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What Are Scrum Metrics?

Scrum metrics are a set of KPIs focusing on the delivery of working software. To understand what Scrum metrics cover at a higher level, consider its accountabilities, as articulated in The 2020 Scrum Guide:

  • To create value, incrementally, in every sprint
  • For establishing Scrum, as defined in the Scrum Guide
  • To be accountable for its effectiveness

There are a number of metrics that can be used to measure these goals, bearing in mind that they don’t represent an off-the-shelf framework applicable to every project and team. Instead, KPIs and metrics relevant to a team’s modus operandi, business goals, and customer outcomes should be looked at.

Example of Scrum metrics

Let’s look at three examples of Scrum metrics:

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This is a metric widely used by product marketers. NPS is also useful in Scrum for understanding if the end-user would recommend software, advise against it, or do nothing.

Given the context of an Agile project, NPS is particularly useful if measured with every release to track user satisfaction against the incremental improvement of the product.

2. Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement lies at the foundation of Scrum and by having a holistic view across each component, the Scrum master can get a sense of whether Scrum and Agile principles are being followed effectively. 

For example, a Scrum master may seek to understand whether impediments are being managed effectively, processes are becoming more efficient, and whether velocity is increasing.

These all influence the successful delivery of Sprint goals.

3. Agile velocity

In Agile, a project’s velocity is the speed it progresses towards completion. Agile velocity is calculated by adding up the sum of all story points from the previous Sprint or Sprints. Then, creating an average to figure out the velocity. Learn more about this by reading our What Is a Velocity Chart in Agile? article.

Agile Velocity is a results metric based on the completion of work. When tracked consistently across a project’s life cycle you get a sense of how effective Scrum is in delivering value. It can also be used as a tool to forecast the velocity of future sprints.

Other useful Scrum metrics include:

  • Lead time: The time it takes for a user story to make its ‘journey’ from backlog to delivery
  • Blocked time: The number of and amount of time tasks are not able to move forward because of a dependency
  • Throughput: The number of tasks processed in a specific timeframe and a measure of a team’s productivity
  • Team enthusiasm: Done by observation or by simply asking team members how happy they are
Further reading
blog post

How To Manage Project KPIs Using Advanced Analytics

article

What Is Scrum in Agile?

blog post

The Ultimate Guide to Project Tracking