December 1, 2022

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10 Important Software Development Metrics

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Software development is quite a critical job. All the team members need constant efforts to bring out the best. We have to focus on every minor and significant aspect of development. A minor setback can also affect the whole process and product quality.

Yes, it’s a fact: according to some studies, 66% of technology projects end up in partial or total failure. Only one out of three software is considered best, or successful, whereas the rest have issues.

Software Project Failure Rate

The primary reasons behind the software failures are bugs, ambiguities, insufficient testing, invalid code, and other foreseen issues. Measuring the productivity of software product development teams is one of the key ways to prevent failures. Many software development metrics can be used to measure a team’s productivity. 

So, what should be followed to avoid software failure? Find out in this article. Here, we will discuss these metrics in detail. Let’s get started.

10 Important Software Development Metrics That You Should Know

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the key to measuring the productivity of a software development team. Satisfied customers are the ones who will recommend your product to others and will be loyal to your product. On the other hand, unsatisfied customers are more likely to switch to a competitor’s product.

There are numerous ways to measure customer satisfaction. Here are some of the standard methods:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): It is widely used to measure customer satisfaction. It rates your customers on a scale of 1-10 based on their likelihood to recommend your product to others. A satisfied customer will give you 9 or 10, while an unsatisfied customer will give you 1 or 2. NPS is the ratio of happy customers to the number of unsatisfied customers. It can range from -100 to 100 (both included). Any NPS score above six is considered good and can indicate a satisfied customer. Therefore, it is necessary for software development teams to achieve an NPS score above six.
  • Customer Feedback: Another way of measuring customer satisfaction is through feedback and suggestions given by the customers. You can ask your customers to provide your product rating from 1 to 5, based on their experience with the product. It’s a better idea to send a feedback request email or letter before the subscription period ends. You can also take feedback through social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Customer Survey: This is another effective way to get your product’s customer satisfaction or customer experience metrics. You should send out a survey email based on customers’ purchases at certain intervals, say after one month of purchasing the product. The survey can include questions about the customer’s experience with the product, their likelihood of recommending it to others, and any suggestions.

2. Sprint Burndown

Sprint Burndown is a graphical representation of the work completed in a sprint. It is used to track the team’s progress and determine whether they can achieve the sprint goals.

The idea behind creating a sprint burndown chart is to find out how much work can be done in a sprint and compare it with the actual completed work. The graph’s x-axis represents time, while the y-axis represents work remaining. The line slope shows how the team is completing the work.

A Sprint Burndown Chart consists of two lines: one for excellent progress and another for actual progress. It also contains the following six points:

  1. Start Point: The start point is when the sprint begins, and the remaining work is 0.
  2. End Point: The endpoint is when the sprint ends, and the remaining work is 0.
  3. Zero Line: The zero line is drawn at the y-axis to indicate the work remaining at the start and endpoints.
  4. Actual Progress Line: The actual progress line is the line that shows the amount of work completed in the sprint.
  5. Ideal Progress Line: The ideal line shows the amount of work that could be completed in the sprint if everything goes as planned.
  6. Burndown Rate: The burndown rate is the slope of the actual progress line.

3. Team Velocity

Team velocity measures how much work a team can do in a certain amount of time. We measure in terms of story points or, more generally, in terms of ideal days.

Ideal days are the total number of days all team members work together on a project. They include weekends, holidays, and any other kind of absence. Ideal days are calculated based on the 100% attendance rate by all the team members.

Team velocity is measured in story points or ideal days spent understanding the production team. A higher velocity means that the team can do more work in less time. We generally use this metric to track the team’s progress over some time.

4. Release Burndown

Release burndown is a tool software development teams use to forecast completion. It uses velocity as its basis for predicting the number of days remaining to finish the project. It is also called release planning, where the scheduling takes time rather than tasks.

It works on this principle: velocity multiplied by the number of iterations gives the total number of story points completed. You can convert the remaining story points into days by multiplying them with the team’s average velocity.

