Agile Metrics: 10 Best Tools for Instant Results

Agile metrics provide insights into productivity during different stages of a software development lifecycle.

Agile has done wonders for companies, and the positive effects lie in short market space and lower costs. However, companies can’t take advantage of all the benefits of agile only by making changes.

One of the most popular changes in the market is the agile transformation. But to bring the expected results, it is important to have some agile metrics.

Tracking and sharing agile metrics can reduce confusion and show team progress throughout the development cycle.

In this article, you will what are the main Agile metrics and how you can use them properly in a project in your company.

What are Agile Metrics?

Metrics are nothing but measurement types. Agile metrics are models that help a software team control the productivity of a team at different levels.

Agile metrics are a necessary component of the development process. For companies or teams working inside the agile framework, agile metrics help in evaluating software quality.

When measuring a team’s productivity, agile metrics help keep team performance under control.  As the data and its usage are measurable, it’s easier to work with deficiencies with the help of these metrics.

Why measuring team performance?

In order to get the right metrics for the business to map the team’s success, they can also help detect problems. Also, they can establish goals, and, create a more strategic decision-making process.

One of the biggest challenges for an organization is to choose the methods that will evaluate the performance of its technology teams.

It is possible to spend less time on analysis and provide more immediate responses to problems. Therefore, it can arise throughout the project, providing sustainable growth for the operation.

However, make sure that all members of the development teams are with the company’s overall purposes and goals.

Features of a good agile metric

Some features define a good agile metric:

  • Reinforcement of general principles
  • Results metrics
  • Pattern tracking
  • Part of a set of few metrics
  • Makes processes more transparent
  • Encourages the sharing of ideas and difficulties between teams
  • Answer specific questions from real people

Metrics that are constantly updated allow teams to be constantly monitored – regular feedback is essential for sustainable growth and providing insights that allow for change at the right time.

Benefits for using Agile Metrics

There are several benefits to establishing agile metrics for the team, such as:

  • Foster the agile Mindset;
  • Data-Driven Decisions;
  • Promote Transparency;
  • Contribute to raising the maturity of teams;
  • Diagnose dysfunctions in teams;
  • Increase collaboration and commitment of team members;
  • Contribute to Agile Transformation.

The Main Agile Metrics

1. Sprint Burndown

The Sprint Burndown has the Y in a chart and X represents the number of days needed to complete it.

In this way, it is possible to identify the bottlenecks and adjust what is necessary.

2. Velocity

By measuring speed, it is possible to identify the moments when it is necessary to speed up or slow down a project. Thus, Velocity can bring the numbers closer to the real pace of the team.

The recommendation to measure speed is to follow a team with the same formation for a period of three sprints. Therefore, you can take an average of time that will help determine the story points to finalize the backlog.

Another point is that team speeds should never be compared to each other, which can lead your company to draw wrong conclusions.

3. Epic Burndown

This metric covers a broader scope than Sprint Burndown or Burnup. By evaluating all sprints and delivered versions of the product, it ends up giving a broader view of the project and helping to monitor development progress as one all.

This metric also helps to identify some bottlenecks, such as the project not moving forward as iterations change, and the continued growth of the project scope even if the team cannot absorb it.

4. Control Chart

In agile metrics, the control charts function is to determine the cycle time of issues. Agile teams with shorter cycle times will perform better. However, teams with consistent cycle times will have predictable work delivery.

Measuring these cycle times is one way to improve the team’s work processes, as changes are visible almost immediately. The ultimate goal is to have consistent and short cycle times regardless of the type of job.

5. Cumulative Flow Diagram

The function of the cumulative flow diagram (CFD) is to help identify some bottlenecks that exist during the product development process, thus ensuring the stability of the workflow.

The graph does this by analyzing metrics such as the number of activities in progress, the throughput of those activities, and also how long the production cycles last.

The horizontal axis measures the amount of time that a given phase takes to be completed, while the vertical is responsible for pointing out how many tasks are in each stage of the project.

This makes it easy for the manager to see which cycles are taking longer to complete or even if the rate of entry of tasks is being higher than the exit.

6. Lead Time/Cycle Time

Lead time is the total time since the activity is added to the backlog until the moment determines its lifetime. Meanwhile, Cycle Time refers to the time that this activity took from DOING to DONE status.

The two metrics are essential for the continuous improvement of development projects. Thus, they can make the necessary changes during the process, including its stages earlier.

For each completed task, you can add points at the intersection of the delivery line and the day line. Thus, you can advance along the horizontal axis, identify the number of days and mark another point.

7. Value Delivered

This metric uses monetary values or a point system with the implementation of high-value features being the top priority.

An upward trend in this metric shows that things are on track. On the other hand, a downward trend is not a good sign, meaning that the implementation of lower value features is underway.

8. Net Promoter Score

This metric measures how customers will recommend the product or service to each other.

Customer loyalty is an important factor in determining a company’s success and you can use this metric as a proxy for this purpose.

9. Work Item Age

This metric indicates the time that passes between the start and finish of the current task. Work Item Age serves to detect the timeline for incomplete tasks.

By using this metric you will see how your current tasks are progressing.  Also, it can compare your past performance in the same context as the current scenario.

10. Throughput

It measures the average tasks processed in each time unit. Also, you can measure story points per iteration which represents the level of productivity of a team.

This will help you understand the effect of workflow on business achievement. Thus, it allows you to have a better overview of your team’s skills.

Are all these metrics reliable for measuring results?

Adopting agile metrics can help teams to visualize how much effort was spent on software quality. Also, the results with the development of a product engage team members and work on their motivation.

In addition, the correct numbers guide the continuous improvement of the development process. Also, it eliminates errors quickly and encourages fast delivery results, to enable it to grow sustainably.

Agile metrics are part of the routine of companies seeking to get closer to digital transformation. Also, they look for changing the internal culture and automating various processes.

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