Learn more about Software.com's platform for investors and portfolio companies
What KPIs does Software.com track?
We automatically track standardized KPIs that help you measure and improve development performance. We also track team size to help you compare your engineering performance to similar companies and understand how productivity changes as you scale.
What data does Software.com share with my investors?
There are two ways that investors can configure a portfolio on Software.com:
Companies decide how their data is shared. Companies can choose to either share or anonymize their data in the portfolio.
Company names are always visible. Investors have complete visibility into each portfolio company’s engineering metrics.
If you decide to make your company’s identity visible, your investor will also have access to a high-level overview of your company.
What is the benefit to me?
Software.com is completely free to portfolio companies and allows you to track your development KPIs over time. You will also gain access to anonymized portfolio and global benchmarks, so that you can track how you compare to other companies similar in size and industry.
Is my data shared with other companies?
No, your company’s identity is never shared with other companies — only an anonymized view of your company in the portfolio.
How does Software.com track my data?
After you receive the invite link shared by your investor, you will be prompted to connect your Git provider (GitHub, BitBucket, or GitLab). This process usually takes no more than a few minutes.
Is my data secure?
We designed privacy, security, and access control into every aspect of our product and software, down to the infrastructure that powers it all. Our platform:
What if I’m already using a platform to track development productivity?
Software.com works alongside your existing tools. It is completely free to portfolio companies and provides simple, standardized metrics that allow you to benchmark performance.
If you’d like to dial into more actionable metrics that help teams set targets and improve, you can upgrade to our Pro plan, which extends beyond the free product offered to you by your investor.
Why should we measure software development performance?
Software development performance is critical to the success of any tech-enabled business. Effective teams unlock a higher speed and scale of market acquisition through better customer experience and faster time-to-market for new features.
How does Software.com define Features Delivered, Team Size, etc.?
We’ve put together a short glossary of terms, which are also available in the product.
How it is measured
A change delivered is any unit of working software that is tested, reviewed, and shipped to a customer. We approximate a change as a pull request (or merge request if you're using GitLab).
There are three types of changes:
The number of merged changes that contain new work.
Companies should deliver more features as they scale up.
Features Delivered per Engineer
Features delivered in a time period divided by how many engineers actively contributed during that period.
Features Delivered per Engineer is a signal of organizational efficiency and often decreases as companies grow. Top performing companies maintain or increase FPE as they scale up/down.
The proportion of changes that don’t contain churn. Higher levels of churn signal poor original code quality and/or shifting requirements, preventing teams from getting work done right the first time.
Churn is work that modifies code that was added or previously modified within the last 21 days.
The number of engineers contributing changes over a time period. We use a 30-day rolling average to account for holidays and vacation weeks.
Cross-referencing changes in team size with changes to other engineering KPIs indicates whether a company has positive or negative returns to scale.
The average time it takes to develop, review, and merge a change.
Companies with shorter lead times are typically making smaller, less risky changes to their products and can respond to issues and customer requests in a more timely manner.
Cost per Feature
Cost per feature is calculated by taking your estimated monthly engineering spend and dividing that value by the number of features you deliver each month.
Why not just use story points, issues, or some other metric from Jira?
While it is also possible to approximate changes using issues or story points from project management tools like Jira, they are an abstraction from the actual engineering work that is being performed, making it more difficult to compare yourself to industry benchmarks. Pull requests may also vary across companies; however, they are the best approximation of working software, which is the primary measure of progress (as set forth in the Agile Manifesto).
Why should we measure how many features we’re delivering?
Measuring efficiency (features delivered per engineer) against your total output (features delivered) is a primary indicator of software development performance.
High-performing companies are increasing or maintaining efficiency as output increases. In cases where companies are cutting costs, it can be especially advantageous to maintain efficiency while team size is decreasing.
If efficiency is decreasing, then you might discuss ways to improve performance with your investor. For instance, reducing technical debt, acquiring new tools, and making changes to processes (e.g. outsourcing or restructuring your team) are a few of the ways that engineering teams can increase efficiency over time.
What is a healthy Delivery Quality?
It depends. If churn is increasing, then that may indicate that there are ongoing issues with quality, and more time needs to be invested to improve quality (e.g. implementing automated testing, putting effective quality measures in place).
What’s a good target for Lead Time?
It depends on your scale and industry. Generally speaking, companies with faster time to value are able to address production issues and customer requests more quickly. Companies in industries with stricter regulations may demonstrate longer lead times due to practices like scheduled release cycles.
How do Software.com’s KPIs compare to existing frameworks?
It is important that any framework prioritizes metrics that are standardized, simple to collect (fewest possible tools), and normalized per developer to allow for accurate comparisons.
There are several existing frameworks (DORA, SPACE, etc.) that propose ways to measure software development performance; however, each of these frameworks comes with its own limitations. For instance, DORA is based on qualitative, survey data rather than quantitative data, making it difficult to get accurate comparisons. Other frameworks, like SPACE, propose a broader set of metrics, but can be more challenging to implement due to lack of standardization across teams, departments, and regions.
How do I connect my organization?
Accept the invite using the link shared with you and connect your Git provider. Connecting all of your repositories will provide the most complete view of your data.
How long does the setup process take?
It takes about 10 minutes for a week of history, 30 minutes for the last 3 months, and a few hours for a year of data to become available. We’ll notify you when your data is ready.
What Git providers does Software.com support?
We currently support GitHub and Bitbucket. We plan to support GitLab in the near future.
Is there a limit to how many members of my team I can invite to Software.com?
No. You can invite as many team members as you want at no additional cost.
How does pricing work?
Automated development KPIs are free for portfolio companies. We also offer a paid Pro plan for companies (starting at $99 per month) with advanced features, like code review and CI/CD insights. You can get started with a free two-week trial of the Pro plan, no credit card required. Learn more about our pricing.
What is included in the Pro plan?
The Pro plan offers advanced insights for organizations, including team insights, team objectives, breakdowns, and workflow automations; for instance, the Pro plan includes our Slack integration, which is designed to help you keep your team on track and stay on top of work that’s in-flight.
Does Software.com share performance data for individual developers?
Individual developers have the option to share their data with their manager if they’d like, but their data will always be private, based on our company’s principles regarding developer privacy, productivity, and happiness.
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