Gartner Research

Improve Scrum Development With Effective Use of Agile Metrics

Published: 23 April 2019

ID: G00385642

Analyst(s): Peter Hyde


Application technical professionals face critical challenges when using Scrum. Transformations fail when teams can’t consistently deliver on their forecasts. You can accelerate performance by implementing three essential agile metrics.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework: Train Stakeholders and the Scrum Team
  • Step 1: Implement Data Collection Methods
    • Sprint Burndown Chart Data Collection
    • Velocity Chart Data Collection
    • Release Burndown Chart Data Collection
  • Step 2: Analyze the Sprint Burndown Chart
    • Review the Sprint Burndown Chart at Each Daily Scrum
    • Target Pattern: Healthy Sprint
    • Problem Pattern 1: Water-Scrum-Fall
    • Problem Pattern 2: Large User Stories
    • Problem Pattern 3: Unrealistic Velocity
    • Problem Pattern 4: Suspiciously Perfect
    • Problem Pattern 5: Coasting
    • Problem Pattern 6: Unplanned Work
    • Problem Pattern 7: Flatline
    • Problem Pattern 8: Unused
    • Problem Pattern 9: Coaching Required
    • Problem Pattern 10: Canceled Sprint
    • Practical Example of Analyzing a Sprint Burndown Chart
  • Step 3: Analyze the Velocity Chart
    • Review the Velocity Chart at the Sprint Retrospective
    • Target Pattern: Healthy Velocity
    • Problem Pattern 1: Regularly Missed Forecasts
    • Problem Pattern 2: Erratic Delivery
    • Problem Pattern 3: Declining Results
    • Problem Pattern 4: Stalled
    • Problem Pattern 5: Overdelivering
    • Practical Example of Analyzing a Velocity Chart
  • Step 4: Analyze the Release Burndown Chart
    • Review the Release Burndown Chart at Each Sprint Review
    • Target Pattern: Healthy Release
    • Problem Pattern 1: Scope Creep
    • Problem Pattern 2: Inadequate Velocity
    • Problem Pattern 3: Unhealthy Churn
    • Problem Pattern 4: Surprising Pace
    • Practical Example of Analyzing a Release Burndown Chart

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Metrics Are Misused
  • Story Point Creep
  • Double Accounting
  • Overreliance on Metrics

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