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Measuring Success in Agile Organizations

Every organization adopting Agile aims to measure success. The challenge is to figure out how to measure success. Matthew Badgley, shares ten tips for measuring agile success in a recent VersionOne blog based on the 9th annual State of Agile Survey.

  1. On-time delivery - according to the Survey, 58% of the respondents said they measured the success of their agile initiatives by on-time delivery.
  2. Product Quality - Agile software development teams looked at velocity of completing working software with quality built in. Teams tightly coupled continuous testing and inspected throughout the lifecycle of the development, so they constantly monitored testing trends as well as inspected build and code health.
  3. Customer satisfaction - Teams looked at the net promoter score, sales figures, number of support calls vs. number of features delivered in a time period, or usage statistics of the product or site capabilities.
  4. Business Value - a business value score applied to the features to be delivered can measure value.

Apart from above mentioned metrics, teams used product scope, project visibility, productivity, predictability and process improvement as a measure of success. Matthew says that there is not just a single metric that everyone uses. Different organizations, types of management, and teams need different metrics.

Gunther Verheyen, Professional Scrum Trainer at, mentions the Agility Path framework developed by, is to help organizations increase their agility and move toward a value-driven existence, in his blog.

With Agility Path the outcome of an organization’s work is measured with metrics to help them think about the way that outcome is achieved. Organizations get a clear indication on whether they are delivering value or not. If from the metrics it seems they are not, they have many areas and domains to inspect further, and do adaptations by installing, removing or improving practices, tools and processes. It is how the Scrum framework is used to manage the change process, the transformation of an organization required to increase their agility.

Gunther says that all metrics are consolidated into an overall Agility Index for the organization. This Agility Index is an indication of how effective the organization is in delivering value. One Agility Index is bound to time, place and context.

Chris Moody, PM and Agile coach at Slalom, mentions following ways to measure success of agile teams:

  1. Measure teams rather than individuals.
  2. Keep track of the percentage of the highest priority items being delivered.
  3. Measure the team’s satisfaction.
  4. Evaluate your software.
  5. Show the business value delivered.
  6. Provide a narrative, not just data.
  7. Measure anything the business says is important.

For an Agile organization to be successful, there has to be a general assumption that people are working hard and want to do their best. The role of a good leader is to enable teams to work smarter, not harder.

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