Today, the majority of businesses have implemented the correct software to allow them to achieve their goals. Nevertheless, they fail to apply software metrics into their development process. A lack of such metrics can lead to reduced quality and not meeting deadlines. We are going to take a closer at some of the key software development metrics and how they can benefit your business.
What Are Software Development Metrics?
Software Development Metrics are a set of calculable measurements or specifications used to examine and monitor the well-being of a development process. When using metrics, you are able to make informed decisions from objective data rather than letting emotions get involved. Software development metrics have a number of benefits including:
- The ability to follow a team’s performance
- Discover is quality meets expectations and requirements
- Ascertain the speed of delivery
- Concentrate on the time needed for various stages of the development process
- Highlight areas for improvement
How Can You Use Software Development Metrics Correctly?
The first important rule is to select your own set metrics as no one business is going to be the same. You will need to know what to measure and why you need to measure this. Then comes the how.
Why do you need this set of measurements? Are you on schedule with your development and is the quality what you had expected? Are you developers performing well? Is your code readable, extensible, etc.?
What to measure? It would be sensible to consider actionable KPI targets as these will assist in the implementation of the required metrics.
How to measure? There are a variety of tools and it is often about personal choice. Some will measure manually; others may use Jira or Excel.
Be careful not to spend too much time on KPI measurements. There have been cases where the process of monitoring software development metrics exceeds the business value and this time should have been spent on the actual development process.
Tune all of your instruments to measure KPI
If you tune all reports and widgets in Jira, you will save time. It’s a quick process that involves logging in and downloading the reports that you need. When tuned correctly, tools can be extremely useful. It is essential that if you use Jira, you formalize the set of metrics. Keep a note of the software development metrics you use so that it is easier to stay up to date with the progress rates and how you can enhance processes.
Keep the lines of communication open
Start with a Kick-off meeting when beginning a new project, let the developer know how important communication is. Inform them of the software development metrics so that you can work on them together. A good practice is to open a BurnDown chart that can be used to monitor the progress on the Sprint. As soon as a problem arises, it can be dealt with together.
Possible Delivery Metrics
The following software development metrics are an excellent way to get a range of information and from different angles.
- BurnDown Chart
This chart is a graph of what still needs to be finished within a given time. BurnDown charts are very common when using Scrum/Agile development and are good for teams. The vertical axis represents the tasks to be done and the horizontal axis shows the time. BurnDown charts allow senior staff to see if the team are going to be able to complete the project on time and they are very simple for everyone to read.
Note: When the red line deviates from the basic line, there is an issue and you need to find out what is going wrong.
- Release BurnDown Chart
This is very similar to a BurnDown chart but looks at the bigger picture. You can view sprints rather than days. This time of chart also works when there is a determined scope of releases as you will be able to see if you are going to have the time to release by the deadline. Knowing in advance will allow you to advise stakeholders.
- Velocity Chart
This software development metric will measure the size or extent of the tasks being carried out by the team during a sprint. Knowing how fast your team can work enables you to create accurate plans and deadlines for future sprints. This type of chart allows you to compare carious sprints and calculate the average team performance, again, helping to plan better for future projects.
Note: Team members leaving or joining will have an impact on the velocity.
- Cumulative Flow Diagram
A cumulative flow diagram is a chart containing lots of relevant information including summaries, work in progress, finished tasks, testing, and velocity. Task statuses are shown in a backlog and will indicate and problems that the team could be facing. Completed tasks remain at the top while those that are falling behind are in the backlog. Monitoring tasks in the backlog will show you where your team can improve efficiency.