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Select and Use SDLC Metrics Effectively

Be careful what you ask for, because you will probably get it.

  • Your organization wants to implement (or revamp existing) software delivery metrics to monitor performance as well as achieve its goals.
  • You know that metrics can be a powerful tool for managing team behavior.
  • You also know that all metrics are prone to misuse and mismanagement, which can lead to unintended consequences that will harm your organization.
  • You need an approach for selecting and using effective software development lifecycle (SDLC) metrics that will help your organization to achieve its goals while minimizing the risk of unintended consequences.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Metrics are powerful, dangerous, and often mismanaged, particularly when they are tied to reward or punishment. To use SDLC metrics effectively, know the dangers, understand good practices, and then follow Info-Tech‘s TAG (team-oriented, adaptive, and goal-focused) approach to minimize risk and maximize impact.

Impact and Result

  • Begin by understanding the risks of metrics.
  • Then understand good practices associated with metrics use.
  • Lastly, follow Info-Tech’s TAG approach to select and use SDLC metrics effectively.

Select and Use SDLC Metrics Effectively Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Understand both the dangers and good practices related to metrics, along with Info-Tech’s TAG approach to the selection and use of SDLC metrics.

1. Understand the dangers of metrics

Explore the significant risks associated with metrics selection so that you can avoid them.

2. Know good practices related to metrics

Learn about good practices related to metrics and how to apply them in your organization, then identify your team’s business-aligned goals to be used in SDLC metric selection.

3. Rank and select effective SDLC metrics for your team

Follow Info-Tech’s TAG approach to selecting effective SDLC metrics for your team, create a communication deck to inform your organization about your selected SDLC metrics, and plan to review and revise these metrics over time.

Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.


Overall Impact


Average $ Saved


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$ Saved

Days Saved

First Command Financial Services

Guided Implementation




Gaining industry perspective and potential pitfalls of adopting too many metrics

State of Ohio - Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation

Guided Implementation




I appreciate the conversation and thank you for the information you passed on.

South African Reserve Bank

Guided Implementation




Mutual Benefit Group

Guided Implementation




Workshop: Select and Use SDLC Metrics Effectively

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Understand the Dangers of Metrics

The Purpose

  • Learn that metrics are often misused and mismanaged.
  • Understand the four risk areas associated with metrics:
    • Productivity loss
    • Gaming behavior
    • Ambivalence
    • Unintended consequences

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An appreciation of the dangers associated with metrics.
  • An understanding of the need to select and manage SDLC metrics carefully to avoid the associated risks.
  • Development of critical thinking skills related to metric selection and use.




Examine the dangers associated with metric use.

  • Establish understanding and appreciation of metrics-related risks.

Share real-life examples of poor metrics and their impact.

  • Solidify understanding of metrics-related risks and their impact on an organization.

Practice identifying and mitigating metrics-related risk.

  • Develop the skills needed to critically analyze a potential metric and reduce associated risk.

Module 2: Understand Good Practices Related to Metrics

The Purpose

  • Develop an understanding of good practices related to metric selection and use.
  • Introduce Info-Tech’s TAG approach to metric selection and use.
  • Identify your team’s business-aligned goals for SDLC metrics.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understanding of good practices for metric selection and use.
  • Document your team’s prioritized business-aligned goals.




Examine good practices and introduce Info-Tech’s TAG approach.

  • Understanding of Info-Tech’s TAG approach.

Identify and prioritize your team’s business-aligned goals.

  • Prioritized team goals (aligned to the business) that will inform your SDLC metric selection.

Module 3: Rank and Select Your SDLC Metrics

The Purpose

  • Apply Info-Tech’s TAG approach to rank and select your team’s SDLC metrics.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identification of potential SDLC metrics for use by your team.
  • Collaborative scoring/ranking of potential SDLC metrics based on their specific pros and cons.
  • Finalize list of SDLC metrics that will support goals and minimize risk while maximizing impact.




Select your list of potential SDLC metrics.

  • A list of potential SDLC metrics to be scored.

Score each potential metric’s pros and cons against objectives using a five-point scale.

  • A ranked list of potential SDLC metrics.

Collaboratively select your team’s first set of SDLC metrics.

  • Your team’s first set of goal-aligned SDLC metrics.

Module 4: Create a Communication and Rollout Plan

The Purpose

  • Develop a rollout plan for your SDLC metrics.
  • Develop a communication plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • SDLC metrics.
  • A plan to review and adjust your SDLC metrics periodically in the future.
  • Communication material to be shared with the organization.




Identify rollout dates and responsible individuals for each SDLC metric.

  • SDLC metrics rollout plan

Identify your next SDLC metric review cycle.

  • SDLC metrics review plan

Create a communication deck.

  • SDLC metrics communication deck

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.


Overall Impact

Average $ Saved

Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Understand the Dangers of Metrics
  • Call 1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges (identify potential participants).
  • Call 2: First call with participants (introduce Phase 1 and assign exercises for completion).
  • Call 3: Review exercise outcomes (prep for Phase 2 calls).

Guided Implementation 2: Know Good Practices Related to Metrics
  • Call 1: Examine good practices and assign exercises for completion.
  • Call 2: Review exercise outcomes (prep for Phase 3 calls).

Guided Implementation 3: Rank and Select Effective SDLC Metrics for Your Team
  • Call 1: Review evaluation tool and assign exercise for potential metrics.
  • Call 2: Score potential metrics and select team metrics.
  • Call 3: Conduct closeout and communication call.


Alex Ciraco


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  • Rob Gordanier, Senior Solution Architect, IBM
  • David Marsh, Agile Coach, Bodega Consulting Ltd
  • Terry Rickan, Executive Director, Statistics Canada
  • Mark Krasnohorsky, Information System Architect, K&K Technologies
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