Agile Metrics You Should Be Using

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Aug 10, 2022
Updated on
Aug 14, 2022
Table of Content

Agile metrics help developers and project managers track the progress of their work and identify areas that need improvement. While there are many different types of Agile metrics, some are more useful than others. Certain Agile metrics are more effective than others because of what they measure and how that information is used.

Worry not. In this article, we will discuss the best Agile metrics you should be using to help improve your process.

What Are Agile Metrics?

Agile metrics are a type of performance measurement used by developers and project managers to track the progress of their work. They help identify areas that need improvement, and allow for better decision-making. There are many different types of Agile metrics, but not all of them are equally effective.

One particular reason has to do with what they measure and how that information is used. For example, some Agile metrics measure the amount of work that has been completed, while others measure the quality of that work.

Others measure the speed at which work is being completed, or the amount of time it takes to fix problems. All of these factors are important, but some are more important than others, depending on the stage of the project and the goals of the team.

The most effective Agile metrics are those that help developers and Project Managers make informed decisions about how to best move forward with their work. They should be easy to understand and use, and they should provide information that is actionable.

There are two main types of KPIs: traditional and Agile. Traditional KPIs are typically used in Waterfall projects, while Agile KPIs are designed for use in Agile projects.

Traditional KPIs focus on measures of project progress, such as the percentage of work completed or the number of defects found. These metrics can be helpful for tracking overall project progress, but they don’t provide much information about how individual team members are performing.

Agile KPIs, on the other hand, focus on measuring team performance, e.g., as the number of features delivered or the amount of time it takes to fix defects. These metrics provide more information about how well the team is working together and how quickly they are able to deliver value to the customer.

Why is it Important to Use Agile Metrics and Measurements

Agile metrics and measurements are important because they help developers and Project Managers track the progress of their work and identify areas that need improvement. While there are many different types of Agile metrics, some are more useful than others. Some Agile metrics are more effective than others because of what they measure and how that information is used. 

Here are some of the benefits of using Agile metrics:

Tracking progress 

As a project manager, it is important to track the progress of your work in order to identify areas that need improvement. Agile metrics can help you do this by providing information about the amount of work that has been completed, the quality of that work, and the speed at which it is being completed.

Making informed decisions 

Agile metrics can also help you make informed decisions about how to best move forward with your work. They should be easy to understand and use, and should provide information that is actionable.

Improving communication

Another benefit of using Agile metrics is that they can help improve communication between developers and Project Managers, because they provide a common language for discussing the progress of work and for identifying areas that need improvement.

Enhancing team performance

Agile metrics can also help improve team performance by providing information about how well the team is working together and how quickly they are able to deliver value to the customer.

Reducing risks

Using Agile metrics can also help reduce risks, because they can help identify problems early on and allow for quick corrective action.

Boosting likelihood of exceeding customers' expectations

The likelihood of exceeding client expectations is one of Agile project management's most important advantages. This is accomplished through ongoing customer participation and regular feedback loops in an Agile approach.

The end customers may view and comment on actionable deliverables, as work is regularly provided to them. In order to deliver the proper goods and services to customers, teams need to have a deeper understanding of their requirements.

Adding visible cues when an issue arises

Agile project management's visual work approach is one of its key benefits for knowledge work (as we will explain below). Visually indicating process issues is a systematic approach for incorporating quality.

Agile Testing Metrics

Cycle Time

There are many different testing metrics in Agile that can be used to measure the effectiveness of your Agile testing process. Cycle time is one of the most important Agile testing metrics. It measures the amount of time it takes to complete a task from start to finish. 

The shorter the cycle time, the more efficient your process. For example, if you have a two-week Sprint, you want your cycle time to be as short as possible so that you can get more work done in a shorter period of time. To calculate cycle time, simply divide the total amount of time it takes to complete a task by the number of tasks that were completed.

By using Cycle Time you can identify which areas of your process take the longest and need to be improved. You can also use Cycle Time to compare the efficiency of different teams or individuals.

Agile Quality Metrics

Code Coverage

Code coverage is another important metric for Agile testing. It measures the percentage of code that is covered by tests; a high code coverage score indicates that a large portion of the codebase is being tested and that there are few untested areas of the code. Code coverage can be measured using various tools, such as JaCoCo, Cobertura, or Clover.

What's important is not just the overall code coverage score—but also the trend. If you see that the code coverage is increasing over time, it means that more and more of the codebase is being covered by tests. This is a good sign that the quality of the codebase is improving.

For example, let's say that the code coverage for a project is 80%. If the code coverage for the next release is 82%, it means that 2% more of the codebase is being covered by tests. This is a good sign that the quality of the codebase is improving. What showed up as untested in the previous release is now being tested.

Agile KPI Metrics

Work in Progress WIP

Work in Progress (WIP) is also an important metric for Agile testing. It measures the number of tasks that are in progress at any given time: A high WIP score indicates that there are many tasks in progress and that the team is working on multiple tasks simultaneously. This can lead to a decrease in quality, as some tasks may not be given enough attention.

To calculate WIP, simply divide the total number of tasks by the number of completed tasks. For example, if there are 10 tasks in progress and 5 tasks have been completed, the WIP would be 2.

WIP can be used to identify areas of the process that need to be improved. If you see that the WIP is constantly high, it may be an indication that the team is not able to complete tasks on time or that they are taking on too many tasks at once.

Agile Productivity Metrics

Cumulative Flow Diagram 

Although a Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) is not a metric, it's worth mentioning as it is a valuable tool for measuring the progress of a project. A CFD is a graphical representation of how work is flowing through the system. It shows the number of tasks that are in each stage of the process (e.g. To Do, In Progress, Done) over time.

CFDs can be used to identify bottlenecks in the process and to see how well the team is performing overall. They can also be used to compare the performance of different teams.

Using GoRetro as an Agile Metrics Dashboard

GoRetro is a web-based tool that can be used to track Agile metrics. It has a simple interface that makes it easy to add and track metrics. It also has a built-in CFD tool that makes it easy to visualize the progress of a project. It is a retrospective tool that can be used to track metrics over time and to identify areas of improvement. 

Some metrics that can be tracked here are:

All of these Agile metrics are important in their own way and can be used to measure the progress of a project. If you want the best tool to track all of these metrics, GoRetro is the tool for you.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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