycle; β stands for the start date
For a better understanding, use a visualization technique. For instance, a chart, where you will indicate the time spent on tasks. The main goal is to determine the cycle times for similar processes. A shorter cycle time usually means the team is working more consistently, while a longer cycle time can indicate potential problems in your team’s process.
What Is Release Burndown?
Release burndown indicates the release progress. This metric helps to check if the team will be able to release the product by a certain date. If developers cannot meet deadlines, then they should inform users and stakeholders of the delay or reduce the amount of work to release the product on time.
How To Measure It?
You can use a release burndown chart to monitor your progress and stay on track during every sprint. Use two axes - the horizontal axis shows the sprints and the vertical axis stands for story points.
There are many KPIs for software development that help make the process more organized and predictable, help identify team weaknesses, address them, and inspire all team members. As a result, you will have a more efficient and organized process, and the project will be completed on budget and schedule. This will have a positive impact on the customer experience and help you retain existing customers and attract new ones.
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