SPACE is a framework for understanding and measuring developer productivity.


Satisfaction and well-being

  • Fulfillment with work, team, tools, and culture.
  • Well-being covers health and happiness, and work impact on it.
  • Measure:
    • Employee satisfaction
    • Developer efficacy
    • Burnout


  • Hard to measure:
    • Code quantity isn't a representation of quality.
    • Code quality doesn't indicate customer value.
    • Customer value doesn't always equate to business value.
  • Measure:
    • Quality: reliability, bug count, service health.
    • Impact: customer satisfaction, adoption and retention, feature usage, cost reduction.


  • Count of actions or outputs involved in performing work.
  • Valuable, but limited.
  • Measure:
    • Design/code: volume/count of design documents and specifications, tickets, PRs, commits, reviews.
    • CI/CD: count of build/test, deploy/release, infrastructure utilisation.
    • Operational activity: volume/count of incidents/defects by severity, participation in on-call rota, incident mitigation.

Communication and collaboration

  • How do people and teams communicate?
  • Value transparency and awareness.
  • Diverse and inclusive teams are higher performing.
  • Measure:
    • Discoverability of knowledge (expertise in addition to documentation).
    • Integration pace.
    • Quality of review.
    • Network metrics (connectivity between team members).
    • Onboarding time and qualitative experience.

Efficiency and flow

  • Team efficiency measured through VSM and can be optimised to metrics such as DORA metrics's deployment frequency.
  • Individual productivity is based on ability to enter and maintain a flow state, which runs counter to collaboration tasks (such as review).
  • Measure:
    • Number of process handoffs, between teams or people.
    • Perceived ability to complete work in flow.
    • Interruption quantity, time, spacing; and impact on development flow and work.
    • Time measures through systems: total, value-added, wait.