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Top 10 Agile Metrics (KPIs)

As Peter Drucker quotes, “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” Speculators outside core agile teams always question about teams efficiency. I aways believed in  “What gets measured gets improved.” Here I will discuss top 10 agile metrics or KPIs (Key performance indicators) can be used to measure the success of a business’s Agile project. In this short little guide, I will go through 10 of the best known agile metrics and explain agile-triangletheir use.
As a convert from traditional project management to agile method, I still have some affinity towards good old iron triangle of project management.

Let’s adopt it to our agile world with constraints applied to time & cost while focusing on delivering high quality business value. I have grouped these metrics accordingly to cover all aspect of an agile project.



This one seems to confuse many people but in fact, it’s a simple terminology, which just predicts how longsprint-velocity it takes for an agile development team to complete a project in a time-restricted sprint. A sprint is referred to the amount of time taken to complete a certain amount of work for it to be approved and reviewed for the next stage. The velocity is the perfect tool to analyze work completion. It can be used to estimate how long it will take for a task to be completed as well as the entire project. The calculation for velocity is quite simple. It involves looking at previous successful sprints done by the organization and uses that as a baseline for how long the next project will take to complete.

Burn down:

A bburn1urn down chart is a graphical representation of work left to do versus time. The outstanding work (or backlog) is often on the vertical axis, with time along the horizontal. That is, it is a run chart of outstanding work. It is useful for predicting when all of the work will be completed.


3. Cumulative flow chart:

The cumulative flow diagram gives a simple overview of what is happening in a project. There are 2 ways in which businesses can the cumulative flow diagram. One way is to analyze it and find information regarding cum-flowthe status of work completion, backlogs and on-going progress while the second way is to see what errors are happening along the way and working on them. The graph is really easy to understand once you grasp the concept of graph reading. The vertical axis shows the number of tasks and the horizontal line shows the timeline. The data which has been input into the graph shows the number of tasks in different time scopes as well as their progress. Judging from the graph above, we can see that

4. Release Burndown Chart:Release-burn-down

Progress on a Scrum project can be tracked by means of a release burndown chart. The horizontal axis of the sprint burndown chart shows the sprints; the vertical axis shows the amount of work remaining at the start of each sprint. Work remaining can be shown in whatever unit the team prefers — story points, ideal days, team days and so on.

5. Release Burnup:

A burnup chart is different to a cumulative flow chart as it has a different layout but it is still similar in context. Here is an example burnup chart: As you can see, there’s only 2 lines being tracked. These are:

  • Work completed line
  • Total work line

release-burn-upThe vertical axis represents the amount of work and is measured in units which are different according to the project going on. Some units may be estimated number of hours, and number of tasks. The horizontal axis represents the time, most commonly, the amount of days. The way a burnup works is quite interesting because of the fact that you know how close you are to completing your project just by looking at it. If the lines finally join together, it means that the project is complete.


7. Agile Earned Value (AgileEVM):

AgileEVM is a light-weight, and easy to use adaptation of the traditional EVM techniques which provides agile-evmthe benefits of traditional EVM in Agile projects. It is a project management technique which measures cost and schedule against a baseline.


8. Business value delivered:

This KPI/Metrics will help you to demonstrate how the team’s work can be measured in terms of business value delivered. This can be measured using the following method suggested by Scrum

  • Every project gets a total of 100 points, maximum, called BP (business points). That total is divided among key objectives of the project.
  • Any business objective can be given a value of only 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 BP (these numbers come from the Fibonacci series).
  • A few parameters to consider while assigning value to objectives could be business criticality, ROI, complexity, urgency, importance (please refer to the Appendix at the end of this article).


9. Defect resolution time:

defect-resolutionDefect resolution is the process in which a team finds a problem within the product and then begins to eradicate the errors. There are usually 4 steps involved within the defect resolution process. These are:

  • Prioritize risk
  • Schedule fix
  • Fix defect
  • Report the resolution


10. Test Coverage:

Test coverage (also referred to by some as code coverage) is one of many metrics that are commonly used to give a statistical representation of the state of the code written for a certain piece of software. 


test-coverageTest coverage in particular, is a measure of the extent to which the code in question has been tested by a particular test suite.


Now produce these metrics and help team to improve their performance. If you need any help with these metrics or template that you can use then feel free to contact us. If you like this article the please don’t forget to share it.

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