Key Software Development Metrics & KPIs for Measuring Productivity
Software development is a multi-level process that requires the involvement of various specialists. Every cog in this giant machine has to work so that you can launch your product on time and start making money from it. And in this array of tasks, a beginner can easily forget about an essential factor: measuring developer productivity. After all, when building a work process, you can lose sight of the need to measure its results. But this is actually critically important. In this article, we’ll tell you what development metrics are and what will help you build your work optimally.
Why it’s essential to measure performance
Let’s start with why setting software quality metrics are so important. It’s all on the surface. There are the following factors why such measurements are needed:
- A straightforward way to determine whether a work process is successful. After all, you can develop and improve software for years but never release it into production simply because “there is no limit to what is perfect.” That is, specific metrics will help you:
- Release a high-quality working product into production.
- Not to overdo it.
- Motivation. The team needs standards to strive for. This will help them stay on track and do their work on time and with high quality, using the best practices. In addition, the achievement of certain KPIs often affects the salary bonus of each employee. In other words, we see how metrics turn into a simple and clear motivation system for the people who work for you.
- Understanding the product and its goals. Often, metrics are based on the goals you want to achieve as a business. For the team, they will serve as a guide and a benchmark. They will deepen the understanding of how and why your company works.
- Testing success and an auxiliary tool in identifying the reasons why success was not achieved. When creating software, you have certain hypotheses about how your target audience will react. The proper roadmap, planning, and performance metrics will help you analyze whether your assumptions were correct and understand where you could have done better if the product is less successful than you planned.
What are the metrics?
You should understand that a software company can have dozens of specific kpi. That’s why we decided to divide such metrics into types and advise you on what kinds of metrics you should pay attention to:
- Quality metrics.
Usually, QMs include indicators responsible for how satisfied your customers (software users) are with their experience using it. This also consists of the presence/absence of bugs in the program and how long it takes a person to get what they want in the software — to order a product, get help from support, find an answer to a question, etc.
- Metrics responsible for productivity
These are more technical indicators than the previous type of metrics. For example, the speed of request processing or the average customer check after interacting with the platform is important. They directly affect such important things as the company’s reputation in the eyes of the client, profits, and the desire to return to you again. Therefore, software performance metrics are critical.
- Business metrics
The development process involves two parties: you, as a representative of the business and its interests, and the team developing the software. You can be part of the same company if you have an in-house development team, or you can be a customer and contractor. But one way or another, one party acts as a customer and the other as a contractor. And business metrics are responsible for how valuable the product you create will eventually become for the market, how much it will be in demand and popular among customers, whether it will be competitive, and whether this software will bring you profit.
- Time metrics
Creating a feature or whole software that won’t pay for itself makes no sense. If the price and duration of development exceed the profit that the company can potentially get from this project, it’s worth considering whether this product is needed. This type of software metric is responsible for correlating the time it takes to develop (or has already been spent) and the money spent on it with the money that can be earned from it.
- Process metrics
Depending on the methodology used by the development team, they may differ. In particular, there are Agile metrics. They are responsible for the correctness and efficiency of the processes built in the team. After all, a team needs clear, understandable processes to avoid turning into chaos very quickly, which can lead to a decrease in overall performance and a risk of project failure.
- User experience metrics
UX/UI exists for a reason. The user experience in your software is where every project should start. You need to understand how to make the software as convenient as possible and how to meet the needs of your users. User Experience design has a lot of methodologies and ways to evaluate effectiveness: from Nielsen’s efficiency to the so-called best practices that you should know and use when working on the interface. This way, you can create a modern, convenient, understandable, and even beautiful app, website, or other software.
These and other types of metrics will help you measure developer productivity, identify where you have weaknesses, and fix them. It’s also important to realize that it’s okay if you need to do more perfectly right now. The main thing is to have the desire to fix everything and the ability to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
You should always analyze previous years’ experience and general market trends to set the proper KPI. The behavior of your target audience has specific patterns and factors that influence it. If there are problems in the economy of a particular region, you should expect a decrease in sales, while before the holidays, for example, people buy more and spend more. The market is constantly evolving, and if you know how to tax your services properly, you can achieve great results with a well-selected development team.
How to build efficient processes
We’re hardly discovering America if we say that building effective processes requires at least hiring a specialist to be responsible for it. If your team works according to the SCRUM methodology, you will need a scrum master. For other methods, there are also corresponding specialists. In addition, your team should have a clear hierarchy and distributed responsibilities, and people in leadership positions should have extensive experience and the appropriate psychological skills to facilitate and organize processes.
Everything should be approached systematically, from recruiting people to the team to set performance metrics. You can use a roadmap to guide the team in prioritizing tasks, meetings to keep in touch and discuss problems, and other activities and tools that process builders know well.
Who can help you create your software?
If you don’t have an in-house team and need to start development now, you can always contact Magnise. Our developers have built-in processes within their teams, are good at dealing with performance metrics, meet deadlines, and objectively assess their strengths. We have extensive experience developing software in various fields and will happily help your business achieve its goals.
Just sign up for a consultation, and we’ll discuss your project’s details.