Article | September 9, 2019

How To Measure Productivity In Software Engineering Organizations

Source: Linear B

By Dan Lines, Linear B

Aerial View of business meeting 450x300

Think about how weird the following situation is. We, as a software community, are obsessed with data, analytics, and measuring stuff (think IOPS). Yet, we are totally behind the times when it comes to measuring ourselves in order to improve our own productivity. Even more surprisingly, there are non-technical teams such as Sales, HR, Marketing, etc. who are way ahead of us in using data to improve their productivity.

Enough is enough. This cannot stand! It is time to improve….

New information has come to light. Measuring productivity for continuous improvement in software organizations is 100% possible. We are doing it every day at Linear B. The thing is, it’s not easy and can by no means be done with a single metric like “lines of code produced”.

Side note: Sometimes, I pitch Linear B to someone and they say, “this sounds really cool, but you’re not just measuring lines of code right?” The reactions inside my head sound like, “What? This question is offensive! …Calm down. Ok, tell them how we measure. Let Me Blow Your Mind.”

Since there are many dimensions to “productivity” in software development, Linear B has created a foundational three-part methodology which covers Quality/Value, Activity/Throughput and Teamwork/Social.

To understand how this works, read on for more details and examples. Let’s get it!