Essential Agile Metrics

A metric is a measure or a combination of measures for quantitatively assessing, controlling or improving a process and a product.

Agile metrics for teams, helps to learn and explore how teams can improve themselves through inspect and adapt cycles. No matter what kind of project, the reporting will always be important to both external and internal stakeholders.

The below metrics are primary/essential ones for team to pick and measure. There are additional set of metrics which can be found in other post.

Agile Metrics



Reporting Frequency

Backlog Readiness

# of story points of ready and estimated features or PBI or Stories in backlog / 2 * average velocity.

The ratio must be >80%

Total story point of ready and estimated features or PBI or Stories in backlog should be maintained more than twice of average team velocity. This will help readiness for at-least next two iteration.


Velocity  (Average)

# of completed story points of last three Iterations / 3

Average velocity is a measure of the amount of work a Team can complete during a single Iteration.

This metric determines completion speed of a team.

Note: Velocity is empirical, you can measure it but not assuredly predict it.


Iteration Burndown

Actual state of progress of tasks ( burn of the effort) with every moving day. This is tracked as Remaining work

Remaining work = # of hours of work in an Iteration – Completed # of hours of work in an Iteration

Burndown charts are a run chart of outstanding work. It is useful for predicting when all the work will be completed.


Lead Time (Average)

Average of all work-items from when it’s in backlog till its release to end-users

Note: work-item can be features or stories or tasks or bugs

This metric helps to measure the average time of all work-items for a release which makes way from backlog to end-user release. Indicates if teams are taking long time to complete the work item.


/ Release

Iteration predictability

(Planned-to-Done Ratio)

Completed work-items / Committed work-items

Planned-to-Done Ratio is simple metric, to measure how much work the team commits to doing at the start of the Iteration versus how much they have completed at the end of the Iteration.

Note: any work-item added middle of Iteration, should not be accounted.


Release Burn-Up

Amount of work completed vs Total planned work

Release Burn-Up is used to track how much work has been completed to-date against the total planned work in a release.


Defect Escape

(Defects reported in Production environment for a release) / (All the Defects or Bugs found before and after deployment for this release)

Its quality metric, which measures the defects escaping from system test/SIT environment into production environment.


Note:  No team should attempt to use all of these for any project. Ever. Pick three key metrics and get started. Then add two or more over time. perhaps up to 10 max might be in use at any given time.


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