Scrum specific metrics focus on predictable software delivery, making sure scrum teams deliver maximum value
to customers with every iteration.
Scrum KPIs have three major goals:
1- Measuring Deliverables:
The following metrics can help measure the work done by scrum teams and value delivered to customers:
1.1- Sprint Goal Success:
A Sprint Goal is an optional part of the scrum framework. As defined by Scrum.org, it answers three questions: Why are we carrying out the sprint? How do we reach the sprint goal? What metric tells us the goal has been met?
For example, a goal might be delivering a feature, addressing a risk, or testing an assumption.
By defining sprint goals and then measuring how many sprints met the goal, you can get a qualitative assessment of a scrum team’s work. Not just how many story points are completed,
but how frequently the objectives of the business are met.
1.2- Escaped Defects and Defect Density:
Escaped defects is a crucial metric that shows how many bugs were experienced by users in production.
Ideally, a scrum team should fully test stories and completely avoid escaped defects. In reality, this rarely happens, but the trend of escaped defects is a good signal of product quality.
Defect density is also worth watching—it measures number of defects per software size,
for example per lines of code (LOC). While this metric can easily be skewed, it is valuable in fast-moving projects to check if growth in defects is “normal” given the growth of the underlying codebase.
1.3- Team Velocity:
Velocity measures how many user stories were completed by the team, on average, in previous sprints. It assists in estimating how much work the team is able to accomplish in future sprints.
While velocity is a key metric to watch in any scrum project, experts warn against using it as a goal, or using velocity to compare teams to each other. Velocity is a subjective measure (based on each team’s definition of story points) that captures the team’s progress.
Trying to artificially increase velocity can act to erode trust and reduce transparency between teams and management.
1.4- Sprint Burndown:
The sprint burndown chart is the classic representation of progress within a sprint. It shows the number of hours remaining to complete the stories planned for the current sprint, for each day during the sprint. The sprint burndown shows, at a glance, whether the team is on schedule to complete the sprint scope or not.
2- Measuring Effectiveness:
The following metrics can help assess the effectiveness of scrum teams in meeting business goals:
2.1- Time to Market:
Time to market is the time a project takes to start providing value to customers, or the time it takes to start generating revenue. The first can be calculated by taking the length of the number of sprints before a scrum team releases to production. The second could be longer, depending on the organization’s alpha and beta testing strategy.
Return on Investment (ROI) for a scrum project calculates the total revenue generated from a product vs. the cost of the sprints required to develop it. Scrum has the potential to generate ROI much faster than traditional development methods, because working software can be delivered to customers very early on. With each sprint, scrum teams create more features that can translate into growth in revenue.
2.3- Capital Redeployment:
Capital Redeployment measures if it’s worthwhile to continue a scrum project, or if the economic value of the project now exceeds its costs. In this case the team should be redeployed to other, more profitable projects.
To determine Capital Redeployment, calculate the revenue value of the remaining items in the project backlog (V), the actual cost (AC) of the sprints needed to complete those items, and the opportunity cost (OC) of alternative product work the team could do. When V < AC + OC, the project should end and the team redeployed to other projects.
2.4- Customer Satisfaction:
There are several well-known metrics used to measure customer satisfaction. One is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures if users would recommend the software to others, do nothing, or recommend against it. Using a consistent customer satisfaction metric and measuring it for every release indicates whether the scrum team is meeting its end goal—to provide value to customers.
3- Monitoring the Scrum Team:
These metrics can help a scrum team monitor its activity and identify problems early on, before they impact development:
3.1- Daily Scrum and Sprint Retrospective:
These two scrum events, if carried out regularly with well-documented conclusions, can provide an important qualitative measurement of team progress and process health.
3.2- Team Satisfaction:
Surveying the scrum team periodically to see how satisfied they are with their work can provide warning signals about culture issues, team conflicts or process issues.
3.3- Team Member Turnover:
Low turnover (replacement of team members) in a scrum team indicates a healthy environment, while high turnover could indicate the opposite. Also contrast this metric with overall company turnover, which can impact the scrum team.