Project Velocity

Question: What is the development speed for an organization?


Project velocity is the number of issues, the number of pull requests, volume of commits, and number of contributors as an indicator of 'innovation'.


Gives an Open Source Program Office (OSPO) manager a way to compare the project velocity across a portfolio of projects.

The OSPO manager can use the Project Velocity metric to:

  • Report project velocity of open source projects vs in-house projects
  • Compare project velocity across a portfolio of projects
  • Identify which projects grow beyond internal contributors (when filtering internal vs. external contributors)
  • Identify promising areas in which to get involved
  • Highlight areas likely to be the successful platforms over the next several years

See Example


The usage and dissemination of health metrics may lead to privacy violations. Organizations may be exposed to risks. These risks may flow from compliance with the GDPR in the EU, with state law in the US, or with other law. There may also be contractual risks flowing from terms of service for data providers such as GitHub and GitLab. The usage of metrics must be examined for risk and potential data ethics problems. Please see CHAOSS Data Ethics document for additional guidance.

Base metrics include:


  • Internal vs external contributors
  • Project sources (e.g., internal repositories, open-source repositories, and competitor open-source repositories)
  • Time


  • X-Axis: Logarithmic scale for Code Changes
  • Y-Axis: Logarithmic scale of Sum of Number of Issues and Number of Reviews
  • Dot-size: Committers
  • Dots are projects



Tools providing the Metric