Measuring your team’s performance with software metrics is an important step towards setting and achieving the goals you have set for yourself and your business. When people write down measurable goals, they are more likely to achieve them. Resourcefulness lies not only in the availability of resources, but also in developing a strategy for their best use. In a highly technical environment, Key Performance Indicators are a valuable way to stay accountable for achieving your goals. Let’s see how work metrics and KPI in software development.
What is KPI in software development?
Setting software development KPIs can be complex and exhaustive. Project compliance and customer satisfaction are also top priorities for development teams. If you need examples — see the results of Inoxoft.
Key Performance Indicators are values that measure the performance of a business as a whole. In the context of software development, KPIs show how well your development efforts are aligned with business goals. Choosing the right software metrics is the first step. You’d be surprised how often companies choose the wrong metrics to measure the success of a programming team. It is not uncommon to use KPIs such as:
- lines of code
- number of commits
- number of deployments
Rarely do business managers know enough about the ins and outs of development to truly understand what a successful project looks like. There are two opposite ways of developing:
- The traditional software metrics described above are best suited for teams of programmers who use the waterfall model for development
- Modern teams prefer to use agile development to scale faster and better. An agile process enables rapid application development with continuous delivery and deployment.
Software KPIs must rely on business scalability as the most essential component of performance metrics. And it’s quality has the greatest impact on setting software development indicators. The question is — how does it create business value?
Are the metrics really important?
By setting engineering KPIs and making sure your team is ready to meet them, you will ensure high-quality software. It’s also more likely that you’ll complete your project on time and on budget. When a problem occurs, your metrics will provide valuable context for understanding. Metrics help the business track, manage specific issues, prioritize the outstanding parameters, and contribute to team productivity.
When a development team (like Inoxoft) is better able to recognize their collective efforts and how they affect an outcome, they are more productive in removing any bottlenecks. Either way, having an organized method to measure progress in software development will result in an increased return on investment (ROI).
Top-10 Key Performance Indicators
Due to the role of KPI, it’s necessary to choose the best ones exactly for your case.
Velocity refers to how much work the team can complete in a sprint. In agile development, a sprint is a set period of time in which certain tasks must be completed. The most popular measure is Story Points, which measure the amount of effort spent on a software product. Estimating points primarily means estimating the size of a software project and the time required to create it. Using speed, it’s possible to evaluate how realistic the goals are.
Sprint burnout measures how much work is actually completed during a sprint. Using it as a metric helps teams to adjust performance when a measurement falls short of predictions. Developers use burndown charts to show the collected data, measuring time versus points.
Release burndown takes into account the development progress. Teams can use the release chart to see if they are behind schedule, ahead of schedule, or on schedule. Companies will have reliable data to show stakeholders when they can expect a return on investment.
Cycle time measures how much time it takes to complete a particular task. It’s using to evaluate the effectiveness of the process. This metric can objectively evaluate the performance and will give an estimate of how quickly the team will complete future tasks.
It shows the status of program tasks or requests with a visual chart. Different colors on the chart will indicate different milestones: “Approved”, “Work In Progress”, and so on. These colors are arranged in bands and width matches the cycle time. Managers can use a cumulative flowchart to stabilize the workflow if a bottleneck was found.
It measures the ratio between the active and total time. Often, work in progress does not really mean it, but actually time stands still. There may be waiting periods when developers cannot immediately move from one task to another. You can calculate flow efficiency by dividing the time you actively spend working by the total cycle time.
This particular metric is critical for software development life cycles that prioritize continuous delivery and test-driven development (TDD). It’s also called test coverage, which determines how much of your source code is being executed while it is being tested. Code that doesn’t execute for some reason is likely to contain undetected bugs. While you shouldn’t aim for 100% code coverage, the better is the higher. And the less debugging you have to do.
Stable code means that small changes are made to the software product that could potentially harm the work.
Simplicity of code
Cyclomatic complexity is a quantitative measure of independent paths your code must take. Fewer paths is a good sign.
Code churn can be a measure of stability because it shows how often code changes over time. If you need to rewrite code frequently to accommodate a new feature, then the software system is high maintenance and therefore high risk.
Check harmony with algebra
When applying any method of calculating the effectiveness of human activity in a software development business, it must be remembered that the creative efforts of people count. The effectiveness of a musician is not determined by the strength of the stroke on the piano keys, and the artist — by the number of colors used. They also say that a writer only works when he looks out the window.