Five Agile Metrics You Won't Hate | atlasian (2023)

Summary:Agile metrics provide insight into productivity through the different stages of a software development life cycle. This helps to assess the quality of a product and track the performance of the equipment.

Metrics are a touchy subject.

For one thing, we've all been on a project where no data of any kind was tracked and it was hard to tell if we were on track for release or getting more efficient as we went along. On the other hand, many of us have had the misfortune of being on projects where stats were used as a weapon, pitting one team against another or justifying mandatory weekend work. So it's no surprise that most teams have a love/hate relationship with metrics.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Tracking and sharing strong agile metrics can reduce confusion and clarify the team's progress (and setbacks) throughout the development cycle. To see how.

know your business

"Done" only tells half the story. It's about creating the right product, at the right time, for the right market. Staying current throughout the program means collecting and analyzing relevant data along the way. In any agile program, it is important to track both business metrics and agile metrics. Business metrics focus on whether the solution meets market needs, and agile metrics measure aspects of the development process.

"A program's business metrics should be based on its roadmap."

For each initiative in the roadmap, include several key performance indicators (KPIs) that correspond to the goals of the program. Also, include success criteria for each product.applicationsuch as the end-user adoption rate or the percentage of code covered by automated tests. These success criteria feed into the agile metrics of the program. And the more teams learn, the better they can adapt and evolve.

How to use agile metrics to optimize your delivery

Sprint Burnout

Scrum teams organize development in blocks of time.carrera. At the start of the sprint, the team predicts how much work it can complete during a sprint. A sprint backlog report tracks the completion of work throughout the sprint. The x axis represents time and the y axis refers to the amount of work that remains to be completed, measured in story points or hours. The goal is to have all planned work completed by the end of the sprint.

A team that consistently meets your forecast is an attractive advertisement for agility in your organization. But don't let that tempt you to falsify the numbers by declaring an item complete before it actually is. It may seem good in the short term, but in the long run it gets in the way of learning and improvement.

Learn how to use backlog charts in Jira Software

(Video) Five agile metrics you won't hate

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Anti-patterns to watch out for

  • The team ends sprint after sprint because they are not committing to enough work.
  • The team loses its forecast sprint after sprint because it is committing to too much work.
  • The burn line makes steep dips instead of a more gradual burn because the job hasn't been broken into granular parts.
  • The Product Owner adds or changes the scope mid-sprint.

Epic y Launch Burndown

epic and liberationBacklog (or version) charts track development progress across a body of work larger than the sprint backlog and guide development for scrum and kanban teams. Since a sprint (for scrum teams) can contain work from multiple epics and releases, it's important to track the progress of individual sprints as well as epics and releases.

"Scope shifting" is the injection of more requirements into a previously defined project. For example, if the team is delivering a new website for the company, the reach boost will request new features after launch.requirementshad been outlined. While tolerating scope change during a sprint is bad practice, scope change between epics and releases is a natural consequence of agile development. As the team progresses through the project, the Product Owner may decide to take over or remove the work based on what they are learning. Epic and release work charts keep everyone on top of the ebb and flow of work within the epic and release.

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Anti-patterns to watch out for

  • Epic or Release forecasts are not updated as the team progresses with the work.
  • No progress is made over a period of several iterations.
  • Chronic scope drift, which can be a sign that the product owner does not fully understand the problem that the body of work is trying to solve.
  • The range grows faster than the team can absorb it.
  • The team is not shipping incremental releases while developing an epic.


Velocity is the average amount of work a Scrum Team completes during a sprint, measured in story points or hours, and is very useful for forecasting. The Product Owner can use velocity to predict how quickly a team can work on backlog, as the report tracks planned and completed work over multiple iterations: the more iterations, the more accurate the forecast.

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Let's say the product owner wants to complete 500 story points in the backlog. We know that the development team typically completes 50 story points per iteration. The Product Owner can reasonably assume that the team will need 10 iterations (give or take) to complete the required work.

It is important to monitor how speed evolves over time. New teams can expect an increase in speed as the team optimizes relationships and the work process. Existing teams can track their velocity to ensure consistent performance over time and can confirm whether or not a specific process change has brought improvements. A decrease in average speed is usually a sign that some part of the team's development process has become inefficient and should be addressed in the next retrospective.

