The Scrum Metrics Any Team Needs

Scrum Metrics dashboard - project management bot -team performance- daily standup bot

Scrum is a framework meant exclusively for a team of ten or fewer members who may be working in any organization. It is a framework that ensures the development, delivery, and sustenance of products inside a complex environment. This framework is composed of various Scrum Metrics.

Among others, the 8 most important Scrum Metrics are:

  •    Velocity
  •     Velocity Fluctuation
  •     Commitment Reliability
  •     Capacity Utilization
  •     Estimation Variation
  •     Scope Change
  •     Defect Leakage, and
  •     Backlog Health

We will talk about all of these eight Scrum metrics below, one by one:

1. Velocity

As a simple yet powerful method, velocity uses Story Points to measure the delivery of business value of scrum development teams. It indicates the average amount of product backlog that has been turned into Increment in product during one of the Sprints of the Scrum Team. In other words, companies count velocity to know what resources and effort they will need to spend to complete the project.

scrum metrics bot and dashboard - velocity for scrum teams and project management

To calculate the velocity of an agile Scrum team, we need to consider:

  • Features
  • User stories
  • Requirements
  • Delivered Backlog

2. Velocity Fluctuation

Just like velocity, you can measure the velocity fluctuation in Story Points. Teams use this Scrum Metric to represent the velocity variance from average to maximum and minimum tolerance.

scrum metrics bot and dashboard - velocity commitment for scrum teams and project management scope change

3. Commitment Reliability

The ratio of points delivered compared to the points committed to is represented by commitment reliability. We can also term it as the Say/Do ratio. The purpose of commitment reliability is to measure the value to the customer. Commitment Reliability greatly emphasizes that everyone in the team mutually understands the delivered points versus the committed points. This Scrum Metric is also measurable in Story Points.

4. Capacity Utilization

Scrum Masters use this Scrum Metric for informing the team about the workload it should undertake during its sprint planning meeting regarding an upcoming sprint. The team members should engage in an informed conversation if the workload and capacity are in balance together. The unit for measuring capacity utilization is Efforts in hours.

5. Estimation Variance

It denotes the comparison between the planned effort (in Estimated Hours) against the actual efforts (in Spent Hours) inside a sprint. The Effort Variance will be positive if the Spent Hours amount is less than the Estimated Hours. And the opposite, the Effort Variance is negative if the number of the Spend Hours is more than the Estimated Hours. Depending on the results, the indicator could be green and spiked up (positive variance) or red and spiked down.

What do negative and positive Variance show?

The Positive Variance shows that within a sprint, team members spent less time (in Hours) compared to their Estimation (in Hours).

The Negative Variance shows that within a sprint, team members spend more time (in hours) compared to their Estimation (in Hours).

6. Scope Change

Scope change represents product backlog items added or removed from the Sprint after the beginning of the Sprint. It also describes the quality of backlog grooming, Sprint, prioritization, and capacity planning. Teams can measure this metric in Story Points.

Is it good ro have the Scope Change?

The Scope change has its benefits and disadvantages. Before implementing this point, the company should consider the pros and cons for its future development.

7. Defect Leakage

Defect Leakage represents testing quality. We can measure this metric in Defect Count. Companies use it to identify the efficiency of QA testing. For instance, it is helpful to realize if there are any defects missed during the QA testing. To mitigate these defects, teams usually follow some principles such as regular reporting, good test logging, customer involvement, etc.

8. Backlog Health

Backlog health represents total story points in product backlog compared to the average velocity. It qualitatively shows the backlog grooming and preparation status of a team in a future sprint. A Sprint team should groom its backlog for the next three sprints at a given point in time. It is also possible to measure the Backlog Health in Story Points.

What is a good product backlog?

A good product backlog should obtain four main characteristics (DEEP): Estimated, Described appropriately, Emergent, Prioritized. Suppose various parts of the company, such as the Development Team, the Product Owner, and the stakeholders, don’t have a shared vision. In that case, a Product Backlog could appear in a mess, leading to much more severe problems for the company.

scrum metrics bot and dashboard - product backlog for scrum teams and project management scope change

Why do we need product backlog refinement (PBR)?

Product Backlog refinement is crucial to Estimate the product backlog. The estimation should start from the top. We can define the Product Backlog refinement as adding some details, orders, estimates to the items of the Product Backlog. It is a continuous process. A product owner and development team work together with a scrum master on details of the Product Backlog items.

What is the Story Point in Agile?

We can define the Story Point as a metric that Agile Scrum teams use in project management and development to evaluate how complex a given user story is. It is an abstract and relative metric that describes the difficulty level of the user story. It could be about risks, efforts, time, etc. Teams can perform The Story Point estimation at the Product Backlog Grooming Sessions.

You can also read some useful books to know more about the Scrum Metrics:

1. Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction by Daniel S. Vacanti (Author)
Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past by Geoffrey A. Moore



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