Appropriate agile metrics indicate a team’s progress in adopting agile practices or advancing your organisation towards becoming a learning entity. Qualitative agile metrics tend to be more effective for teams than quantitative ones. Conversely, at the organisational level, quantitative agile metrics offer more valuable insights than qualitative measures. In broad terms, metrics enhance our understanding of the current situation and enable us to glean insights about changes over time. Devoid of metrics, evaluating progress or development would be susceptible to subjective feelings and interpretations influenced by bias. Therefore, a metric should indicate a pattern shift early, allowing timely causal analysis. Three fundamental principles for agile metrics have demonstrated their effectiveness. The primary principle of meaningful metrics is to focus solely on those relevant to the team, disregarding metrics centred on individual performance. The second principle of meaningful metrics cautions against measuring parameters solely because they are convenient to track. This tendency often arises from using various agile project management tools that offer pre-configured reports. The third principle of meaningful metrics emphasises the importance of capturing context. Data devoid of context, such as the count of available team members or the frequency of incidents during a Sprint, may ultimately amount to only background noise. While applying all these analytics, it becomes more evident for an organisation to differ between the Lead time and cycle time. The ultimate goal would be to keep the cycle time as small as possible. With that, the lead time will be more predictably planned. And as Albert Einstein would say, "Plans are nothing; planning is everything."
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