Agile Metrics can be a complicated topic sometimes, especially when we have all been in some kind of project in which none of the data has been monitored, making it difficult and complicated to know if the objectives were achieved.
The lack of use of Agile Metrics can also cause conflict where statistics are used as a weapon, pitting one team against another, justifying mandatory work on the weekend.
These reasons are more than enough, and not surprisingly, to say that most teams will have a love-hate relationship with agile metrics.
At WillDom, we believe in the importance of teams with an agile approach. We offer a self-organizing scrum team of software developers and engineers. There is no doubt that they are fundamental for your company as they will provide you with added flexibility and scalability when needed.
The importance of agile metrics
The use of testing metrics in agile is gaining momentum day by day and for all the right reasons.
The use of Agile is not new for better communication, integration, transparency, and successful operation of the project. These methodologies are based on the fast-paced development of the software which should ensure the testing of the software is also fast-paced. So, to maintain that quality while delivering the products, testing metrics become very crucial for the task.
Having a finished product is only half the story. You have to create the right one at the right time for the right market. To stay on track throughout the program, it is important to collect and analyze relevant data along the way.
In all agile programs, it’s important to track both business metrics and agile metrics. The first ones report on the market fit of the solution, while second ones measure aspects of the development process.
Several KPIs should be included in each roadmap initiative, which should be linked to the program objectives. In addition to this, success criteria should be included for each product requirement such as end-user adoption rate or percentage of code covered by automated testing.
All of these success criteria feed into the program’s agile metrics and, the more the teams learn, the better they will adapt and evolve.
Agile Metrics you must include in your project
There are many advantages that a team is going to have when they are implementing testing metrics in their project.
1. Sprint Burndown Report
An agile framework contains scrum teams. They organize their processes into sprints. Since a sprint is time-bound, it’s important to track task progress frequently.
A sprint burndown report is for tracking the completion of different tasks during a sprint. Time and work left to complete are the two main parameters of measurement in this case.
The X-axis refers to the time. The Y-axis represents the work left. The unit of measurement is hours or story points. The team forecasts the workload at the beginning of a sprint. The target is to complete the workload by the end of the sprint.
2. Control Chart
In agile, control charts focus on the time duration from the “in progress” to “complete” status of tasks. Their purpose is to check the cycle time of a single issue.
Teams with consistency in cycle times have predictable deliveries. Besides this, teams with short cycle times have a high throughput. When teams measure cycle times, they improve the flexibility of their processes. For instance, in the case of changes, you can discern the results instantly.
Velocity measures the average work a team does during a sprint.
The report, in this case, contains several iterations. The accuracy of the forecast depends on the number of iterations. The more iterations, the more precise the forecast. The unit of measurement is hours or story points. Velocity also determines the ability of a team to work through backlogs. As time passes, velocity tends to evolve.
To ensure consistent performance, it’s important to track velocity in an agile metric dashboard.
4. Workflow Efficiency
Flow efficiency calculates the proportion of Working Time and Waiting within the total time dedicated to complete a process. It is one of the most important metrics in Lean management and one of the most interesting measures of the value chain.
5. Cumulative Flow Diagram
The cumulative flow diagram (CFD) ensures consistency in workflow across the team.
The X-axis represents time. The number of issues is on the Y-axis. Ideally, the diagram should be smooth from left to right. Smoothen out the color bands in case of uneven flow. The band narrowing means throughput is higher than the rate of entry.
6. Lead Time
Lead time is the period between the moment of making a request for delivering a product and the actual delivery.
All the processes to bring a product to completion come under lead time. It also includes developing a business requirement and fixing bugs.
Lead time is an important metric. The reason for this is it provides the exact time calculation for every process.
7. Code Coverage
Code coverage measures the percentage of code unit tests covered.
You can run this metric with every build. It represents the percentage of code coverage in raw form. This metric gives a decent perspective on progress but it doesn’t cover other kinds of testing. Thus, high code coverage numbers don’t necessarily represent high quality.
In conclusion, Agile testing metrics can help teams measure and visualize the effort spent on software quality, and to a certain extent, the results of this effort. For example, the escaped defects metric measures, across versions, sprints or product lines, how many bugs were discovered in production, whereas ideally bugs should be discovered and fixed during the development stage.