Are you wondering how to figure out whether your team is running more effectively? Or how you can identify your bottlenecks and clear them more quickly? Here’s a complete guide to Kanban metrics– including what they are, when to use them, and the tools that will help you get started. What Are Kanban Metrics?
Kanban metrics are quantitative measurements of parameters in your development process. They allow developers, managers, product owners or any other interested party to assess the current situation within their Lean/Agile software development environment with respect to key performance indicators (KPIs). Some KPIs might be productivity rates, lead time for feature delivery or customer satisfaction indices You can then draw insights on the basis of these metrics to further improve your process.
Who Can Benefit From Using Kanban Metrics?
As the name suggests, the primary benefit is for teams using either Lean or Agile development methods. While there are other factors that contribute to their success, essentially all successful development processes have one thing in common– they’re improving constantly. And this is exactly what KPIs allow you to do by giving you a way to measure this improvement over time.
The more specific metrics you have available, the more focused efforts can be towards improvement. Having an enterprise- or technology-wide performance measurement system provides visibility into overall progress and enables everyone involved with software delivery & support (including executives) to make better decisions about how things should work within the organization.
Developers, testers and quality assurance engineers need KPIs to manage the quality of their product within an application portfolio. They can use KPIs as a tool to help define process improvements based on actual progress related to the overall organizational goals of new functionalities delivered for a given release or time-boxed iteration. A company should be interested in getting metrics from new software deployments because they want to know if any business value has been generated by new features during a given period of time (typically a quarter or a year).
So putting this into practical terms, let’s say that the goal is for 100 new user stories to roll out by the end of Q1’12– this would mean that 100 user stories have been completed successfully and are in production. Now if the reports come back with metrics that show only 50 user stories were completed, it means you have a big problem.
ALM provides support for tracking the progress of Kanban Metrics Agile teams via Team Foundation Server (TFS). ALM also includes reporting capabilities, Knowledge Base articles and Community Forums for your company to benefit from when trying to implement an effective way to track Agile team progress.
For example: making sure that defects are minimal before “shipping” software out the door is vital if business value was generated because this would mean very little re-work has to be done or none at all. However, having hundreds of defects could result in tremendous amounts of unplanned work so these statistics should be factored in as well.
There are several reports included with Team ALM and we’ll go over some of them briefly:
Project Summary – This report provides an overview of the tasks, costs, risks, quality, etc. for any project or work item you’ve selected.
Iteration Tasks Status – This report gives you a quick view of the progress made by each team throughout your iterations. You can filter what iteration(s) to show progress for, how many days into the iteration you want to show progress up until and even change the scale that time is shown on (days remaining/completed).
Triage History – This report provides a history of triage meetings for your team(s), date/time held, who was present, and a link to the recorded meeting.
User Stories Overview – This report is a high level view of all your backlogs’ user stories including its state , priority , estimate effort/complexity , # of days until due date , # of hours remaining until the due date , and how many hours have been spent on it . You can filter what backlog(s) to show progress for or even change the scale that time is shown on (hours remaining).
Bug Report Summary – This report provides a current view into the number of bugs in each stage, priority levels, and how much work is left.
Test Cases by Test Suite Status – This report will show you a list of your test cases with their status assigned to them from test suite execution. You can view which test cases are fully tested to those that are not yet executed .
Test Suite by Test Case Status – This report provides a summary of your test suites by status, along with how many test cases are in each one and the total effort required to complete them.
Change Request Report- This report will give you a high level view into your change requests, showing their priority , details , estimated effort/complexity , # of days until due date , # of hours remaining until the due date .
Change Request Overview – This report shows you a list of all your change request user stories including its state, priority, estimate effort/complexity, # of days until due date, # of hours remaining until the due date.
Test Run Report – This report gives you a summary of your tests ran by test suite, number of tests in the test suite, # passed , and % passed for each one.
Test Run Overview – This report provides you with a list of your test runs and their status , # of tests that have been run , # passed and % Passed . Test Suite Summary-This report will give you a summary view of all your test suites including their status, effort remaining (hours), total estimated hours required to complete these tasks.