The Most Common Software Development Metrics and KPIs to Use for your Development Team

YouTeam
4 min readJun 30, 2022

Setting up KPIs for software development is an important part of the process, as having a clear goal allows the team to achieve their set objectives. The right metrics allow measuring team performance and provide necessary information for further improvements.

Having KPIs is especially important for remote team management or in working with the outsourced development processes. In this article, we will list various KPIs, discuss how to measure them, and show their business value.

Best KPIs to measure efficiency in software development

We can classify KPIs by their purpose into four main categories: developer productivity, software performance, defects, usability, and UX.

Developer productivity metrics

This category refers to the evaluation of how efficiently the development team works.

  • Velocity. It measures how much work the development team can do in a single sprint. The higher amount of tasks done, the better functionality is. You can evaluate it by amounts of completed tasks, story points, or the most productive days. One thing to remember is that you will need a minimum of three sprints before measuring the average velocity.
  • Cycle time. It helps to measure how much time it takes to do a particular task. With such KPI, you can evaluate how much time the development team will need to complete future tasks.
  • Code stability. It evaluates whether minor changes in code can influence the software. In general, a few changes in code should not harm the software.
  • Release burnout. This metric evaluates the release progress, and its data helps to see if the development team is working on a schedule, ahead of it, or lagging. It helps to update the customers with new releases.
  • Code simplicity. This metric allows us to see if the ode is simply written as clear and readable code is easy to maintain, edit, or test.

Software performance metrics

These metrics refer to the stage of quality checking of the software. The data gathered during the quality assurance process helps to see the effectiveness of the application’s performance and product quality.

  • Throughput. This performance metric helps to measure the number of all the activities done during the development process (bugs, features, tasks). It allows the project management team to check how developers spend and manage their time.
  • Reliability. It refers to the likelihood that the software will provide the expected result at any given time. Reliability is linked to the mean time between failures (MTBF) using the formula: reliability = exp^(-T/MTBF).
  • Availability. This metric refers to the availability of the code to still continue working even when some of its parts are fraudulent. The high availability allows isolating the corrupted or weak part of the code with almost no scarification of the productivity of the software.
  • Serviceability. It refers to the ability to fast and easy way to repair or service the software. This metric allows providing minimal disruption repairs with no effect on the normal working parts.

Defect metrics

These metrics help to gather all the data that is connected with bugs detection and time spent on its removal.

  • Code defect detection percentage. It measures the efficiency of the testing team by calculating the number of defects that were detected before the application was released. DDP = [(Number of defects found before software release)/(Number of defects from internal testing + those found by customers after release)] x 100.
  • Mean time to detect defects. This performance metric measures the time between the appeared malfunction and the time when developers fix it. Developers should aim to reduce the time between these two stages as the longer bugs are not detected, the more harm they may cause in the future for the business.
  • Vulnerability. It measures how strong the software’s security is and whether there are some backdoors that can be used for fraud. The higher the vulnerability, the more SaaS security concerns.

Usability and UX metrics

Usability and UX metrics refer to the evaluation of the effectiveness of the end product and its user experience. It also measures how likely are customers to recommend the software to others.

  • Net promoter score (NPS). It means the customer’s desire to recommend the application, loyalty levels, and end-user satisfaction that helps to create long-term relationships.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). This performance metric allows for measuring end users’ satisfaction. This test helps to review a client’s perception, identify bugs and prevent future ones.

KPIs for software development help manage the process and prioritize the development aims. There are several categories into which we can classify different approaches to KPI: developer’s team productivity, software performance, defect and usability, and user experience metrics. Each of these metrics is meant to provide data for the development, maintenance, and quality checking features to create high-quality software. Using them in your team will help avoid any issues that may happen when the development process is not checked properly. You can read more of our blogs if you are interested in other KPIs for software development.

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