Metrics to Gauge Agile Scrum Adoption


By Brian Vanderjack, PMP, MBA, CSM


Harry Doscher, PMP

United States


Recently, in our experience with some of the best Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters, we have identified some of the most effective ways to measure the level of employment of Agile Scrum principles. The assumption is that if the teams are delivering well on these effective measures, the more business value the teams would be adding. This article will outline some of the top key indicators that some of our experts identified as useful indicators as to the effective use of scrum. The idea is if they look good to us, they might be something you would like to explore as a way to measure effective use of Scrum in your environment. The assumption is that these will be used in an environment where software is being developed to sell a service or product.

With respect to business value we feel that the best way to measure the level of contentment of the Product Owner (PO) after deployments is to survey the PO and possibly other client-stakeholders. We see the most important question on the survey as being, “Is the software working the way that you expect it to?” A good score would indicate that the Product Owner and team are communicating well. A lower score would likely be caused by poor communication between the Product Owner and the team. Ways to improve communication are:

  • Insist that the Product Owner take an active role if they have a tendency to miss key meetings and ceremonies.
  • Suggest the use of a Product Owner Delegate (POD) if the Product Owner is unable to fulfill the commitment to actively participate in Scrum Ceremonies
  • If the issue is that the market space is changing so frequently that project scope is not stable, then the Product Owner will need to have even more contact with the development community and indicate the changes to the application that are needed.

Another, more automated way to do this is to track and trend the priority numbers, as assigned by the Product Owner, of User Stories getting completed. The lower the average number of priorities assigned to User Stories (priority 1 is the highest priority), the more successful the team is in terms of giving the PO what he/she asked for. Previous iterations can be used to compare to in order to understand if the team is improving.


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About the Authors

pmwj39-Oct2015-Vanderjack-PHOTO1 BRIAN
Brian Vanderjack

Illinois, USA




Brian Vanderjack
, PMP, CSM, MBA is an Agile Coach and Sr. Scrum Master for AT&T; he also has 15 years’ experience as a project manager. He is an award winning Scrum Master, winner of AT&T’s excellence in Project Management Award, and winner of Adjunct Teacher of the Year at University of Phoenix. He has also won over a dozen awards for public speaking. He has spoken at many venues including University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Abbott Labs, IBM, Microsoft, PMI, AT&T, etc. His book, the Agile Edge was published this last September by Business Expert Press. He has also had many articles published on Agile and Project Management. Brian hails from Chicago, Illinois where he lives with his two sons, wife, and a Soft Haired Wheaton Terrier named Finely. He is easy to reach at [email protected].


Harry Doscher



Mr. Harry Doscher
, PMP, is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Engineering, Harry Doscher has over four decades experience in software development and project management in the fields of aviation, telecommunications, and information technology. Harry has authored articles on software development and has presented at domestic and international conferences. He is currently a member of the Agile Center of Excellence at AT&T and holds a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.