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What are the Top 10 Tips for Measuring Agile Success? (RT)

Обновлено: 15 янв. 2023 г.

One of our services is training and setting up a product approach. It involves testing the hypothesis of demand before investing in implementation. Therefore, we cannot afford to write articles without being sure that they are in demand. And that's why this article is a draft to test a hypothesis stated like this: "This topic is interesting to at least 1000 people a month." However, we will be happy to finish/rewrite the article for you, answering your specific questions, if at least 10 people explicitly express a desire and ask us their questions in the comments.

As you can see, choosing the right agile indicator to measure your success is really simple, right? I wish that such was the case, but in reality choosing an agile measure can be tricky.

In order to achieve the best, how do you get more out of your agile metrics? I reviewed the 9th annual State of Agile survey, which compiles insights from nearly 4,000 respondents, to find out how agile practitioners are measuring the success of their agile initiatives.

#1 On-Time Delivery

In the State of Agile survey, 58% said that they measured the success and effectiveness of an on-time delivery service.

As we work with agile, our schedule is set and our target is expanded. On-time? What does it mean for on-time? It just happens, so theoretically we are always on time. The measure of time on-time is generally calculated in context with the expectations about what will be delivered. We can use out-of-the box metrics to measure and have visibility of what is delivered. For example, we can look at the out-of-the box metrics of burndown or burnup.

A few example are: in this VersionOne burndown chart you can see progress as the team is heading towards an expected end date.

According to the burnup chart, it is possible to see the trend of getting stuff done and also the impact of change in space.

#2 Product Quality

More than 48% of the respondents to this survey said that it was important to measure and assess the success of its own innovations through product quality.

Quality is often measured in many different way, such as the customer's experience, profitability and the results of tests conducted throughout the development lifecycle. With agile software development teams, we will look at our velocity of completing working software with quality built in. We'll see how fast we can complete workable software with high quality built in. Testing and inspection are carried out in parallel throughout the development lifecycle, so we will constantly be monitoring testing trends as well as constantly inspecting build and code health.

As an example, in this trend chart you can see the cumulative progress of tests around testing activities. Everything will be green, but the large number of red along the line may reflect some issues in the code base or process.

#3 Customer/User Satisfaction

According to the survey, about 40% of people measured success of their agile projects by customer or user satisfaction.

At the same time, there are many ways to measure the outcomes of all this benefits. For customer/user satisfaction, they include checking the Net Promoter score, sales figures and number of support calls in order to deliver features for an extended period, or monitoring the use of product or site capabilities.

#4 Business Value

In approximately 40% of the survey participants, it was found that they measured success of their agile initiatives by business value.

But many of the principles in Agile Manifesto expressed the need to deliver business value. A measure of the business value is very clear, as we know that there are contracts for work to complete or an incompliance need and fines if we don't finish the work. On the other hand, measuring value is prospective or speculative in terms of market inputs and a best guess. Measuring value can be measured by applying a business value score to the features that are delivered.

This is the sample epic flow chart based on value. A good idea is that this helps you see the delivery of anticipated business value as features and other large stories are completed.

#5 Product Scope (Features, Requirements)

More than 39% of the participants responded to this question, saying that they measured the success of their agile projects with product scope.

A goal is set around what to do over the next three months, then tracking status and receiving it completed is greatly valuable. At the moment, having real-time feedback as to the progress of work is valuable for everyone on your team, from engineers and program manager to programmers. If you are working on a software development project with an accelerated process, then you can use burndown charts, or just visualize the progress of card movement from left-to-right on the project kanban board.

The epicboard in VersionOne helps the team track and visualize the progress of features at a program level. This is an epicboard that helps the team track and visualize the progress of features at a program level. Or if you are using Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), you can see progress at the release train level. If it is, you can see progress at the release train level.

#6 Project Visibility

The project visibility was the measure of choice for 30% of respondents to the survey. Project visibility was the most important factor in decision-making for 30% of respondents.

