There was a time when agile was a huge selling point. However, many “agile” organizations see agile as a set of checklists, sticky notes, time-tracking tools, and procedures. To these organizations, agile is a toolbox rather than a mindset. This is the primary reason “agile” product development fails.
In the aforementioned “State of Agile Survey,” respondents listed common ways in which they measured agile success:
1. On-time or speed of delivery
Agile implies that your schedule and scope are fixed for the time being. “On time” doesn’t necessarily mean that what you deliver will meet stakeholders’ expectations. So, to measure on-time delivery, we need to have some context — precisely a clear picture of what is being delivered. To visualize these metrics, you can use the burndown and the burnup charts. A burndown chart demonstrates how much work is remaining, whereas a burnup chart shows the amount of work already completed.
2. Product quality
One way to measure the quality of your product is tracking customer satisfaction, steady revenue growth, and testing success throughout the whole development cycle since continuous testing is closely intertwined with code health. While working with agile software development teams, it’s important to look at the velocity of completing working software with quality built in.
Read also: How test-driven development help business: benefits of TDD
3. Project visibility
Transparency is one of the best ways to build trust across the team and the rest of the stakeholders. In the project pipeline, transparency means providing plans ahead of actions available to everyone, and consistently tracking and presenting progress and results. Visibility brings alignment among internal teams and reflects the impact each team or a team member had in the given time frame. Not to mention that sharing progress helps stakeholders make informed decisions and identify possible risks.
It’s important to remember this metric measures outcome, not output. This is why evaluating a burnup chart current metrics for a product or based on value is hugely impactful. Simply following closely the count of stories or features over time is a great way to gain insights into how much the team is actually delivering.
This agile metric used that allows assessing predictability is the velocity trend. In a given time, you can see how much work has been completed at a sustainable pace on average. If this metric fluctuates wildly, it may be a mere reflection of team and scope changes, unpredictable events happening, or simply indicating that the team is not mature enough to define the amount of work small enough to complete in the given time.
Each of the above are great metrics for measuring agile. What they don’t measure is business value. The number of tickets you’ve moved through your project management system is irrelevant if the result is a product no one will use.