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A common tool in Agile project management is sprint velocity. It gauges the output of an Agile team during a typical sprint plan cycle. In this post, we discuss the significance of sprint velocity measurement and how it may be used to manage Agile projects.
When assessed correctly, sprint velocity may make sprint planning easier, help you predict your team’s workload more precisely, and keep project managers informed about their projects.
Sprint velocity: What is it?
The amount that an Agile team can generate in the course of a single regular sprint cycle is known as sprint velocity. To determine sprint velocity, you’ll need to know how much work your Agile team performed and how long it took them to finish it.
Sprint velocity should not be seen as a success metric; this must be remembered. It is not appropriate to think of sprint velocity as something to “improve.” How much work your team can finish in a sprint is a challenging statistic to quantify. Sprint velocity should be regularly measured, but it shouldn’t be considered a success statistic. In that case, your employees can become overloaded.
Knowing the capability of your team, rather than enhancing it, is the aim of understanding your sprint velocity.
The formula for sprint velocity
A straightforward arithmetic formula can be used to determine sprint velocity: Subtract the number of backlog items (or story points, if your team prefers that term) from the total number of days in your sprint.
For instance, the equation would be as follows if your team has 60 backlog items and your average sprint lasts two weeks:
60 backlog items/10 days = Sprint velocity of 6
It’s not difficult to determine how much your team can do in a typical sprint. See how many items your team can do throughout your targeted sprint by starting by tackling a backlog that has an excessive number of items.
You can also utilize project estimation techniques to foresee how much your team will be able to achieve before your first sprint. Try employing top-down estimation, three-point estimation, or an equivalent estimation method if you’re seeking some strategies to apply.
Why track sprint velocity?
There are useful (and advantageous) reasons why your team should measure sprint velocity; therefore, you shouldn’t just do it for the sake of doing it. These are a few.
Easy to arrange a sprint.
Knowing your team’s sprint velocity of your team can make sprint planning simpler for product owners and Scrum masters. Knowing the typical sprint velocity of your team makes it simpler to select the appropriate user stories from the product backlog for this iteration without overburdening your development team.
Manage expectations of stakeholders.
You, the product owner, are aware of how that modification may affect your team’s output depending on their sprint velocity if your stakeholders ask for a timeframe on a particular user story or if they try to add anything before the conclusion of the sprint.
Indicates possible problems.
You can measure the average velocity more accurately if you track sprint velocity regularly. If you notice a rapid drop in velocity, you should address any potential problems before moving on to the next sprint. These problems could include roadblocks like incomplete dependencies.
How to visualize sprint velocity?
Those involved in Agile projects can gain a rapid understanding of their team’s performance by being able to easily view and measure sprint velocity. They may quickly check a chart to see the team’s progress at any point during the sprint.
There are a few different sorts of velocity charts you may use, depending on what you want to see during your sprint. Some instances are as follows:
Basic velocity chart
A simple velocity chart is a bar graph that contrasts two important elements: the anticipated amount of work your development team can finish in one sprint and the actual amount of work finished in a sprint.
The graph’s Y-axis shows the number of story points or user stories, while the X-axis shows various sprints.
A burndown chart compares the quantity of work that needs to be done by your team to the amount of time that is left in the sprint. The objective is for the graph line to get closer to zero as the sprint goes on.
You can plot your team’s estimated velocity on your burndown chart to compare it to the optimal velocity line if you know it. You can see from the aforementioned example how the team was able to accomplish more work from the ideal line early in the sprint than was anticipated. The crew eventually experienced a productivity slump, but they eventually succeeded.
The complete opposite of a burndown chart is a burnup chart. Two lines are typically included in this graph: the actual amount of work performed and the desired outcome you want your team to achieve. The desired outcome is typically represented by a horizontal line across the graph, whereas the amount of work needed to get there will increase over time.
It may be a hint that you need to control your team’s sprint velocity if you observe that it is inconsistent. Sprint velocity consistency is crucial since it makes it simple to see your team’s typical performance; when there are inconsistencies, something is wrong.
Organize a sprint retrospective.
The iterative development process that the Agile methodology employs is one of its advantages. This implies that there is a chance to evaluate the previous sprint after each sprint and determine what worked and what didn’t. A sprint retrospective meeting is intended to be just that—a meeting focused on reviewing the previous sprint and discussing how to advance for the following one.
Here on universal agile, we want to keep getting better. The lessons learned from earlier sprints should be applied to upcoming sprints as your team iterates through various sprints. Your team has the chance to change processes as a result and continue to get better.