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Anti-patterns to watch out for

When speed is erratic for an extended period of time, always review equipment estimating practices. During the team retrospective, ask the following questions:

  • Are there unforeseen development challenges that we did not consider when estimating this job? How can we best divide the work to figure out some of these challenges?
  • Is there outside business pressure pushing the team beyond its limits? Are you suffering from adherence to development best practices as a result?
  • As a team, are we overestimating the sprint?

The speed of each team is unique. If team A has a speed of 50 and team B has a speed of 75, it does not mean that team B has a higher performance. Since each teamI estimatedculture is unique, your speed will be too. Resist the temptation to compare speeds between computers. Measure effort level and work output based on each team's unique interpretation of story points.

check table

Control charts focus on the cycle time of individual problems: the total time from "in progress" to "complete". Teams with shorter cycle times are likely to have higher performance, and teams with consistent cycle times across many problems are more predictable in delivering work. While cycle time is a primary metric for kanban teams, scrum teams can also benefit from optimized cycle time.

Measuring cycle time is an efficient and flexible way to improve a team's processes because the results of changes are noticeable almost immediately, allowing them to make any adjustments immediately. The ultimate goal is to have a constant and short cycle time, regardless of the type of work (new functionality,technical debt, etc).

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Anti-patterns to watch out for

Control charts can seem fickle at first. Don't worry so much about every outlier. Look for trends. Here are two areas to keep in mind:

  • Increase Cycle Time – Increasing the cycle time drains the team of their hard-earned agility. In the team's hindsight, take the time to understand a raise. One exception: if the team's definition of fact has been extended, it is likely that the cycle time will also be extended.
  • Erratic Cycle Time: The goal is to have a consistent cycle time for work items that have similar story point values. Filter the control chart for each story point value to check consistency. If the cycle time is erratic on both small and large story point values, spend time looking back at failures and improving the future estimate.
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cumulative flowchart

The cumulative flowchart should look smooth (almost) from left to right. Bubbles or gaps in any color indicate shortages and bottlenecks; so when you see one, look for ways to smooth out the color bands in the graph.

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Anti-patterns to watch out for

  • Blocking issues create large backups in some parts of the process and starvation in others.
  • Unverified order book growth over time. This is because Product Owners don't close issues that are out of date or simply too low a priority to pull.

even more metrics

Good metrics are not limited to the reports discussed above. For example, quality is an important metric for agile teams, and there are several traditional metrics that can be applied to agile development:

  • How many defects are found:
    • during the development?
    • after launch to customers?
    • by people outside the team?
  • How many bugs are pushed to a future version?
  • How many customer service requests are coming in?
  • What is the percentage coverage of the automated test?

Agile teams must also consider release frequency and delivery speed. At the end of each sprint, the team must release the software into production. How often does this really happen? Do most release builds ship? Similarly, how long does it take for the team to release an emergency fix to production? Is liberation easy for the team or does it require heroism?

Find information in context

Insights is a great tool for teams to access metrics when they need them: during sprint planning, daily ramp-up verification, or delivery optimization. You can find information in the upper right corner of the Jira dashboard, backlog, and deployment view.

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Insights provides a visual snapshot of the following metrics:

  • career progress
  • Problem type details
  • sprint commitment
  • Implementation Frequency
  • cycle time

Use these metrics to continually optimize your computer's performance.Learn more about prospects.

To complete...

Metrics are only one part of building a team's culture. They provide quantitative information about team performance and provide measurable goals for the team. While they are important, don't obsess. Hear team commentary duringretrospectivesit is equally important to increase team confidence, product quality, and speed of development during the launch process. Use quantitative and qualitative feedback to drive change.

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Dan Radigan

Agile had a huge impact on me, both professionally and personally, as I learned that the best experiences are agile, both in code and in life. You will often find me at the crossroads of technology, photography and motorcycling.

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1. You Build It You Run It sounds great… but it won’t work here! - Steve Smith
(Agile on the Beach)
2. Philly ETE 2016 #29 - Agile Metrics: Velocity is NOT the Goal - Doc Norton
3. Keynote: Project to Product: From Flow Metrics to SAFe
(Scaled Agile, Inc.)
4. Agile Metrics that Mean Something w/ Bob Woods
(Coaching Agile Journeys)
5. Agile for everyone - Metrics
6. I spy: Using Agile Metrics to coach change (Live Webinar)
(Dean Chanter)


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