7 Ways to See How Productive Your Software Team Is

Software Development

Tracking the productivity of your software development team is not something to be taken lightly. Your business success depends upon how efficient your team is. Besides, good management realizes that a team is only as strong as its weakest link. Also, in a team, it can be difficult to measure who that is without constant checks and balances.

While there are many apps, programs, and practices, you can implement to measure team productivity. A dynamic profession like software development needs special metrics by which productivity can be measured. The regular methods of measuring simply are not capable enough.

Why is it Important to Measure Team Productivity?

The success of a software development house is based on the efficiency of its resources. Team efficiency can lead to shorter project turnaround time. It is similar to customer service departments in that respect. I have noticed that whenever I call Spectrum internet support for an issue, they help me out and try to keep turnaround time short. CS agents are trained for shorter turnaround so that they can assist more people within a shorter period of time.

Simply put, the better your team works, the faster they can finish one project and move onto the next. Of course, software development is much more advanced than customer service. However, like most other service business models, development houses have to use their limited resources as efficiently as possible. The success of your business depends on how many projects you can deliver.

So, it becomes crucial to measure your team’s productivity. To get the most out of your team, you need to know which areas are underperforming. When you know that, you can take steps to improve which ultimately increase your bottom-line.

7 Best Metrics to Measure Team Productivity

As mentioned above, some business models, like software houses, need to measure team productivity with special metrics. Regular measurements of efficiency aren’t versatile enough to offer any usable data. These 7 metrics are capable of giving you the complete picture of how your team is progressing.

  1. Feature Implementation
  2. Iteration Flowchart
  3. Throughput
  4. Work In Progress
  5. Open Pull Requests
  6. Velocity
  7. Cycle Times and Release Cycle Times

1. Feature Implementation

You might be wondering how feature implementation made to this list. The process of feature implementation includes multiple steps. Initially, you have to ask clients and understand exactly what they want to be done. Then you have to structure the product roadmap which has been made really efficiently with feature matrix spreadsheets. Finally, there is implementation and delivery.

You might agree that the process is not as simple as it sounds. That is one of the reasons why feature implementation is a terrific way to assess your team. Measuring how challenging they find the process you can gauge their aptitude. So you know exactly how much work and pressure your team can handle.

2. Iteration Flowchart

Sometimes your time to delivery takes longer than expected. You might be inclined to think that the team is not performing as efficiently as they should. While that might be true, there is also the possibility that it is not. This would mean that your team is working as efficiently as it can. So the issue would lie elsewhere.

That is where your iteration flowchart could be useful. By going over a visual representation of your tickets, you can see how the status changes over time frames. Using that information, you will be able to assess the situation. You can find out if the problem lies in the health or repeatability of your process.

3. Throughput

Throughput can be vital in figuring out the efficiency of your team. One of the most difficult assessments is made really easy with throughput. It can tell you exactly how many tasks were completed by your team within a particular time frame. Knowing this data will give you a better idea of how well your team in managing tasks.

Additionally, throughput can tell you about how many chores were completed. And how many bugs were encountered in the process? So you will know how much time your team took to fix those bugs. All this information can help you assess how much your team is performing, or under-performing. Once you know, you can take steps to improve.

4. Work In Progress

There are two types of management styles. Those can be classified into active styles of management and passive styles. Under passive management, you would allow your team the freedom to complete their tasks on their own. And you would assess their performance afterward. Throughput analysis is perfect for that. But Work In Progress reports are great for the Active style of management.

If you like being actively involved in your team’s progress, then WIP reports can offer tremendous insights. They track the current number of issues or open tickets. This way you can analyze the team’s progress in real-time. And intervene where necessary to help if they have come across a speed bump or roadblock.

5. Open Pull Requests

One important way to keep track of your team’s progress and efficiency is to note the number of Open Pull requests. If you think that your team is not efficient then this can find out where things are going wrong. The issue could be in the development side of things, or the testing side.

If there is a lot of pending open pull request, then the answer is obvious. It means that your development team is on track with their tasks. But the problem lies with the testers. They are not doing a fast enough job. Or,, the other way around if the open pull requests are completed quickly.

6. Velocity

Every business has clients and those clients need their product or service. When it comes to software development, tracking velocity tells you how many features your team has delivered. So it is, in essence, a production report. So you know what was the production output of ready-to-ship features for any given time period.

This is a very quantitative report. So you need to factor in the fact that some features are easier than others. So development times can vary depending on feature difficulty.

7. Cycle Times and Release Cycle Times

Being able to measure time spent on tasks and features is truly helpful to assess efficiency. Cycle times actually calculate the time your team spends on each type of project. So you know how long it takes them on feature requests, or bugs, etc.

Similarly, release cycle times tell you the total time it took a feature or product to go through development. Release cycle times calculate the delivery times for your team. Again, this is also a qualitative result but you need to keep in mind that some projects are more time consuming than others. However, it is a very good tool to measure your team’s performance.


Roy M is a technical content writer for the last 8 years with vast knowledge in digital marketing, wireframe and graphics designing.

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