Escaped Defects

Escaped Defects Metric

What is the Escaped Defects metric?

Escaped Defects tracks the number of defects for a deployment that were identified after the release date (i.e. by customers using the product). As such, this metric counts the number of defects that evaded the QA and testing process during software development.

As the central objective of Agile software delivery is ‘..the early and continuous delivery of valuable software..’, Escaped Defects is a core Agile quality metric and represents a core objective of effective Agile DevOps.

Experienced Agile teams will closely track this metric and attempt to understand why the development and testing process has allowed these defects to be released.

Furthermore, as Agile teams become more data-driven, it is important to consider Escaped Defects relative to other key Agile delivery metrics such as Story Points Delivered and Cycle Time. It is not uncommon for quality to suffer as velocity increases, given the fact that every action has a reaction.

The chart above illustrates how an end-to-end delivery metrics dashboard like Plandek can help track Escaped Defects relative to other key Agile delivery metrics. The chart shows the relationship between Escaped Defects and Story Points Delivered, a key velocity metric.


Breakdown and Filtering Options for Escaped Defects

Delivery metrics dashboards like Plandek enable you to analyse delivery, engineering and DevOps metrics in several different ways.

For example, you can analyse the type of Escaped Defect by source. The chart below shows Escaped Defects tracked by priority – from P1 (Priority 1) to P4. And this can be viewed by the programme.

Escaped Defects drill-down chart | Plandek Delivery and Engineering Quality Dashboard

Related metrics

Escaped Defects is one of many Agile delivery metrics. As such it is often used as part of a ‘balanced scorecard’ of agile delivery and DevOps metrics surfaced in real-time.

Other Agile quality metrics include:

  • Bug Hotspots
  • Bug Backlog
  • New v Resolved Bugs
  • Bug Resolution Time

Examples of these are shown below in this typical Plandek Delivery and Engineering Quality dashboard.

Xcelerate Quality Dashboard | Plandek

Key use cases

Escaped Defects are a key delivery metric tracked to ensure that software quality is maintained. Tracking this metric is particularly important for:

  • All customer-centric organisations.
  • Organisations new to Agile software delivery looking to increase their Agile DevOps maturity.
  • Organisations looking to increase velocity and reduce time-to-market without impacting quality.
  • Organisations undergoing engineering team change (e.g. moving resources offshore).

Keep learning about Escaped Defects and value stream metrics

Looking to learn more about Escaped Defects and other value stream metrics? Take a look at our other related resources below:

Download your free guide: the Ultimate Guide to Software Delivery Metrics

This in-depth guide is a practical resource that will help you: select the metrics that you want to track (relevant to your use case); identify the tools you need to collect the data; set targets and embed the metrics across your organisation; and drive real behaviour change in order to improve your delivery effectiveness.

About Plandek

Plandek is an intelligent analytics platform that helps software engineering teams deliver value faster and more predictably.

Celebrated by Gartner and Forrester as a ‘leading global vendor’, Plandek mines data from delivery teams’ toolsets and allows them to optimise their delivery process using both intelligent insights and predictive analytics. 

Co-founded in 2017 by Dan Lee (founder of Globrix) and Charlie Ponsonby (founder of Simplifydigital), Plandek is based in London and currently services the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Find out more about Plandek here: The Plandek Difference.

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