Diving into agile metrics

Behind quality agile delivery there are processes that make this possible.

Fernanda Lira
Fernanda Lira

Software Quality Manager

Hi, I'm Fernanda, software quality manager here at levva, and today I'm here to tell you a little about what it's like to work with agile metrics and what difference this process can make to your company. 

What are agile metrics?

Agile metrics are indicators that make it possible to evaluate the delivery of value from processes, projects and teams. As the name implies, agile metrics are essential for providing an objective and measurable view of the project, allowing the team and stakeholders to monitor progress, identify potential problems and make assertive decisions based on data. make assertive decisions based on data.

Agile metrics can be applied to various business fronts, from the operational to the tactical. As such, it allows everyone on the team to use the metrics to their advantage. With agile metrics, for example, it is possible to obtain up-to-date information on the performance of a product and, based on the data, draw up efficient strategies to boost sales, for example.

That's what working with agile metrics is all about: creating actions to make the necessary improvements based on the data collected and being able to generate profitability from it. 

What are the first steps to using agile metrics?

Before using agile metrics in business, there are some crucial questions we need to ask and important steps to ensure the success and effectiveness of the methodology.

First step: "What exactly do I want to measure?" and "Is my team prepared to be agile?"

Well, if you don't know exactly what you want to measure and start calculating everything that comes your way, you could end up having to deal with a lot of useless data.

So, in short, know what you want to metricate, what you're trying to answer with this data and what pain these metrics will help to solve. 

Second step: understand if your team is agile

The second step is to understand whether your team is agile. If it isn't, you need to adapt your team through training and alignment so that they can really participate in this new ecosystem. For a delivery to be agile, the team needs to be agile. It's worth pointing out that, in a squad and product analysis, for example, failure metrics are very important because they can show the flow of the entire process and, consequently, where the problem to be corrected might be.

Finally, you need to choose the tool that will meet your metrics and data analysis needs. There are many options on the market today, so you need to take the time to make an assertive choice that will be useful in your team's day-to-day work.

With these two initial points answered and aligned, it will be possible to start metrics in an agile way. However, don't get ahead of yourself with the first month's data; ideally, you should start considering it from the third month onwards so that you can analyze the behavior of the team and product in more depth. 

Who is the professional responsible for this area?

When the agile movement began in 2001, this role was the responsibility of an agilist. Therefore, this process works like this: the agilist joins the team to understand the pains of the people and the product, and from there, they start to generate metrics that will solve these problems and answer the questions. For example, if the director thinks that the team isn't delivering as it should, it's up to the agilist to draw up metrics that can show the real data on the team's delivery. 

With these metrics, it is possible to show what the bottleneck is in these deliveries, because the obstacle could be in any sector, including the board itself. However, a lack of vision prevents it from being solved. The presence of an agilist in a project puts an end to any decision making based on "I think", since with data it is possible to be more assertive through the numbers generated by that team or product. 

So today the agilist plays the role of facilitator to generate these metrics, getting the team to work in an agile model. If the company doesn't yet work with an agile methodology, it's also up to the agilist to learn it. It's a process that will take time, with implementation happening day after day within a client or a product.

What are the benefits of this process?

Working with agile metrics brings several significant benefits to the squads and clients that choose to adopt this methodology, but the main ones are:

  • Visibility of progress

Having a clear and objective view of the project in real time allows the team and customers to follow the development of the product, understand what has been completed and what still needs to be done.

  • Continuous improvement

Agile metrics make it easier to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies and problems in the development process. With this information, the team can make continuous improvements and adjust its approach to maximize productivity and effectiveness.

  • Assertive decision-making

Based on the metrics collected, leaders and staff can make data-driven decisions.

  • Predictability and planning

Based on the metrics already collected, it is possible to predict the time needed to complete certain tasks or projects. This helps with planning future deliveries and setting realistic expectations for stakeholders.

However, it is important to note that in order to obtain these benefits, metrics must be used in a balanced and responsible way. It is essential to avoid putting excessive pressure on the team or creating a culture of punishment based solely on numbers. Metrics should be seen as tools to promote continuous improvement and growth, rather than as instruments of rigid control.

What are the main agile metrics to work on?

The essential metrics for each company vary, but we can mention the most commonly used, regardless of the type of business:

Value metrics

This is one of the main metrics and shows the overall value that the product is generating for the company, be it financial, agility or security.

Speed metrics

Predicts and documents a team's delivery speed.

Failure metrics

As much as it may seem like a bad metric, it can become a positive one the moment you show comparisons from the initial data to the current data and show the flaws that have been solved. 

Regardless of the metrics you choose, you have to bear in mind that they need to answer and solve your company's pain points. If this isn't happening, you're not collecting the data you really need. 

How we use metrics

Here at levva, we use agile metrics with the aim of optimizing processes and speeding up product launches, which used to take two years and now take a maximum of six months.

Agile metrics have arrived to make your company more profitable and give you visibility of the whole. Did you like this article? Then read our article on Digital Efficiency by clicking HERE


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