Project Management

Velocity Is A Plan

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Velocity is an agile planning tool, not a measure of productivity. Its purpose is to help determine which stories will fit into a sprint, and how many sprints remain until a release is ready or the project is done. Velocity is not about team efficiency or effectiveness, and treating it as a metric to continually improve is another Agile Anti-Pattern.

Traditional project management focuses on productivity and work completed. Products and functionality that are finished, but shelved before launching, can still be considered a success. A product delivered on time and on schedule, to a market that doesn’t want it, can likewise be considered a positive outcome. This is because traditional project metrics include adherence to budget, schedule and getting the most work done in the shortest period of time.

By contrast, Agile focuses on value created rather than the amount of work that gets done. In fact, it’s not unusual for a smaller amount of raw output to come from a team working in an Agile process. This is largely because Agile focuses on making sure that the team is building the right thing, rather than simply building more. Since Agile focuses on getting a product into market as quickly as possible in order to get feedback and course correct, features and functionality are only added as the market demands them. While less work is getting done, the work that does get …

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"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

- Winston Churchill