Agile Metrics - Velocity is NOT the Goal

A session at Agile2013

Tuesday 6th August, 2013

9:00am to 10:15am (CST)

Velocity is one of the most common metrics used—and one of the most commonly misused—on agile projects. Velocity is simply a measurement of speed in a given direction—the rate at which a team is delivering toward a product release. As with a vehicle en route to a particular destination, increasing the speed may appear to ensure a timely arrival. However, that assumption is dangerous because it ignores the risks with higher speeds. And while it’s easy to increase a vehicle’s speed, where exactly is the accelerator on a software team? In this session, you'll learn about the Hawthorne Effect and Goodhart's Law help us see that setting goals for velocity is actually detrimental to the team. We'll then dive into team issues that can negatively impact velocity, ways to stabilize fluctuating velocity, and methods to improve velocity without the risks. You'll leave with a toolkit of additional metrics that, coupled with velocity, give a better view of the project’s overall health.

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Doc Norton

Groupon Global Director of Engineering Culture

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Time 9:00am10:15am CST

Date Tue 6th August 2013

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