Metrics for software development: Know which ones are most relevant.

software developer metrics

One of the most practical ways to measure the productivity of custom applications is to manage metrics for software development that allow controlling its creation and implementation.

For organizations, these KPIs allow a more complete understanding of the progress in the development of their applications.

The use of Agile methodologies offers added value in measuring indicators related to productivity in software development teams. Join us to learn what are the main metrics that you should take into account when developing custom software for your company.

Metrics for software development

If you are going to develop or ask your technology provider to make you a secure, reliable and high-performance application, it is essential that you keep in mind some control indicators for the creation process.

According to Computerweekly , the classification of metrics according to their category should be considered, which allows increasing efficiency in the analysis process of each measurable indicator or KPI.

Among these classifications we can mention the following:

  • Developer Productivity
  • Software performance
  • Defects and safety
  • User experience (UX)

The essentials to develop an application or hire a provider for your Software Development Services requirements are the following:

Developer Productivity

Delivery time

It is related to the duration of the project from the beginning of the proposal until it ends with the delivery of the final result.

The time frame you record will allow you to measure the efficiency of each collaborator on similar projects.

Code quantity

It is ideal for measuring developer productivity based on volume of code or KLOC (thousands of lines of code) , which indicates that the programming level has considerable effort on the project.

It can be said that the KLOC level is proportional to the programming effort , but it cannot be compared with other projects that are done in a different language.

Additionally, code size does not always indicate efficiency, so you should use this metric with others that we will explain later.

Work in progress (WIP)

It is a metric that is handled very well with Agile methodology such as Scrum , since it recognizes work teams when they are not in the backlog of pending task lists.

In this case, the development work (WIP) is graphically represented, expressing the Sprint or useful work time of that activity.

In this way, the time spent and the amount of work that remains to be done can be efficiently measured .

Sprint Goal Success Rate

Based again on the sprint backlog or to-do list, the percentage of items completed can be determined.

Therefore, even if a team does not achieve 100% completion, a completion threshold can be established to consider it successfully completed by the company .

Number of software versions

This indicator is very important because it will help you evaluate the frequency with which new application updates are released.

Through DevSecOps and agile teams, you can prioritize such releases in time periods that optimize the business efficiency of the applications.

Software performance

Among the KPIs that you should consider are the following:

  • Scalability
  • Stability
  • Answer’s capacity
  • Speed
  • Availability

Other performance metrics can be:

  • Throughput . The amount of data that is processed in the development of a system during a certain time is recorded.
  • Response time . This metric helps to know the time it takes for an application to provide a response according to user demand.
  • Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS) . It is associated with the operating time of the application with respect to the expected amount of its operation.

Defects and security

These metrics are aimed at recording how applications fail, allowing developers to plan more effective build strategies.

Among the most used are:

Defect density

It is a tabulation made of the number of defects found according to the KLOC. In this way it is possible to obtain the frequency of these problems.

Code coverage

It is based on the selection of a portion of the source code that is used to perform automated tests. With this technique software testers can identify areas of the code that have not yet been properly tested.

Defect detection percentage

Through this metric, a comparison is established between the number of defects or errors found before a launch with those that occur after the event.

Technical debt

It is applied to obtain an estimated figure of the long-term effort that must be executed when the necessary corrective measures are not implemented in time. This metric impacts both temporal and financial costs in each project where it is applied.

Security vulnerabilities

It allows us to locate weaknesses in security gaps that software may have. Its effectiveness is indirectly proportional to the figure found, the lower the metric, the more secure the application will be.

Average detection time

Measures the period of time it takes the development team to detect a bug or problem in the software.

Mean time between failure

Unlike the previous one, this metric measures the average time between one failure and another within the same system.

Average repair time

It is in association with the previous ones, but refers to the time it takes for the development team to apply the solution to the problem and get it started again.

User experience (UX)

Measuring emotion as part of the user reaction when using an application is complicated, but the challenge is in evaluating the response that is generated in a client when faced with custom software development services.

Some of the metrics that you can use to achieve this control are:

UX metrics

They are based on the management of qualitative measurements, as well as some emotional or bodily responses.

For this, facial or body recognition software is used that allows identifying the movement of the eyes or facial gestures .

Usability metrics

The metric is focused on recording the feasibility of achieving objectives by a client in relation to using the application .

It can be subdivided into smaller metrics such as:

  • Ease of discovery
  • Efficiency
  • Memorability
  • Ease of learning
  • Satisfaction
  • Accessibility

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This metric evaluates users’ intention to recommend an app to other people .

It manages a value range between 0 to 10, where measurement parameters are established, such as:

  • Detractors : from 0 to 6
  • Passives : 7 and 8
  • Promoters : 9 and 10


Measuring and controlling your company’s applications is a key action in the success of the business because it allows you to make the most of the metrics for the development of custom software , obtaining data of great value in making strategic decisions.

Whether you have a team of developers or hire the services of a specialized technology provider, you must take into account each of the categories mentioned above.

Take advantage of metrics to increase your company’s productivity and get the most out of each business application.