Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics Every Agile Leader Needs

Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics Every Agile Leader Needs
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The evolution of Agile Development method was mainly to shift the focus of development process from processes and tools to individuals and interactions, documentation over working software, contract negotiation to customer collaboration, and following a plan to responding to the change.

Thus, it becomes popular among small to mid-size engineering companies be it software development or others. If your team is getting one percent (1%) improvement each week, it will unlock the doors of tremendous benefits in the long run.

However, the question is that how to achieve the same. It is data pertaining to your Agile Development process, and it comes with measuring various useful metrics. Let’s learn a few essential software development metrics every agile leader needs in due course described above.

Who Will Care About Agile Metrics?

It is a vital question and pinpoint us to the target audience of the current post!

  • Business and Technical Leaders
  • Scrum Master and Team Leaders
  • Team Members Including Designers, Programmers, QA Developers, DevOps, and Sometimes Marketers
  • Support Organizations
  • Program Sponsors
  • Product Owners

Why Should We Measure Agile Metrics?

It is a pretty valid question that why should we measure the Agile Process using various metrics. As per my opinion, the following are obvious advantages, which compel us for going measure Agile Metrics.

  • It enables us to give answers the questions emerging in the minds of the stakeholders.
  • It provides transparency in the work and the entire development process.
  • It enables us to manage the work easily.

Moreover,To know whether the development process is on the track

  • Get advantages of the planned process
  • Find relevancy to budget
  • To know the quality of work

When you search on the web, you will encounter a number of metrics to gauge your Agile Software Development process. The following five metrics are aligned the most with standard Agile Manifesto. It focuses on the following things, which are core principles too.

Core Principles of Agile Development:

  • Individuals
  • Interactions
  • Working software
  • Customer collaboration
  • Response to changes
  • Common goals for all

Let’s dig deeper in those metrics.

No.1 – Committed Promises vs. Delivered Results to Meet “Doneness” Criteria

It is nothing but all about client satisfaction. It is your promises those have attracted your client to give a Custom Software Development project. Those promises become the “Doneness” criteria for your client.

  • After your commitment, it becomes imperative to deliver the products/outcomes/services accordingly.
  • Your delays in time-to-market can annoy the client.
  • Your rework makes client anxious.
  • Your low-quality delivery frustrates the client.

These all factors become the ingredients of the story of failure. It indicates the rework on your agile development process and compels you to elaborate the existing plan or set plan again to deliver your commitments.

Net Promoter Score:

Uplift your quality standards and increase your Net Promoter Score (NPS) up to 9 or 10 scales.Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics 1

NPS is rocket fuel. Load it on your responsive, proactive, and client-centric team of Agile Developers it will blast off immediately!

Point Commitment Reliability:

Another term from the same is Point Commitment Reliability (PCR) that you can measure by the counting points (Features/functions) delivered at the end of an iteration/sprint divided by the points committed (Promises) prior to the commencement of an iteration/sprint. It gives Say/Do ratio that you can display publicly and win the trust of existing as well as prospective clients for your Software Development Services.

No.2 – Maintaining Quality across the Life Cycle

Every client wants quick results with the shortest time-to-market (TTM) without affecting the quality of throughputs. For an Agile Team, it is big challenges to maintain quality metrics by manually testing every build throughout the lifecycle of software development.

It demands enough resources and infrastructural facilities from the Software Development Company. The team of Agile Development should spend required time, attention, and skills such as automated testing and manual testing technologies and tools to maintain the quality.Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics 2

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The graph above indicates that only 20% features hold true value for a custom software development. Therefore, preparing story documentation for quality metrics required care and some brainstorming with the delivery team.

Thus, a number of times stories rejected by the delivery team RCAs traced to story quality as well as defect density determines how fast the Agile Team will deliver quality outcomes.

Relying on automation for automated, functional, performance, security, and various modes/methods of testing can help the team to cover quality metrics throughout software lifecycle by cutting the overall cost of development and maintenance.

No.3 – Measuring Joy Metrics for the Team to Keep It Healthy & Productive

It is about team satisfaction using a team health check and other relevant metrics such as:

Team Communication a Way of Collaboration

Team collaboration has multiple advantages, and it becomes possible only through seamless communication among the team members and external stakeholders. Being subjective metrics, you have to measure it on a scale of 1 to 10 by running a poll.

Open Positions as a Marker of Happiness

Unfilled or open positions when increased beyond the threshold of the limit, it increases pressure on the team due to deficiencies in the allocation of resources.

Average Time to Fill Open Positions

The faster the positions filled by the management, resources allocation becomes easy.

