Engineering KPIs

Chris Norris
1 min readAug 26, 2022

In a previous blog post I talked about the dangers of using ‘velocity’ as a KPI for Engineering, but what are good alternatives?

I propose that the following perennial KPIs measure a lot of what matter about Engineering success (in a SaaS/web app environment):

  • Uptime
  • Mean Time To Discover
  • Mean Time To Resolution
  • Deploy Duration
  • Rollback Duration
  • Ticket Cycle Time
  • Build and Automated Test Duration
  • Number of Deploys Per Unit of Time
  • Incoming Production Defect Count Per Unit of Time

As with any metric, they don’t tell the full story about underlying causes, but :

  • are easy to collect
  • are leading indicators of potential problems
  • have material business impact if they trend in the wrong direction

Note that these are separate from, and parallel to, project delivery and OKR metrics — the engineering KPIs are ones that are wholly or largely in Engineering’s control and are relevant regardless of what is being delivered.

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Chris Norris

Engineering leader for startups — 4 exits and counting. Fascinated with startups, software, and the people around them. Founder at startupfractionalcto.com