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Why Is It Important to Construct a Quality Metrics for Agile Project Management and Development?

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

Fixing metrics creates a tremendous advantage as the Agile manager need not waste time constantly finding out what a team has accomplished but engage more productively in achieving the project objectives.

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    Experienced project management professionals understand the need to involve quality metrics for Agile project management. Metrics objectively measure and mirror the quality of an ongoing project and aid the project manager in impressing upon the project team members which areas to concentrate on that are deficient or in need of greater attention.

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    Importance of Quality Metrics for Agile Development

    Quality metrics are indeed helpful in bringing to focus defects as they occur and prompt the need to comply with project requirements thus preventing avoidable rework at a later stage of the project. Please know that psychologically, whatever areas the project management chooses to focus on, the project team will begin to work seriously and shift their emphasis to perform well against that metric.

    There are several metrics that Agile project teams must follow to measure the project progress. At the same time, Agile teams have to determine which of the metrics are most important to project sponsors, project teams, project managers and others involved in the project. To achieve this, it is necessary to study a few Agile project metrics.

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    Agile Project Metrics:

    • Establishing lines of code per developer by defining a Code Quality Analytics can be a useful metric as it supports duplicated code (for effective project collaboration) with basic integrated metric tests, and it doesn’t allow any third party library to use it.
    • Function points are meant to measure an abstraction of functionality in the system although professional help may be needed.
    • Measuring the number of tasks that are completed is a necessary metric. But this metric may be misused if team members resort to completing filler tasks to impress the boss.
    • The total time worked is a critical metric but can again be misused. Time spent must have a positive correlation to productivity otherwise excess time can be consumed without progress.

    What many consider the most effective metric to provide a clear picture of project health and project progress is a metric called Running Tested Features (RTF). Shorn of all technical details, RTF may be described as a measure to determine and quantify how much progress of real business value has been accomplished. In terms of measuring productivity, RTF is indisputably an easy and a healthy method and Agile team should be able to consistently deliver. The chief advantage is that this metric offers adequate time to react to project-centric problems before they adversely affect the project.

    'Source: Agile Project Metrics in One Easy Step'

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    Role of Project Managers in Managing Agile Project Quality Project Metrics

    Quality metrics are directly related to performance and are pressed to achieve greater transparency and compliance with project requirements. As each member completes functionality, it is immediately subjected to review by a business partner and later by QA certification. Instead of all the time spent pursuing data management driven platforms, the Agile manager is able to focus on any giving human dimensions of the team to achieve the end-results.

    Agile project practices sharply vary from traditional project management methods. The functioning of Agile teams is oriented more toward attainment of business objectives rather than technical objectives. In Agile practice method, all the members participate in development work together as a team which is fully dedicated and understand the notion of collaboration and integration. In Agile project management, the basic premise is management drives the metrics and not the metrics drive the management.

    One biggest benefit is progress toward the project goal is reported with each day’s work and thus the Agile project manager need not create project status reports. Cost estimation and Project Scheduling factors can be easily assessed in quality agile project metrics by active participation of project team members working at a well specified pace to deliver work on time.

    It may not be wrong to say that Agile project management is mainly about effective human resource management. The overall team morale is not the sum total of the level of individual morale. The higher the collective morale, the more efficiently team members work and attrition is prevented and reflects in the overall performance of the project quality.