10 Parameters To Measure The Success Of Your Agile EffortsCigniti Technologies
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As per the 9th Annual State of Agile Survey, a compilation of inputs from almost 4,000 people, ‘From 2012 to 2014, the percentage of respondents who had distributed teams practicing agile jumped from 35% to 80%.’
However, establishing and implementing Agile methodologies is not enough. We also need to align and select the best fitting Agile Metrics that help in analyzing if the Agile process is really helping us gain anything – or if it is just being followed for namesake.
That said, selecting these metrics is easier said than done. Add to it the fact that at times these metrics are used as weapons to show what wasn’t done rather than a tool to help improve processes.
As per the respondents who took part in the Survey, at least 11% did not even know of any metrics to be used – while almost 58% believed that On-time Delivery is one of the most accurate and most widely accepted metrics. The following list of metrics is from the 9th Annual State of Agile Survey report and discusses how the respondents thought about the same.
#1 On-Time Delivery
According to the State of Agile survey, 58% of the respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on on-time delivery.
On-time delivery means the delivery of the expected item having the exact same features on the exact date as agreed upon while signing the documents. Metrics such as Burn down and Burn up charts help gain visibility of what is actually being delivered, and if it is on time.
#2 Product Quality
48% of the respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on product quality.
Now, measuring Quality is a tricky thing as it can be interpreted based on client satisfaction, growth in ROI, or the correctness of tests performed during SDLC. To confirm if the quality standards are met for a product developed using the Agile methodology, it is the velocity with which a working software is built that is taken into account. All things Continuous therefore become very important – continuous testing, monitoring, planning, etc.
#3 Customer/User Satisfaction
44% of respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on customer or user satisfaction.
Metrics for customer/user satisfaction include statistics related to sales figures, support calls made compared to the number of features developed and delivered in a given time frame, or usage of product or website.
#4 Business Value
44% of the respondents to the Survey said they measured agile initiatives based on business value.
Many underlying principles of the Agile Manifesto give due importance to the deliverance of business value. Metrics for measuring the same are usually well defined – for example, the Statement of Work (SoW). Additionally, if each feature being developed for a product can be linked to a value – it can also prove to be a good metric.
#5 Product Scope (Features, Requirements)
39% of the respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on product scope.
When you have a goal and are clear regarding what you want to do over a specified time, you can very easily track the status and enjoy the progress as you get it completed. This metric can be collected on a daily basis in the Agile Stand Up meetings – and can be represented as burn down charts, or Kanban boards.
#6 Project Visibility
30% of respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on Project visibility.
To share clarity regarding a Project, the progress needs to be shared across multiple platforms in diverse forms (for example using a Dependency Chart) so that everyone knows what is it that they need to contribute towards the success. This data also creates an atmosphere of internal cohesion leading to a DevOps like culture which helps manage the project in the best manner possible.
29% of the respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on productivity.
Again, the metrics that can be collected via means of a Burn up chart serve as a great resource for measuring the productivity outcome. The story/feature count provides a clear picture as to which team is delivering what sort of an outcome.
25% of the respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on predictability.
Velocity Trends are used to generate metrics related to predictability. These trends help us understand the amount of work that has been completed for say a quarter, and what was the average rate of doing the same. A fluctuating velocity reflects unpredictability, changes, or a lack of knowledge.
Story Cards (based on the user stories) completed per week may be the best indicator of predictability.
#9 Process Improvement
23% of the respondents said they measured agile initiatives based on process improvement.
To measure outcomes that help understand whether or not you are continuously improving, it is suggested to use the Cumulative Flow Charts that explain how work is flowing across SDLC.
#10 Don’t Know
All said and done – it was only 11% of respondents of the State of Agile Survey who said that they aren’t aware if any metrics are being used to measure the success of their Agile related efforts.
Agile teams also look at defects found during development and after product launch, bugs postponed to the next release, how long it takes to fix business critical defects.
Diligently selecting the right agile metrics help create a seamless culture and also help all stakeholders involved to understand the business the organization is in, and how can right metrics help improve delivery processes. These metrics also provide smart and measurable goals based on the different needs of different organizations.
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