The most effective way to build trust is transparency. The plan is out in the open and making progress clear to all. In addition, Sharing progress at multiple dimensions provides the different stakeholders with information that is understandable from their point of view. A great insights can be obtained from metrics that show feature or overall progress on a targeted plan.

Visualize progress on a feature and know work in this chart. Red diamond represents what was actually predicted, so it is easy to assess whether you are above or under the expected range.

Other reason for visibility is important, as it has the potential to help internal team members better manage work in relation to component or service dependencies.

It is critical to understand the impact of one team’s work on other people. As you can see in the dependency chart below, it is easy to identify the stories at risk.

#7 Productivity

According to State of Agile survey, the majority said that the success of their agile projects was measured through productivity.

It is not a measure of outcomes, but output. The concept in an agile world is a measure of outcomes, not productivity. As you can see, looking at burnup for a product or value is hugely impactful. Looking at the burnup of stories or features over time is a great way to understand how much the team is delivering.

#8 Predictability

More than 25% of the respondents from this survey said that predictability was used to measure the success of its own projects.

A predominant metric used to assess predictability is the trend of velocity. The most common metric for assessing predictability is velocity trend. A three-to four month period of time shows how much work has been carried out at a reasonable pace on the basis of an average. In the event of a wildly variable speed, it is possible to reflect an unpredictable team, work that is unpredictable, or simply a team that is still getting used to defining small tasks for complete in an iteration.

An example of this is a velocity trend chart that gives you visibility into the team’S output at predictable state, as it shows.

The velocity can be assessed by the count of story cards that are complete every week. It often is the best indicator of predictability.

#9 Process improvement

Another 23 percent said that they measured success of new initiatives by process development.

All lean and agile mindsets have the main tenet of continuous development, constantly getting better. The way to know if you are getting better is not measuring the results? Moreover, there are all the metrics above that help, but there is also an extremely important flow chart. This showed how well work is flowing through the lifecycle.

Together with this team level flowchart, you can see the bottlenecks or slowdowns that may exist. With this team level flow chart, you can see how bottlenecks or slowdowns may occur.

There is cycle time – which helps us to plan and predict. This will help with planning and predictability. Cycle time is an important metric to view over time to see if process tweaks and adjustments are having an impact on productivity. It is also useful to check the effect of process changes and adjustments on productivity.

Examples are: in this cycle time report, you can see the level of variability and performance over the various work pieces.

#10 I don't know

Almost 11% of the State of Agile survey respondents said that they did not know. Well, if you do not know the benefits of this product, try to start checking out the metrics above. Improvements in delivered value, better quality around what is produced, predictable cadence, and happier customers will be found.


A single metric is not the only one that everyone use. Each organization, type of management, and team need different metrics.

But you are not sure what metric is right for you? The State of Agile survey is the 9th annual State of Agile survey, to learn more about what nearly 4,000 of your peers are doing.

What is the metric used to measure your agile projects’ success? How do you use it to measure your own progress?

During the process, respondents were able to make multiple selections.

Matt Badgley, Author

The Lean/Agile Coach and Product Consultant at VersionOne is Matt Badgley. ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified product owner (CSPO), and SAFe Program Consultant.
After reaching drinking age, Matt has worn one too many hats in roles from Systems Analyst to Programmer to IT Manager and programmer. The man is a seeker of new ideas and learning things. This is what he has been working with the product delivery teams to create an individual brand, develop into its own personality and build valuable solutions by making great software.
Matt is an expert in Lean Agile, who has been applying Lean Agile ideas for long time and leverages his underlying practices with both pragmatic as well as experimental purposes. The end of the day, he believes in integrity, hard work and trial-and-error people.

Agile Alliance community blog post. This is an Agile Alliance community blogpost. In the article, opinions represented are personal and belong only to an author. They are not representatives of the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.
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