Agile metrics

Managers love metrics to check and track the progress of each projects. Using Scrum managers think velocity (amount of user stories finished in the Sprint) is the metric to take into account. Furthermore, they believe that velocity is a good way to estimate how long will last a project. It means, if you have track the velocity of Scrum team managers think with the “number of performance” they can estimate the effort (in Sprints) of new projects.

Another bad example of using velocity of tracking the performance

Managers think that every Scrum team has to increase their velocity in each sprint. If team members can do that they would change the scale using for story points (for instance, if they used 3 as the least value they will start using 5 or more) to increase their velocity and show they are doing more points.

To conclude, velocity is not for managers. It has to be used only by team members.

What can we use as metrics in Agile?

There are other metrics apart from velocity that are the Lean metrics.


Furthermore, there is a great book called “Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability” by Daniel S. Vacanty that explains very well the use of Cycle Time, Work in Process (or in Progress) and Throughput.

Topics Include

  • Why managing for flow is the best strategy for predictability—including an introduction to Little’s Law and its implications for flow.
  • A definition of the basic metrics of flow and how to properly visualize those metrics in analytics like Cumulative Flow Diagrams and Scatterplots.
  • Why your process policies are the potentially the biggest reason that you are unpredictable.

This book will help you to understand the best metrics (in my personal opinion) to use in Agile. Indeed, you will discover that Lean and Kanban are very useful approaches to manage your projects.


Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile. Why? I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible to implement it. Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.

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