Key Metrics to Evaluate Dedicated Software Development Teams

Key Metrics to Evaluate Dedicated Software Development Teams

Dedicated development teams are groups of programmers focused on implementing a single project. Unlike developers who work on several tasks simultaneously, dedicated group members devote themselves to a single product. 

But how can you objectively evaluate whether your software development team delivers results? Metrics allow us to assess the performance and efficiency of the development team comprehensively. They give a clear picture of how well the team copes with the assigned tasks.

In this article, we’ll look at the key performance indicators (KPIs) that help measure the productivity and quality of dedicated development teams. With these numbers, you can pinpoint issues, try new processes, and ultimately have a development team that powers your company’s digital success.

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What Are Software Development Metrics?

Software development metrics are quantifiable measures that help track and assess the software development process. They provide key data points about the progress, performance, quality, and health of a software project.

Their analysis and interpretation help build an efficient process focused on achieving project purposes and meeting customer needs. Let’s look at the many benefits of implementing these KPIs.

Benefits of KPIs

Key software developer performance metrics are essential for evaluating dedicated teams’ performance.

One of the main advantages of KPIs for software development is the ability to track the overall progress toward achieving project goals. You can understand how efficiently programmers approach the planned results by measuring the elaboration speed, percentage of completed tasks, and code quality.

Another plus is objectively evaluating each member’s productivity. They help determine each developer’s contribution and identify the most efficient specialists.

It is critical for the optimal distribution of tasks and the motivation of employees. In addition, analyzing individual developer metrics allows you to understand who needs professional development or additional training to improve productivity. Thus, metrics contribute to the growth of professionalism and skill in the whole team.

KPIs also allow you to assess software quality. This includes tracking the defects’ number, elimination time, and code coverage by tests. All these factors of software developers’ efficiency give an objective picture of the quality of the created product.

Top 5 Metrics to Evaluate Software Development Teams

When assessing the efficiency of developers, it is worth focusing on a few KPIs. It will allow you to objectively evaluate their professionalism while staying aware of the excess metrics.

Next, we will consider five types of the most valuable developer KPIs, helping to build an effective development process and growing team professionalism.

1. Team Velocity

This parameter measures the number of tasks or story points completed for a sprint over a certain period. It gives a clear picture of productivity and helps assess whether its aims are realistic. Team velocity is one of the most common software development KPI examples used to track progress.

2. The Number of Defects

Tracking the specific number of bugs, flaws, errors, faults, and failures in the developed software allows you to objectively assess the quality of work. If this quantified figure increases from 112 bugs last week to 142 bugs this week, it indicates acute problems that must be promptly addressed in the coding and testing processes of the software creation workflow.

3. Defect Resolution Time

This indicator measures how long it takes, on average, to fix the defects found. The reduction in this time indicates the efficiency of the bug-fixing process.

4. Customer Satisfaction

NPS or CSAT scores from customers directly demonstrate how satisfied they are with the software quality, which will also reflect the quality of the overall software development process.

5. Cross-team collaboration metrics

According to the study Developer Performance Metrics: Expectations vs. Reality, 35% of developers consider collaboration and team communication a critical evaluation indicator. 

Cross-team collaboration metrics track the level of collaboration between dedicated and internal development teams. They may include:

  • Number of collaborative standups, design reviews, and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Frequency of cross-team code reviews
  • Number of blocking tasks between teams
  • Time to resolve cross-team dependencies

The higher the level of collaboration between teams, the better the information sharing and integration, which allows for more efficient achievement of common goals. 

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How to Set Goals for Your Development Team

Practical work is only possible with clear purposes and an understanding of what to strive for. For this purpose, it’s essential to identify key performance factors and communicate them competently. Here are some tips on setting goals for developers:

  • Goals should be measurable. Use quantitative metrics for measuring the development process, such as speed of code writing, number of releases per week, and percentage of completed tasks. It will allow you to assess progress.
  • Goals should be achievable. Unrealistic purposes only demotivate the team. Define ambitious but achievable KPIs considering the team’s current professional level.
  • Break down large tasks into stages. Decompose global purposes to the sprint or monthly level. This way, you will see intermediate achievements on the way to the result.
  • Involve the team in the process. Discuss the tasks with the developers and listen to their opinions about the realism of the KPIs.
  • Monitor progress regularly. Measure software development productivity to see if the work is on track or if something needs to be adjusted.
  • Encourage results. Motivate to meet and exceed purposes with bonuses, recognition, agile schedules, and more.
  • Analyze results and update goals. Regularly review KPIs and adjust them as you reach new heights.

Tracking the right metrics is crucial for gaining visibility into what’s going well and what needs improvement in software development processes. However, over time, you may find yourself putting effort into tracking metrics that end up having little practical value. It’s important to periodically reevaluate metrics to ensure they’re providing meaningful insights.

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When and Why to Stop Using Certain Metrics

In the engineering stage, specialists often use various key performance indicators for developers. However, sometimes, it makes sense to stop using specific parameters. Here are a few reasons why this might happen.

Loss of Relevance

For example, at the beginning of the project, you focused on elaboration speed and used KPIs such as velocity and lead time. After launch, priorities shifted to stability and reliability, and now indicators such as recovery time and the number of incidents in production are more relevant.

Stability

If a KPI, say bug rate, stays low for a long time, that means everything is fine in that area, and there is no point in spending resources on monitoring it closely.

The Cost of Collecting a Metric Exceeds the Value It Provides

Obtaining some data can be a very time-consuming and expensive process. For example, closely tracking the number of commit comments for a large project requires manually reviewing thousands of commits daily. If analyzing this data doesn’t lead to significant process improvements that justify the high cost of collection, it’s better to abandon this metric and focus resources on more valuable indicators.

Therefore, it’s essential to periodically review the set of KPIs to ensure they are aligned. It will optimize the data collection and analysis, focusing on the most valuable parameters.

Conclusion

The use of KPIs plays an essential role in managing dedicated development teams. KPIs allow you to objectively assess the productivity and performance of each member and the whole group.

Using statistical data isn’t an end but a means to improve development productivity, as evidenced by successful companies like Sigma Software. The company focuses on metrics like velocity and customer satisfaction, aligning KPIs with business priorities to maximize the impact of its dedicated development teams.

The main task isn’t to “fixate” on metrics but to make them part of the continuous improvement process. This approach to work will maximize the impact of dedicated development teams and help achieve project goals effectively.