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Development KPIs and Scrum? Is there any useful KPI that can be applied within/across scrum teams?

Last post 05:44 pm December 6, 2013
by Joshua Partogi
4 replies
11:16 am December 4, 2013


Generally I was looking information about KPIs in Scrum. Not because I need them by myself. This is an organization idea. I don't see a point for making it but I may be wrong.
Do you use any KPIs in Scrum teams related to development in Scrum teams? If yes what are they?
If you don’t see a point, what are your arguments for it?

12:12 pm December 4, 2013

Who is asking for these KPI's? The Product Owner...or project/program managers who are trying to cut themselves into the Scrum deal?

In agile practice the only measure of success is the incremental delivery of working product. If your organization is looking for KPI's, it implies that this either isn't happening or it isn't seen as being enough. If so, why not? Why accept indicators in place of actual value? KPI's are the devil's work, because they subvert the idea of what value is and who consumes it.

Of course, there are *metrics* which Scrum Teams might choose to provide to a wider audience, such as:

- delivery metrics, e.g. whether or not increments are being delivered and Sprint Goals are being met.
- agile transformation metrics, e.g. those furnished by Agility Path

12:17 pm December 4, 2013

Hi Andrzej,
here is my experience with this.
We communicated the velocity (User Story Points per sprint) regularly.
Management made a KPI of it, because it was the only number they got from us.
As Pressure from management increased to rise the velocity, the quality decreased.
What we did as a reaction was
1) Helping management to understand this phenomenon
2) Adding metrics for quality.
They include:
Number of bugs resolved
Checkstyle warnings (only high)
Findbugs warnings (all)
Number of branches not covered by tests

PMD warnings are planned.

The visibility of these metrics is enough to encourage the developers to improve them.
In addition we included rules for these metrics (except number of bugs) in the Definition of Done.

Hope I could help here.
Best, Ludwig

12:43 am December 5, 2013

The only KPI I think I care about is the ROI of the product. What metric is better than that?

Keep in mind that the "return" or "value" of a product can be defined by an org in any way. Yes, if they define it poorly then they will have a KPI that may not work well. Having said that, if they poorly define value or return, then they have much bigger problems than tracking metrics.

05:44 pm December 6, 2013

IMHO profit generated per Sprint is the best metric because people can not game it.