1. Basic Sprint delivery metrics
A time-boxed period in which the Scrum team collectively works towards common goals, Sprints (and iterations) are at the heartbeat of Scrum and other Agile methodologies. Done well, they will help Scrum teams become more dependable and mature over time, improving their quality, predictability, and delivery frequency.
Sprint metrics are vital to understanding your Scrum team and your overall delivery processes. Together, they can track and measure a team’s efficiency and progress and help them to identify areas of optimisation. This makes them an effective tool that enhances Scrum ceremonies and enables richer conversations.
There is a common set of basic metrics and charts familiar to most Scrum teams. They focus either on the performance of a team’s Sprints over time or track the progress of the current Sprint.
Sprint Completion metrics illustrate the percentage of committed work completed within Sprints, tracking Scrum teams’ ability to deliver the work they committed to.
Understanding your Sprint Completion rates is vital for Scrum teams and their wider organisations. Sprint teams with regular high Sprint completion rates are more predictable and, therefore, more dependable. These teams can be relied on, and hence, broader commitments to stakeholders (at the product or programme level) can be made with more confidence.
‘Sprint Completion’ measures the percentage of story points completed within a Sprint from the tickets that were included either when the Sprint started or added after it started. This is a valuable measure as it considers a key problem in Sprint delivery – the fact that teams tend to add story points during the Sprint period due to poorly estimated tickets that get resized or work added from another source.
As the name suggests, Sprint Work Added Completion looks at the proportion of work only added during the Sprint completed before the Sprint ended.
‘Sprint Target Completion’ excludes these added story points to measure what proportion of the story points planned at the Sprint outset were completed during the Sprint timeframe. Arguably, this is the most important metric alongside ‘Sprint Goals Delivered’ as together they demonstrate if the team is able to meet their original commitments and overall dependability reliably.
Sprint Goals Delivered
Most Scrum teams define clear goals for each Sprint, which are deemed ‘completed’ or ‘not completed’ at the end of the Sprint. There is a binary decision with no concept of ‘half-completed’. Alongside ‘Sprint Completion’, this metric can track the overall success of each Sprint. This can also, therefore, be a very good measure of teams’ dependability.
Sprint Cumulative Flow
‘Sprint Cumulative Flow’ is an area or stacked bar chart that demonstrates each ticket’s flow through the Sprint stages. Another chart that is commonly reviewed to identify issues with ongoing Sprints provides a rich view of the Sprint’s progress. As well as providing insights via ticket statuses, it clearly highlights scope changes. This chart works best for teams with well-defined workflow statuses.
‘Sprint Velocity’ analysis shows average Sprint velocity (tickets/story points completed per Sprint). When Sprint output is stable, it can accurately estimate the team’s typical workload, simplifying Sprint planning. Successful Sprint planning directly impacts Sprint goal and completion rates and, therefore, the overall dependability of the Scrum team.
Where output is more volatile, further analysis of the data can assist in identifying the root cause, enabling teams to get their velocity stabilised and establishing a more predictable output pattern.