Agile Metrics That Matter

Metrics are one of the most important aspects of Agile that has revolutionised the way knowledge work teams measure their projects. They're outcome-related performance indicators that help teams reflect on their work and make data-driven decisions about their next steps. Agile teams use a number of Agile metrics, but this post will focus on the finest of them.

Agile methodology has changed the working style of organizations and worked wonders for them by increasing the overall productivity.  But, a company can't take the full benefits of agile development by simply adopting it. It has to bring the agile metrics into the picture which brings much value to the company. 

Agile metrics help in tracking and monitoring productivity across the different stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). In this article, we are going to discuss the top 15 most powerful agile metrics that are important for a firm to succeed.

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What are Agile Metrics

Agile metrics are standards of measurement that help a software development team in monitoring the productivity of team members across the different phases in SDLC. By monitoring how the team is performing, agile metrics help to find out loopholes and expose them at the initial stages. For example, velocity metrics help in tracking a team’s output.

Agile Metrics: Its Types

There are three important types of Agile metrics that matter and they are -

Agile Lean metrics

Ensures a flow of value from the firm/organization to its clients/customers and avoiding wasteful activities. Common metrics include cycle time and lead time.

Agile Kanban metrics

Focuses on the workflow, managing and prioritizing work, and completing it in a given time. A common metric is a cumulative flow.

Agile Scrum metrics

 Dedicated to the continuous delivery of working software to clients. Common metrics include the team velocity and burndown chart.

Why Agile Metrics that matter Now

Now that we are aware of what agile metrics are, let us shed light on how they work. The concept of agile lies in continuous improvement and continuous improvement (CI) is not possible without self-improvement (SI).

Teams practicing SI give better results as compared to those who don't. By tracking the software quality and the performance of the team members, agile metrics support SI and thus directly impact CI. 

Striking the balance between delivering a high-quality product and improving continuity is a big challenge. But agile metrics help the team to become self-managing and delivering the quality product within the deadline. 

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[Related Page:  Top Certifications of Agile and Scrum]

Top 15+Agile Metrics that Matter to power up Your Project

1. Sprint Burndown Report 

An agile framework consists of scrum teams that divide their work into sprints. As sprint is time-bound, it is important to monitor the progress frequently. Sprint burndown report/chart is used to track each task during a sprint. Time left and work to be done are two main parameters. The X-axis refers to the time and Y-axis refers to work left. This how burndown charts help the development team to track the amount of work completed and how much more is to be done. 

Sprint Burndown Report -Agile Metrics

2. Agile Velocity 

Velocity measures the average amount of work done or story points completed by a team during a sprint. It helps in predicting the team's output in the upcoming sprints.

Agile Velocity (Agile Metrics)

3. Epic and Release Burndown

Epic and release burndown track progress over a large work body. A sprint consists of many epics and versions of work. With the help of epic and release burndown charts, the entire team member stays aware of the workflow of the ongoing project.  

Epic and Release Burndown - Agile Metric

4. Control Chart 

Control charts keep track of the cycle time of every single issue. Consistency in cycle times has predictable deliverables and short cycle times have a high throughput. We can say that a short and consistent cycle time helps in achieving targets in every sprint. 

Control Chart metric -Agile Metrics

5. Cumulative Flow Diagram 

A cumulative flow diagram (CFD) helps in maintaining consistency in workflow across the team. The X-axis represents time and Y-axis represents a number of issues. CFD lets you know the state of the work in progress. Also, this diagram helps a team leader to take measures and speed up the workflow. 

Cumulative Flow Design -Agile Metrics

6. Lead Time 

Lead time is the time gap between the requested delivery time of a product to the actual delivery time. The processes that are important to bring the product to completion comes under the lead time such as developing the product requirements and fixing the bugs.

Lead Time - Agile Metircs

7. Value Delivered

To estimate the total expenditure, project managers have to assign the value to every requirement which could be in dollars or a point system. An upward trend in this metric is a good sign and shows that everything is in favor. But a downward trend shows that things are not on track and the team should make amends.

Value Delivered - Agile Metrics

[Related Page: Top Agile Methodology Interview Questions]

8. Net Promoter Score

Net promoter score lets you know about customer satisfaction and how much they are willing to recommend your products/services to others. This index may vary from -100 to 100. It is also a very important agile metric that helps in determining the success of a firm.

9. Work Item Age

This metric indicates the time gap between the start and completion of the project. It helps the team members to detect the time left for the unfinished tasks. Also, you will realize how your current tasks are moving forward. 

10. Throughput 

This agile metric measures the average tasks processed in every iteration or unit tests. It helps you get an overview of the capacity of the team members and the effect of workflow on business performance. 

11. Blocked Time

This metric assigns a blocker sticker to a task which means that the assignee can't carry forward with the particular task due to dependency. As soon as the dependency is fulfilled, block cards are removed. This helps in completing the "in progress" task quickly and within the deadline.

12. Escaped Defects

When bugs are detected in the project, it causes a lot of unexpected damage. Escaped defects metrics identify bugs when a release enters production. 

13. Failed Deployments

Failed deployment metric helps in assessing the total number of deployments through the project development lifecycle. Through this quality agile metric, project managers can determine if the sprint is ready to deploy. 

14. Code Coverage

This agile metric measures the percentage of code coverage in raw form. It gives you an overview of the work progress but high code coverage does not necessarily mean high quality.

15. Quality Intelligence

Quality intelligence gives you a clear vision of software quality. It identifies the recent code changes done. For eg., there are new codes developed by the team for which testing is still incomplete. There can be instances where the quality declines in those codes.

But with the help of Quality intelligence, we can easily determine the same. It keeps the team aware of when they should invest more time in testing.

These were several powerful agile metrics that provide important insights into the software development lifecycle in an agile project. All the metrics are very useful but burndown charts and cycle time tell the most important things about the software development process. 

Hope you found the article useful and informative. In case you have any doubt, please feel free to drop your queries in the comment box below. 

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Last updated: 03 Apr 2023
About Author

Pooja Mishra is an enthusiastic content writer working at She writes articles on the trending IT-related topics, including Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud computing, AI & Machine learning, and so on. Her way of writing is easy to understand and informative at the same time. You can reach her on LinkedIn & Twitter.

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