Metrics help stakeholders measure and track the progress of the software development process, ensuring the project is progressing in a timely manner and meeting the necessary requirements.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) evaluate the team’s performance in specific areas, giving everyone insight into what’s going on. It provides a quantitative way to measure project flow. These KPIs for software product development are crucial to communicating the status of a project, so everyone knows what’s happening and what still needs to be done.
Agile and DevOps software development methodologies use multiple metrics to measure progress on a project, as well as for more specific purposes like debugging or security issues.
You don’t need to track every metric, and project managers should choose the ones that represent the information they want to know. These 6 common metrics specifically measure the productivity of your development team.
Work in Progress
Work In Progress (WIP) indicates the amount of code started, but not completed. It measures how many team members are working on different tasks at the same time. You want your WIP, which is a ratio of programmers to tasks, as close to 1.0 as possible. That indicates your team members are concentrating on one task at a time, rather than multitasking on two or more assignments with varying priorities.
Lines of Code
Also called thousands of lines of code (KLOC), this metric indicates the productivity level of the developers on the project. If this KPI is high, then programmers are more productive. However, note that because this metric only measures the quantity of code, there’s no data on the quality of that code.
Lead time quantifies how long it takes for ideas to be developed and delivered as finished software. It starts with the proposal and ends with delivery. Lowering lead time is a way to improve how responsive software developers are to customers.
Sprint Goal Success
Agile software development measures time in sprints, which is a fixed period of time to complete a defined set of tasks. Sprint goal success measures the percentage of a completed goal for a specific sprint. Defining these goals also helps everyone in the team understand what should be accomplished during the sprint.
As part of the Agile software development process, this metric measures the amount of work completed in a specific timeframe. It’s typically measured in iterations, sprints, or weeks. This KPI can vary in units measured, e.g., hours completed, user stories, or story points. A sprint burndown chart helps team members understand how much work has been completed during a sprint and the total amount of work remaining.
Number of Software Releases
Frequent and continual software releases are a major goal for Agile and DevOps software development methodologies. This metric measures the frequency of software releases in a specific timeframe (weeks, months, etc.).
Software metrics can help teams improve the workflow of the software development process, eventually boosting the return on investment (ROI) on a project. It also can help teams manage workloads and identify areas to improve.
Metrics can help project leaders control costs by pinpointing and communicating project issues earlier. That’s because the sooner problems are identified, the easier it is to troubleshoot and make corrections.
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