Continuous Improvement in Team

Continuous improvements in the team enable it to take challenges by leveraging the experiences and learning from previous mistakes and successes. The physical and mental health of the team is critical to take constant improvements in the work.

We know measuring someone else’s happiness is tricky and highly subjective to the preferences. Therefore, running regular polls and creating mood boards is an excellent way to gauge the health and happiness.Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics 3

Spotify has developed Squad Health Check system to measure the mood along with improvement indicators.Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics 4

It also provides insights into the productivity and longevity of the team.

No.4 – On-time Delivery Metrics

The present market is stiffly competitive, and everyone seems highly conscious to time-to-market for their software development project. On-time delivery is increasing value to customers.

It pushes the Software Development Company and its Agile Software Development Services hard to deliver high quality throughputs within the shortest timeline. Therefore, management and all stakeholders of projects are keen to know the development metrics and ready to improve it willingly.

Following speed, metrics are crucial for agile developers to learn.

Cycle Time

It measures the amount of time spent on resolving an issue or bug reported. In Jira and Pivotal Tracker like PMS, the ticket is issuing for each issue or bug and displaying its open & close time along with dates.

With the help of Jama Analyze, we can visualize cycle time by status and ticket type automatically from the PMSs mentioned above.Top Five Essential Software Development Metrics 5

Similarly, Release Cycle Time metrics is displaying spin-off of the cycle time, which tracks total time per release.


It is a measurement of delivered value by the team such as features, functions, bugs, tasks, and so on finished within a sprint or period. Velocity sets delivery expectations by establishing a baseline.


It is another pacing metric like velocity and refers to total numbers of tickets resolved. It describes alignment with the goals.

Open Pull Requests

It is a measurement of a number of pull requests in a given repository like GitHub or Bitbucket, which are not closed. By pull requests, developers ask the team to review the changes they made in a repository. The number of pull requests indicates iteration flow and throughputs.

Work In Progress

Similar to throughputs, it indicates the speed of the team to resolve the tickets or issues open, and the team is working on it. WIP is present moment indicator while throughput is lagged one. By observing WIP, we can get clues regarding workload on the team or inefficiencies of the team. If the workload is high, we can think of adding more resources.

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Iteration Flow

It is a measure of time to delivery, repeatability, and health of the process. It gives a visualization of the status of tickets with the pace of time. I9t provides clues that your team is stuck or working with predictable speed.

The difficulty of Feature Implementation

It gives the perception of the team regarding how a feature is challenging to implement. Based on it, management can decide to add more resources or offer expert training to finish it.

No.5 – Establishing Software Quality by Using Defect Trends

If your software product is riddling with bugs, issues, and crashes, no consumer would like to use it despite you have made is feature-rich and highly usable. Therefore, it is mandatory for Agile Software Development team to address emerging and potential bugs right from the source code you are going to create it.

Technically, you can track the following metrics to establish the quality standards up:

Escaped Bugs

As its name suggests, it escaped from the routine testing and reported by the end-users of software from the real world environment where nothing is under control at all.

By tracking and addressing escaped bugs, you can get an opportunity to correct your QA deficiencies.

Defect Removal Efficiency (DRE)

After detecting escaped bugs, the removal efficiency of the Agile Team is an important metrics to measure. It shows how the team is efficient and moves fast on the track by overcoming shortfalls quickly.

Bug Burn Down

If you want to have visibility on the product quality and simultaneously focusing on cutting the bug count, bug burns down is a metric to get it. Bug burn down is the measurement of how many bugs are closing by the team in a period against the total of bugs existing in the backlog.

Percentage of High Priority Bugs

How can you know as an Agile Team Leader that your team is struggling with testing infrastructure or QA expertise? It is the percentage of high priority bugs. However, high priority bugs are tagged by the team due to the sensitivity of client and end-users. In other words, it gives the percentage of high severity bugs in the product and process.

New Bugs vs. Closed Bugs

If you want to know whether you are moving on the right path for your code quality, the comparison between how many new bugs are opening and closing of the resolved bugs within a period.

Code Churn

When the team adds and deletes code in the same modules and services again-and-again, it will surface as code churn. It is directly linked with code quality and indicates declining, which needs to address soon.

Defect Density

It is the measurement of a number of defects per line of code (LoC). It directly indicates the quality of code and capability of coders in the team.


If you are interested to know the details of essential software development metrics, please come in touch to the Agile Development Team at Perception System, USA. Perception System is on agile and highly use KANBAN Agile Methodology and JIRA project management software for most software development projects.

Of course, other Agile Methods, approaches, and PMS applied by the team whenever the tech-savvy clients express their particular needs. The team also consider various factors such as nature of the project and complexities involved in it to decide the other Agile Development approaches or customize the methodology itself keeping clients and requirements at center.