Don’t Do DORA Metrics First: Rethinking Team Performance Indicators

In the dynamic world of software development, effective team performance measurement is crucial. While DORA metrics have become a standard, my experience suggests a different starting point might yield more meaningful insights.

1. Roadmap Contribution: Aligning Efforts with Objectives

The amount of time your team spends on key roadmap items is critical. A 50-80% threshold ensures efforts align with overarching goals. This balance ensures that high performance contributes directly to success, rather than just busy work.

💡What’s the purpose of having expensive highly performing teams if they don’t work on things that matter the most, having 60% off-roadmap contribution?

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2. Sprint Completion: A Measure of Trust and Efficiency

Sprint completion rates, ideally above 80%, reflect how well the team plans and executes. A lower rate often signals underlying trust issues, impacting overall productivity and morale.

Engineering efficiency metric 1

3. Epic Cycle Time: The Real Value Indicator

Forget traditional task cycle times and Jira burndown charts. Focus on Epic Cycle Time, with a median target of 4-5 weeks. This metric is a truer representation of the team’s ability to deliver tangible value to customers.

Time to value epics cycle time

4. Team Satisfaction: The Heartbeat of Your Team

A continuous survey with a scale of 0-10, aiming for around 8, reveals the team’s health. A sudden drop is a red flag, allowing leaders to proactively address potential issues.

It’s a huge money-saver, preventing the team destabilisation.

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5. Adoption RATE

Measure how many increments have been successfully accepted and adopted by your customer. Threshold: min 65%.

Conclusion: A Broader Perspective on Team Metrics

Starting with these metrics provides a broader view of your team’s effectiveness. It shifts the focus from code-centric metrics to a more holistic view of team dynamics, output, and satisfaction.


if you’re wondering where to start, there’s a free open-source Jira data extraction tool available, with all data required:


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About Marian Kamenistak

Marian provides coaching and mentoring to engineering managers and leaders across various levels, helping organisations to succeed in building products.

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