Product Development Metrics List

This is a list of common metrics used to measure performance of product development and the resulting products

Requirements & Specifications

  • Number of customer needs identified
  • Number of discrete requirements identified (overall system and by subsystem)
  • Number of requirements/specification changes (cumulative or per unit of time)
  • Requirements creep (new requirements / total number of requirements)
  • Requirements change rate (requirements changes accepted / total number of requirements)
  • Percent of requirement deficiencies at qualification testing
  • Number of to-be-determined (TBD) requirements / total requirements
  • Verification percentage (number of requirements verified / total number of requirements)

Electrical Design

  • Number of design review changes / total terminations or connections
  • Number of post-design release changes / total terminations or connections
  • Percent fault coverage or number of faults detectable / total number of possible faults
  • Percent fault isolation
  • Percent hand assembled parts
  • Transistors or gates designed per engineering man-month
  • Number of prototype iterations
  • First silicon success rate

Mechanical Design

  • Number of in-process design changes / number of parts
  • Number of design review deficiencies / number of parts
  • Number of drafting errors / number of sheets or # of print changes / total print features
  • Drawing growth (unplanned drawings / total planned drawings)
  • Producibility rating or assembly efficiency
  • Number of prototype iterations
  • Percent of parts modeled in solids

Software Engineering

  • Manhours per 1,000 software lines of code (KSLOC)
  • Manhours per function point
  • Software problem reports (SPR’s) before release per 1,000 software lines of code (KSLOC)
  • SPR’s after release per KSLOC
  • Design review errors per KSLOC
  • Code review errors per KSLOC
  • Number of software defects per week
  • SPR fix response time

Product Assurance

  • Actual MTBF / predicted MTBF
  • Percent of build-to-packages released without errors
  • Percent of testable requirements
  • Process capability (Cp or Cpk)
  • Product yield
  • Field failure rate
  • Design review cycle time
  • Open action items
  • System availability
  • Percent of parts with no engineering change orders

Parts Procurement

  • Number of suppliers
  • Parts per supplier (number of parts / number of suppliers )
  • % of standard or preferred parts
  • % of certified suppliers
  • Percent of suppliers engaged in collaborative design


  • Breakeven time or time-to-profitability
  • Development cycle time trend (normalized to program complexity)
  • Current year percent of revenue from products developed in the last “X” years (where “X” is typically the normal development cycle time or the average product life cycle period)
  • Percent of products capturing 50% or more of the market
  • Percent of R&D expense as a percent of revenue
  • Average engineering change cycle time
  • Proposal win rate
  • Total patents filed/pending/awarded per year
  • R&D headcount and percent increase/decrease in R&D headcount

Portfolio and Pipeline

  • Number of approved projects ongoing
  • Development work-in-progress (the non-recurring, cumulative investment in approved development projects including internal labor and overhead and external development expenditures and capital investment, e.g., tooling, prototypes, etc.)
  • Development turnover (annual sales divided by annual average development work-in-progress)
  • Pipeline throughput rate
  • New products completed/released to production last 12 months
  • Cancelled projects and/or wasted spending last 12 months
  • Percent R&D resources/investment devoted to new products (versus total of new products plus sustaining and administrative)
  • Portfolio balance by project/development type (percent of each type of project: new platform/new market, new product, product upgrade, etc.)
  • Percent of projects approved at each gate review
  • Number of ideas/proposed products in the pipeline or the investigation stage (prior to formal approval)


  • Balanced team scorecard
  • Percent project personnel receiving team building/team launch training/facilitation
  • Average training hours per person per year or % of payroll cost for training annually
  • IPT/PDT turnover rate or average IPT/PDT turnover rate
  • Percent core team members physically collocated
  • Staffing ratios (ratio of each discipline’s headcount on project to number of design engineers)

Program Management

  • Actual staffing (hours or headcount) vs. plan
  • Personnel turnover rate
  • % of milestone dates met
  • Schedule performance
  • Personnel ratios
  • Cost performance
  • Milestone or task completion vs. plan
  • On-schedule task start rate
  • Phase cycle time vs. plan
  • Time-to-market or time-to-volume


  • Unit production cost / target cost
  • Labor hours or labor hours / target labor hours
  • Material cost or material cost / target material cost
  • Product performance or product performance / target product performance or technical performance measures (e.g., power output, mileage, weight, power consumption, mileage, range, payload, sensitivity, noise, CPU frequency, etc.)
  • Mean time between failures (MTBF)
  • Mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • System availability
  • Number of parts or number of parts / number of parts for last generation product
  • Defects per million opportunities or per unit
  • Production yield
  • Field failure rates or failure rates per unit of time or hours of operation
  • Engineering changes after release by time period
  • Design/build/test iterations
  • Production ramp-up time (example)
  • Product ship date vs. announced ship date or planned ship date
  • Product general availability (GA) date vs. announced GA date or planned GA date
  • % of parts or part characteristics analyzed/simulated
  • Net present value of cash outflows for development and commercialization and the inflows from sales
  • Breakeven time (see above)
  • Expected commercial value (This equals the net present value of product cash flows multiplied by the probability of commercial success minus the commercialization cost. This is multiplied by the probability of technical success minus the development costs)
  • Percent of parts that can be recycled
  • Percent of parts used in multiple products
  • Average number of components per product


  • Percent team members with full access to product data and product models
  • CAD workstation ratio (CAD workstations / number of team members)
  • Analysis/simulation intensity (analysis/simulation runs per model)
  • Percent of team members with video-conferencing/desktop collaboration access/tools