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Brandon Foster
Brandon Foster

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Agile Project Management: Managing Software Engineers' KPIs in Product Development?

In the fast-paced world of product development, software engineers play a crucial role. But how do we measure their success and ensure they align with the product's overall goals?

In my experience managing software teams, tracking the right metrics for engineers is crucial but can also be tricky. It's important to focus on the human elements, not just measures of productivity.

That's where having the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is vital. In Agile project management, tracking software engineers' key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial for understanding team velocity and optimizing processes.

Choosing the right KPIs for software engineers and managing them effectively can be the difference between a smoothly running team and a chaotic sprint toward deadlines.

In this post, we’ll discuss KPIs for product development software engineers and how to use digital work management tools to help track KPIs.

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What KPIs Can You Use For Software Engineers?

Effective KPI management starts with striking a balance between individual and team-oriented metrics.

While individual accountability is important, focusing solely on metrics like lines of code written can lead to suboptimal outcomes.

Conversely, relying solely on team-wide KPIs like cycle time can mask individual struggles.

The solution? Focus on KPIs that align with individual contributions yet still contribute to the collective team goals.

“Which KPIs?” you might ask…

For individual effectiveness, consider the following key performance indicators:

  • Feature completion rate: Measures individual progress towards assigned features.
  • Code quality metrics: Track code maintainability, documentation, and adherence to coding standards.
  • Peer code review participation: Encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Technical blog posts or presentations: Promotes knowledge sharing and thought-leadership within the team.

For team-wide effectiveness, consider:

  • Cycle time: Measures the time it takes to complete a development cycle from starting a feature to deploying it.
  • Release velocity: Tracks the amount of work delivered per unit of time (e.g., stories completed per sprint).
  • Defect rate: Monitors the number of bugs found per unit of code or time.
  • Customer satisfaction: Captures overall product quality and user experience.

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How Can You Monitor KPIs?

The KPIs you choose for your engineers may differ from the ones I personally use (you can make anything a KPI if you’re brave enough! And if it works for your business). For the examples in this post, I’ve chosen to focus on the following KPIs:

  • Story points
  • Code quality
  • Cycle times

I’ll show you exactly how we use the monday dev work management platform to manage our projects and track important metrics like these. We’ve set up customizable dashboards to monitor engineers' productivity in real time. Keep reading to learn how!

1. Story Points

My first KPI is story points completed per sprint. On our storyboards, I can view each engineer's completed story points and average velocity per sprint.

This helps identify any decreases in velocity that may require investigation into blockers or process issues.

I can also track each engineer's capacity versus workload using the resource management template to ensure sustainable pacing (SUPER important for any team – I highly recommend taking the small amount of time to set up a resource planning dashboard.)

2. Code Quality

Code quality is another vital engineering KPI. All we needed to do to get a visual of this was use monday dev integrations (such as a GitHub 2-way integration) that allow us to import code coverage and technical debt metrics into our customized monday dev dashboards.

Thanks to this, I can quickly see which engineers may need additional mentoring or training to improve code quality.

3. Cycle Times

Understanding cycle time from code commit to production is crucial as well. monday dev agile boards aren’t too different from those on many other platforms. The real benefit is that we have access to monday AI which can create complex formulas for all our data analysis from a simple prompt. I just tell it what we want, and the AI creates it.

This makes it easy to visualize cycle time across sprints and spot any bottlenecks.

I can also track deployment frequency for each engineer to ensure we're continuously delivering incremental value.


Now you know what works for my team, I hope this post gives you better insights into Agile project management regarding engineer KPIs. As an Agile Project Manager involved in product development, having a single source of truth is invaluable for managing my team's productivity and morale. I highly recommend you spend the time to set up the same. We found monday dev to be the best platform for this.

With a bit of creativity and the right platform, you can effectively manage software engineers' KPIs, foster a growth mindset, and ensure your team delivers high-quality software that meets both individual and product goals.

If I can leave you with one last piece of advice, it is that transparency is key to effective KPI management. Regularly share results with the team, discuss their meaning, and identify areas for improvement. This fosters open communication and allows engineers to adjust their approach to optimize performance.

Ok, one last thing. Try not to get too top-down with metrics. It should be a collaborative effort to track and improve. Strong teams have empathy and support each other.

With clear goals and metrics, engineers are empowered to take ownership of their development processes.

Let me know what KPIs you use, or if there is anything in this post you’d like me to elaborate on. I’ll be watching those comments! Looking forward to hearing and learning from you!

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