5. Cycle Time

Cycle time is the average time an issue requires to move from beginning to completion. You can measure it in days, hours, or even minutes. The general equation for cycle time is as follows:

T = T + d(t)

T is the total time spent on a particular project in hours or days, and d(t) represents the duration of an issue in each stage in a workflow.

For example, Alice from the QA team created an issue on January 1st and assigned it to John from the development team. It spends two days in the In Progress stage and one day in the Completed stage. The total cycle time for this issue will be four days.

The goal of reducing cycle time is to improve the speed at which an issue can move from beginning to completion. This metric is used to measure the efficiency of a team’s workflow and to find ways to improve it.

6. Lead Time

Lead time is the average time an issue moves from beginning to completion once assigned to a particular team or member. You can also measure in days, hours, or minutes. The general equation for lead time is as follows:

L = L + d(t)

L is the total lead time taken to complete an issue in hours or days, and d(t) represents the duration of time into each workflow stage.

For example, Alice from the QA team created an issue on January 1st and assigned it to John. It takes five days to move from In Progress to Completed. The total lead time for this issue will be five days.

Lead time is often used as a metric to track the speed of issue resolution. This metric is used to measure the efficiency of a team’s workflow and to find ways to improve it. Reducing the lead time makes it possible to improve how issues are resolved.

7. Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

Mean time to repair, or MTTR, is a measure of how long it takes for a bug or an issue to be resolved after being detected by the Development Team. It can also be measured in days, hours, or minutes. The general equation for MTTR is as follows:

MTTR = T + d(t)

T is the total time spent on a particular project in hours or days, and d(t) represents the duration of an issue in each stage in a workflow.

For example, John from the Development team created an issue on January 1st and assigned it to the QA team’s Joanne. It spends two days in the Progress stage and four days in the Debugging location. The total MTTR for this issue will be six days.

This metric aims to reduce how long it takes for a bug or issue to be resolved after being found. This metric is used to track the speed at which problems are resolved and identify ways to improve them.

8. Code Review

Code review is a practice where developers examine each other’s code, propose improvements or alternatives, and initiate plans to implement these changes. It’s used to measure software quality and prevent defects in the codebase.

The goal of code review is to improve the codebase’s overall quality and prevent defects from being introduced. This metric is used to measure the quality of the codebase and identify ways to improve it.

9. Bug Rates

Bug rates are a measure of the number of defects or issues that are found in a software application.  You can measure it in terms of bugs per unit, day, week, or month. The general equation for bug rates is as follows:

R = N/t

R is the rate of bugs, N is the number of bugs found in a particular time, and t is the duration of that period.

For example, Joanne from the QA team created ten defects on February 1st and assigned them to Bob from QA. It takes her eight days before she reproduces all those issues. The total bug rate for this period is 0.8 bugs per day.

This metric aims to measure how many defects or issues are found in a software application over time, and it’s often used as a comparison tool to identify whether the testing process needs to be improved. This metric identifies ways to improve the quality of testing for a product.

10. Task Volume + Average Estimates

Task volume measures the number of tasks to be completed to ship a product. It can also be measured in days, hours, or minutes. The general equation for task volume is as follows:

TV = TV + d(t)

TV is the total task volume, TV is the total number of tasks, and d(t) represents the duration of a job’s time in each stage in a workflow.

For example, Alex from the QA team created an issue on January 1st and assigned it to John. It takes five days to move from In Progress to Ready for Dev. The total task volume for this issue is now 15 days.

The goal of task volume is to measure the number of tasks that need to be completed to ship a product and identify ways to reduce them. This metric identifies potential bottlenecks in the workflow, allowing teams to address these issues before they significantly delay the project. It can also compare groups, projects, or even software development workflows.

Conclusion

The metrics mentioned in this article are essential for measuring software development productivity. While not all will apply to every project, these metrics provide a good starting point for evaluating your team’s performance. Measuring and tracking these metrics can help identify areas to improve productivity and quality.

Good Luck!

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