Article written by Brett Miller
Critical Importance: One of the most critical factors in web development is the competency of your developer(s). This competency relates directly to their effectiveness and performance, which dictates the progress of the entire project, and frequently creates the difference between success and something far less. Unfortunately, many companies don’t take the time to evaluate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of a developer (or team of developers) because it can be a fairly complex process with many gray areas of evaluation.
Key Performance Indicators: The purpose of this article is to discuss a set of software development Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be used to measure the effectiveness of Web Development Projects. The key to any set of indicators is to isolate important individual measurements and consistently apply them so that a fair, non-biased assessment can be made.
Go through our suggested list of performance indicators and put the ones that are pertinent to you into an Excel Spreadsheet. Feel free to add your own criteria, as the purpose of this is to measure your software project(s). Each project being judged should be put into an individual column in the spreadsheet. Over time, as more data is accumulated trends will emerge that are important indicators of future success. Study these KPI trends in detail to help predict and improve your web development effectiveness.
Many of the measures will require a score be applied from 1 to 10 (1 being the least impressive, 10 being the most impressive). NA can also be assigned if the particular question that is Not Applicable.
1. The Software Developer should come up with documented “Development Plan” including estimates (for task or project) for the following:
• Number of approximate hours (or days) required for the project.
• An approximate delivery date for the required functionality.
• Level of confidence in their estimates (1-10). To be fair, some software development tasks are considerably harder to estimate.
The project plan and estimates can be reviewed by another developer to ensure accuracy and effectiveness (scored on 1-10 scale).
2. Upon completion, a discussion should occur to identify the following KPIs:
• Actual Hours vs. Estimated Hours (Percentage)
• Actual Delivery Date vs. Estimated Delivery Date (converted to number of days then Percentage)
• Number of Errors (Bugs or Features Incorrectly implemented)
• Explanation of Difference of above by Developer (legitimacy of reasoning) (1-10)
• Was the project completed successfully? (1-10)
• Was the project plan accurate comparative to what actually occurred? (1-10)
• Identification of ways to be more effective for next development task (1-10)
3. For the software project, consider the following KPIs:
• Ability of developer to quickly grasp project requirements (1-10)
• Enthusiasm / Motivation for assignment (1-10) … Desire and effectiveness usually run hand in hand.
• Ability to multi task and handle other non related projects (1-10)
• Confidence illustrated throughout of successful completion of project (1-10)
• Communication with team members of status, questions around development (1-10)
• Documentation developer provides (of project) relative to the need (1-10)
• Effectiveness of developers solution on a coding/architectural level from perspective of another developer (1-10)
Also Critical: Inform the developer of the KPI evaluation system that will be used … and, upon completion, ask him to score himself. Include any others who have taken part in the process too. Few companies do this but it is an incredibly effective tool. It gives you the opportunity to review differing perspectives, form an accurate picture of overall effectiveness, and hone your own evaluation skills.
Taking the time to measure the results of a project can be critical to determining the effectiveness of individuals, teams and companies. How long can you afford NOT to measure your web development Key Performance Indicators?