Metrics that Matter for Agile Teams

Metrics that Matter for Agile Teams: The Measures You Should Use (but Probably Don’t)

Have you ever had a gut feeling a project is about to go off course but no way to validate (or invalidate) that feeling? Has your team ever been burned by an inaccurate estimate or unreasonable expectation? Have you ever wished you could peer a bit into the future? How can metrics be used safely in coaching Agile teams? How can you know whether things are getting better or worse?

Through an interactive simulation, participants will learn how to answer common questions such as, “When will this story be done?” or “What features will I have by the end of the quarter?” In addition, participants will work together to use metrics to design experiments with high information value and impact.

This workshop won’t  teach you to eliminate all uncertainty or allow you to see the future, but it will provide you with tools to explore and chart a reasonable course through the inherent ambiguity of software design and development by simply measuring units of value delivered over time.


  • Real examples of balanced metrics for teams and value streams
  • Real examples of visualizations for team members and stakeholders
  • Agile antipatterns caused by common metrics and measures
  • Simple ways to predict outcomes and their likelihoods
  • How good measures can weed out weak hypotheses
  • Tips and tricks for using metrics to shape conversations and articulate options
  • Using metrics to tell a compelling story

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Describe the predictability of delivery
  • Prioritize work based on economic value
  • Be alerted to the validity of historical data for forecasting future results
  • Use leading and lagging indicators together to communicate with customers
  • Principles of good metrics dashboard design
  • Techniques for smoothing the flow of a team or value stream
  • Understand the effects of increasing the amount of work in process
  • Use Little’s Law to describe process trade offs to stakeholders and customers
  • Understand and explain the effects of flow debt on time in process and predictability of delivery

Cat Swetel – Bio:

Cat Swetel is a quant, a coach, an activist, and a Principal Consultant at PraxisFlow. She has experience leading Agile transformations and applying Lean and Agile principles in a variety of settings: from startups to very large enterprises, warehouses to e-commerce organizations. She is passionate about increasing diversity in tech, and creating inclusive communities. In her leisure time, Cat enjoys making jokes about Bitcoin, hiking, and reading radical feminist literature.

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