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Top 10 Important KPIs for Software Development

Important Software Developent KPI's

Ready to establish your business goals? We say the key is measuring performance through software development. In fact, did you know that people who write their measurable goals are 33% more likely to achieve those goals and establish outstanding performance?

And, when it comes to a technical work setting, key performance indicators (KPIs) come quite in handy. With high-rated priorities like meeting your client’s requirements and establishing a transparent network, software development can be a complex process. However, you can simplify things if you use KPIs to measure your goals.

So, if you are wondering what KPIs you need to keep in mind during the software development cycle, this article might be for you. Read on to explore the top 10 KPIs that are mandatory for successful development.

An Overview Of Software Development KPI

Simply speaking, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are parameters to measure the growth and figure out the goal-establishing process of your organization. However, when it comes to software development, KPIs simply help you determine the accuracy of the software and how well the software is in sync with your business objectives.

If you are planning to get into a software development cycle, it is essential to pick the right KPIs. However, it is extremely distressing to know that most businesses don’t always pick the right KPIs.

It’s important to understand that KPIs are general metrics that may not correspond to the main objective unless you modify them according to your needs.

Lastly, you can choose the right metric only when you combine the software quality with the interests of your business.

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Why Are KPIs So Important In Software Development?

It’s true that to build outstanding software, you must consider the few KPIs to measure your goal achievement process. However, that’s not that. Picking the right KPIs can also help with identifying the problems faced by your software.

So, in addition to helping you build the right software, it also cancels any chances of errors. You can simply prioritize a metric that is showing errors and make your software development cycle error-free.

Besides this, KPIs also help with team productivity and recognizing collective efforts. In short, the faster the team is able to measure collective efforts in positive or negative outcomes, the faster it would be able to solve the drawbacks.

The Top 10 KPIs You Must Keep In Mind

Top KPI's For Software Developement

Frankly speaking, when it comes to software development, the need to identify KPIs actually depends upon the goals and type of software you want to build. However, the following are the most common KPIs that can help you measure your growth and make the process more streamlined.


Want to determine how realistic the goals are? Velocity means the amount of work completed by your team in a specific period of time. Mostly referred to as sprint, this specific period of time is usually associated with the time when particular tasks are required to be done. 

You can measure the velocity in several ways. However, the most common method is through story points. This can help you calculate the amount of work put into software development. However, to estimate the story points, you must evaluate the size and time required to build that software.

Sprint Burndown

Now that you know about sprints, you must start by evaluating how much your team actually does work in a sprint. Sprint burndown is a metric that helps you do just that. 

However, you must note that sprint burndown is different from velocity, as this metric helps you measure the actual effort put in a particular sprint, whereas velocity is simply an estimation. 

Using this metric can be a great way to add a realistic touch to your goals, especially when the predictions might not go well with the actual performance.

Release Burndown

While measuring the efforts is an essential aspect of software development, you must also be in sync with the release progress. A release burndown is a metric that allows you to determine whether you’re behind, ahead or on time of your release schedule. 

Here’s an example for a better understanding. Businesses often use complex data to show their stakeholders the expected release of ROI. Likewise, this software metric can update the customers about signs of early release or possible delayed releases. 

You must note that a release burndown chart is quite similar to a sprint burndown chart, where the x-axis represents sprints, and the y-axis means story points.

Cycle Time

While velocity and sprint burndown provide you with estimates and actual numbers of your team’s progress, cycle time is a software development KPI that measures the time taken to complete a specific task. 

Developers might use cycle time charts to calculate the efficiency of the development process. Moreover, in addition to helping you quantify the performance, this KPI can also be used to set an estimate of future task completion and spot any inconsistencies that might obstruct the development process. 

Cumulative Flow

Cumulative flow is another KPI that helps your software development team to demonstrate the tasks through visual diagrams. 

The diagrams would include different colors representing different stages of the development process. For instance, a green color might mean ‘task completed’ while a yellow color might mean ‘task in progress. 

This software metric can help you stabilize the development process and identify any drawbacks, thus, resulting in consistent output. 

Flow Efficiency

This KPI helps you measure the ratio between active time and total time. 

To set things straight, a software development cycle often comes with waiting periods where the developers cannot immediately move from one task to the next one. In fact, work in progress doesn’t always mean the actual work in progress. It can also represent the time standing still during these waiting periods. 

One can calculate the flow efficiency of the development process by dividing the real active time by the total cycle time. This can also help you correlate the time period with low efficiency to understand the causes behind any deficiencies. 

Code Coverage

Here’s a fact: the higher the code coverage, the better. 

Code coverage is another software development KPI used to measure code quality. Also known as test coverage, this metric determines the execution of source code. 

Moreover, there are chances that the code executed by your team might have undetected bugs. Furthermore, the KPI ensures a higher coverage, so you would have to do less debugging. 

Code Stability

Unlike code coverage, code stability is slightly tricky to measure. In short, stable code means that the software product requires few changes in the code thread. 

During the development process, some developers might chart the code change frequency, while others might think of stability when it comes to downtime. 

Code Simplicity

You can measure code simplicity through multiple metrics. One such metric for code simplicity is cyclomatic complexity, where the KPI measures the independent paths of a single code. In short, fewer paths would mean a simpler code. And a simpler code always means it is easier to test and maintain, thus, making the development process more effective. 

Code Churn

In addition to identifying multiple paths of a single code, code simplicity can also be calculated by determining how a code thread can change over time. 

Code churn is a software KPI that measures the stability of the code by calculating the possibilities of how you would have to change the code over time. Simply put, if you are required to alter the code way too often to install a new feature in the software, the software would be high maintenance and would include even higher risk. 

In short, it’s not something you would want to go for. Code churn improves the quality of your code by ensuring it is simple and adaptable to new changes. 

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Wrapping It Up

Stating again, a different development process requires you to determine different KPIs. However, the ones stated above are indispensable metrics that not only make the entire process easy but also ensure higher productivity.  To know more, you can get in touch with Graffers IdD, the best offshore software development center, to streamline your software development process and meet targets easily.

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