2 mins

With so many developer metrics tools on the market, how do you pick the right one for your organization? Simplify the vendor selection process with our foolproof, step-by-step checklist.

1. Understand your goals

Every team has its own reasons to track developer performance. Some teams want to find the bottlenecks hampering productivity, while others want a deeper dive into resource allocation and team bandwidth. Defining goals sets the stage for finding a tool with features that support your organizational needs – and helps you avoid paying for bells and whistles you won’t use.

2. Define your stakeholders

One of the primary benefits of a software developer analytics tool is its ability to demonstrate the engineering team’s value. Think beyond the users and consider which stakeholders need the data this tool can offer. Common stakeholders include C-Suite executives, finance teams, product owners, engineering leaders, and developers. 

Once you’ve defined your stakeholders, consider which ones will be decision-makers in choosing the final solution. Clarify your decision team before meeting with vendors to streamline the consideration process.

3. Review your tech stack

The more data you ingest, the more insights your engineering management platform can offer. Engineering teams that get the most value from their solution integrate project management tools, code repositories, CI/CD solutions, HR systems, calendars, and more. 

Before shopping for a new solution, list all the tools you may want to integrate. Compare that list to the native integrations each solution offers. Even though most tools allow teams to use an API or create custom integrations, remember that customization often makes implementations more complex and expensive.

4. Set a budget

Most developer metrics SaaS tools charge by user, so knowing how many stakeholders will need user seats is a given. However, many teams forget the extra time and expense of creating custom configurations or training new users. Setting a realistic budget with room for unexpected costs helps teams select the tool that will deliver the highest return on investment.

5. Schedule demos

Once you narrow down which vendors support your goals, tech stack, and budget, schedule demos with each vendor to see the product in action. Even if one solution seems like the perfect fit on paper, the demo offers an opportunity to see firsthand how different developer metrics platforms operate.

Most teams assess software development analytics solutions based on these key features:

  • Out-of-the-box integrations with their current tech stack
  • Easy-to-read dashboards and reports
  • KPI monitoring
  • Shift-left security capabilities
  • Error detection
  • Cost and resource allocation

6. Prepare questions for your demos

Demos are more than an opportunity to see how the product works. With some preparation, teams can use demos to compare solutions apples-to-apples, learn about the implementation process, and ultimately choose the right tool for their teams. 

Work with your stakeholders – particularly those involved in the decision-making process – to form a list of questions. Ask each vendor the same questions and take detailed notes. That way, teams can get important considerations answered early and minimize future meetings.

7. Compare vendors with decision-makers

After attending your demos, compare notes with your stakeholder team. Assess how well each solution would meet your goals, how much each solution will cost, and what the implementation plan looks like with each vendor. Rather than scheduling more meetings with stakeholders, address their objections and questions in a quick call with your representative.

Need more help choosing your software development analytics solution?

At LeadDev, we understand how hard it is to choose a developer metrics tool. Narrowing down a long list of vendors can be daunting, especially if you still aren’t sure what you’re looking for. Start with our Software Development Analytics Tools Buyer's Guide to learn everything you need to know about selecting the right engineering management platform for your team, then come back to this checklist when you are ready to start narrowing them down.