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Flow metrics

Software flow metrics help quantify the flow and efficiency of software development processes. You can use these metrics to track the progress of a software project, evaluate the effectiveness of software development methodologies, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency, quality, and speed.

Flow metrics supported by SEI include:

  • Lead Time: The time it takes from when a new feature is requested to when it is delivered to the customer.
  • Cycle Time (Flow Time): The time it takes to complete a single iteration of the software development process, from planning to delivery, including wait times.
    • Cycle time for SCM issues is reported on the SCM Issue Time Across Stages Report.
  • Throughput (Flow Velocity): The number of features delivered per unit of time, such as each week or each month.
  • Deployment Frequency: The number of times that code is deployed to production in a given time period.
  • Flow Efficiency: Describes the effectiveness and overall productivity of the software development process. It measures how much time is spent actively working on items versus the total amount of time those items spend in the flow cycle.
  • Flow Load: Describes the amount of work or demand placed on the software development process. It can include the number of projects or features being developed, the complexity of the software being developed.
  • Flow Distribution: Describes the way that work is distributed or allocated within the software development process. It can include the distribution of tasks, responsibilities, and resources among the development team, as well as the distribution of work across different stages of the software development lifecycle.

Flow metrics are presented on Flow Insights.