What are Key Metrics in Agile

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Why Metrics?

  • It helps to measure team productivity, It is the key part of agile philosophy.
  •  It helps to see the team managers and all members see the consequences of their work and use this data to improve workflow and increase efficiency.

Four Key Metrics in Agile

Four Key Metrics in Agile provide a business- and customer-centric view of what flows across the entire software delivery process, regardless of the methodologies are used.

  • Work In Progress (WIP)
  • Throughput
  • Cycle Time
  • Work Item Age

Work In Progress Chart

Work In Progress

In agile development, work in progress (WIP) limits set the maximum amount of work that can exist in each status of a workflow. Limiting the amount of work in progress makes it easier to identify inefficiency in a team’s workflow.

The chart is used to track the age of “in-progress” Tasks. Every ageing WIP chart contains the following elements:

  • Work Flow (Horizontal axis)
  • Age of the Item (Left vertical axis)
  • Pace Percentiles (right vertical axis)
  • Task (dots in the chart)

About Chart:

  • Work percentile is represented by different colours.
  • WIP is mentioned on the top of the columns.
  • Details of the task can be seen by clicking on the Dot.
  • Item in the last columns disappears and can be seen as historic data.

Cycle Time

Cycle time

It is the time which takes to complete the production of one unit from start to finish. Cycle time is the work-based and process-based.

The plus one in the formula is from both the start and finish date in the cycle time.

Cycle time = End date – Start Date +1

Scatter plots contain the following main elements.

  • Unit time (Horizontal axis)
  • Cycle time (Left vertical axis)
  • Pace Percentiles (right vertical axis)
  • Task (dots in the chart)


Throughput Chart
Throughput time is the amount of time that is required to complete a product from beginning to end 
Where Cycle time focuses on single items, throughput focuses on group of work items.

The total number of items finished per unit of time is Throughput,Throughput metrics is very helpful to understanding the speed of completion of work.

Throughput Run Chart represents:

  • Number of Work Items Completed (Horizontal axis)
  • Frequency or Number of days (Left vertical axis)

Work Item Age

Work Item Age

The Work Item Age is the amount of time that has passed since the work item began. Along with Cycle Time, Throughput, and WIP, Work Item Age is one of four critical flow metrics.

The work items between those two points. We can measure the age of each work item using the following calculation:

(Today’s date – Start Date) + 1

Work Item Age chart represents:

  • No of days (Vertical axis)
  • No of the work items (Horizontal axis)

Written by 

Shubham Rawat is an Intern in Knoldus practicing in Agile Studio. He has a strong interest in Technology and is driven by optimism and self-motivation.