Best Metrics for Software Managers

Is it easy to measure a development team’s productivity? Sometimes it can be one of the most difficult challenges that software managers face.

Experienced managers use a range of complex metrics to assess productivity, while others use no metrics at all. Here I’d like to share the extracts of Gitprime blog post, where 5 developer metrics for all software managers are clearly described:

Lead Time

Lead Time is about the period between the beginning of a project’s development and its delivery. The lead time history helps managers to predict when an item will be ready with a high degree of accuracy.

This information will be helpful if the development team doesn’t routinely provide estimates as the predictions can be based on the lead times of similar projects.

Code Churn

It is the percentage of a developer’s own code representing an edit to their own recent work. Code churn is usually measured as lines of code that were modified, added and deleted over a short period (a few weeks).

The goal of measuring churn is to allow software managers and stakeholders to track the development process. When churn starts to spike, this can be an indicator that something is off with the development process.


Impact measures the effect that code changes have on your project, and a way to consider the load on the developer who implemented them.

The impact of changes depends on different factors, for example, the amount of code in the changes, the severity of those changes and the number of files that the changes affected.

Active days

The active days are the days when engineers contributed code to the project that includes specific tasks as writing and reviewing code. Contributing code is one of the most important things that engineers can do.

Planning issues, meetings, chasing down specs and other non-engineering tasks are inevitable. Actually, most teams lose at least one day every week for these activities.

Active days will help to protect your team’s attention and ensure process-overhead does not become a problem.


It is about the percentage of developers’ contributed code that’s productive, which generally involves balancing coding output against the code’s longevity.

This metric is independent of the amount of code written. The higher the efficiency rate, the longer that code is providing business value and the high churn rate reduces it.

Focus on these metrics because they’ll help to track everything you need.

What metrics do you track in your company?

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