What KPIs Should I Be Measuring For Software Development?
The increasing complexity of software development and project management models can make things confusing when it comes to picking out KPIs (Key Performance Indicators.) With so much data available to you, it may be hard to understand which metrics to focus on – and which ones are more incidental, and do not deserve as much attention.
In this blog, we’ll discuss just a few of the KPIs that are the most important to track, to aid you as you create your organizational goals and priorities, and pursue a more efficient and lean working environment. Let’s get started.
1. Cycle Time
Cycle time is a metric that measures the total amount of time that is spent working on a single issue – to “cycle “ it from an open state to a finished state.
Essentially, it’s a way that you can break down your team’s speed, by examining the median time that it takes to resolve an issue or build a new feature. This can be measured using most major Agile project management software systems.
Cycle time is important because it helps you understand bottlenecks and identify ways in which your team can perform more quickly. It also helps guide stakeholders and clients when it comes to setting reasonable times for the completion of a feature.
Velocity is, essentially, the amount of “work” that can be delivered over any given time period. There are different ways to measure this, from “story points” to feature tickets.
Measuring velocity helps you understand the average pace at which your team is working. In turn, this lets you set proper delivery expectations, and identify times when velocity is falling due to a difficult project roadblock, bug, or other error. In addition, if your velocity is highly volatile, this may indicate management or team issues.
3. Work In Progress
This metric is intended to give you a high-level overview of the total number of issues or tickets which your team is working on. It’s a measurement of speed and efficiency – and helps you track your team’s current workload. Ideally, this metric will stay relatively stable over time. If the number of tasks rises or falls, this could indicate that you have inefficient processes, or are running into roadblocks and bottlenecks.
4. Release Cycle Time
This metric indicates the total amount of time which elapses between each individual software release cycle – from the time when the work began, to the moment when it’s “shipped” and completed.
Tracking release cycle time allows you to identify any potential areas for improvement, and set the proper expectations for future software releases.
As a high level metric, it also helps you understand bottlenecks and inefficiencies with your team – if you delivered one software release in only 3 months, and the next one in 5, something has gone wrong – and you should dive more deeply into the details to find out what that is.
Keep Your Eye One These Metrics – And Keep Your Team On Track!
Though there are dozens of other metrics you could track when developing software, these four are the most important. So make sure you use the proper metrics in your company, track them, and use this information to speed up your delivery processes, and enhance the efficiency of your development team.