Tracking Key Software Development Metrics for Better Results

Software development metrics help to identify what needs to be improved for achieving business outcomes. Here are the 7 key performance indicators(KPIs) for software Development.

Software development is subject to performance measurement and tracking how the solutions work. Today, gauging the success of any application depends significantly on the effectiveness of the development process. It enables assessing whether the teams are meeting the goals set by the business or not.

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in software development provide valuable data to project managers for decision making. They can identify the bottlenecks and eliminate actions that lead to failure. Software development services might seem subjective, but there are objective metrics that help to determine the software performance.

While every company has different software development requirements, the metrics to measure performance have a common ground. The most common metrics are used to measure the following things -

Metrics in software development help to measure the above 5 parameters. It provides data that helps companies to improve upon these parameters and achieve better outcomes.

However, there are hundreds of KPIs in product development, so companies should prioritize them. There are metrics for project management, coding, launch time, and more — depending on what’s most essential to the client.

This article will highlight a few key metrics that are the performance indicators for development teams and software products.

7 Key Metrics to Measure Software Development

There are a lot of metrics that will determine how the software development process works and its outcomes. However, many people confuse metrics with something that doesn’t directly contribute to business results.

7 Key Metrics to Measure Software Development

Measuring the lines of codes, number of commits, and the amount of deployment are measurable metrics but present a poor picture of efficiency and productivity. Therefore, it is important to understand the useful KPIs that actually hint towards the achievement of the business outcomes during the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

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Here are the 7 key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure software development -

One of the most important metrics to measure software performance is velocity. It is the amount of work that the team completes in a single sprint. Measuring story points or the number of hours in work are two ways to measure the velocity in every sprint.

It gives you an idea about the realistic timeline to complete the project. Velocity measures the productivity of the team in individual sprints. Generally, after a couple of sprints, managers get the idea of the average velocity.

Lead time
The second metric to understand is lead time. It is the time taken to complete the project from ideation to delivery. It is the ultimate indicator of how productive teams have been and the time taken to work on the project. Lead time is important to determine because the software development company is about the average time for each project.

However, the lead time will differ from product to product based on the software development requirements. Lead time is essential to achieve more time-to-market the product.

Sprint success rate
Every sprint has iterations that define success. The sprint success rate is the percentage of items or tasks that the team completes within a single sprint backlog. It might not complete 100% of the tasks — but the success rate is said to be sufficient when the team achieves enough goals.

When a team completes a sprint based on a specific parameter, the sprint may be called successful. If the iteration meets the threshold that the sprint needs to achieve, it would be considered a success.

Cycle time
It is an essential metric to understand development productivity and the entire team’s performance. Cycle time is the metric to understand how much is elapsed on a single task, ticket, or issue. It could be said as the time taken to complete one feature or aspect of the product.

Generally, cycle time tells the speed of the current tasks during the sprint. It enables the team to set better expectations for each task. Cycle time helps to deliver accurate forecasts and understand how much time it would take to complete the entire project.

Performance metrics
There are several tools to measure software performance based on different factors like scalability, stability, speed, responsiveness, and more. While every tool used to measure performance may have some differences, the end result remains more or less the same. Response time, reliability, service availability are key metrics that can help to understand software performance.

Companies should measure whether the software is able to meet the business objectives. There are subjective reports for this purpose as the KPIs, in this case, would be based on the reviews and feedback of the product. There are ranking scales to measure such performance.

Defect metrics
Another key metric is to measure the defects in the software development process. It helps to identify the key defects, number of issues, time it takes to resolve them, and more. Defect density is one metric that tells how often issues occur in the application and the frequency of defects in each sprint.

Apart from that, there are defect detection percentages, security vulnerabilities, actual security incidents, time to improve defects, time to detect, and others are a few metrics that can help to understand how defects are taken care of.

User experience
The most subjective metrics in software development is the user experience. There are usability metrics, which include discoverability, efficiency, accessibility, satisfaction, among several others. User experience is mostly measured using different surveys and tools that help to understand how the users feel about the application.

Net Promoter Score is a valuable metric that measures how likely users are to recommend the application to other people. The scale ranges from 0–10, and the users with a score of 9 and 10 are deemed as promoters.

Wrapping Up

Today, software development metrics are important because they help to prioritize business objectives. They help to track and monitor performance, issues, and user experience. By understanding these metrics, companies can make valuable decisions and improve the effectiveness of their development process and the product itself. A software application development company with enough experience can help enterprises achieve these goals and make the best use of these key performance indicators (KPIs) for software development.

Originally published at on October 19, 2021.




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