Metrics

Metrics
Intent
: Provide non-subjective data so that informed decisions can be made

Proverbs:
  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure
Also Known As:
  • Stats
Motivation: Decisions made on the basis of subjective judgment, and which do not involve any objective measurement, are likely to be poor. It is important that a team has an objective means to gather quantitative data about its process so it can inspect, adapt, and provide meaningful forecasts.

Structure: A team will publish its own metrics, including velocity, cycle time, and burn rate. These metrics are used to help them inspect and adapt their process. The metrics are visible to external stakeholders in the process who can then make appropriate forecasts.

Applicability: Metrics are important to the inspect-and-adapt capability of all agile teams, and to stakeholders who may wish to make forecasts based on that data.

Consequences: Knowing what to measure is important. Certain objective measures are not always useful or fit for purpose. Vanity metrics are measurements which show a situation in an unreasonably favorable light, even though the measurements themselves may well be accurate.

Implementation
: Metrics can be derived from forecasts (such as estimates) or actuals (such as number of items actioned in a timebox). Scrum teams typically provide a Sprint Burndown of estimated hours remaining, and a Product Burndown of estimated User Story points remaining. Kanban teams will often provide metrics in the form of actuals only, such as cycle time.