Hi Wayne, glad I found your blog.
It sounds to me like you are replacing velocity with throughput (represented as days per story). You must be driving your project manager nutty :-)
First, I understand the desire to go to throughput but it seems you would lose any ability to predict what you will deliver when? At least velocity allows me to measure what I am delivering and adjust of velocity is not what I thought.
Second, for throughput to be useful, you would almost have to assume that stories are similarly sized or that the average would be useful over time?
Have you guys given up on estimating and planning all together, even using Agile techniques?
I may be missing something here, help me understand. Thanks!
I’ll be writing more about these topics shortly, but I’ll give you a little taste.
We are replacing velocity with throughput. I find it a much more understandable metric for all the non-agilists (99.999% of the population).
I don’t believe I have lost any ability to predict delivery at the level of precision that I need. After all isn’t velocity just a form of story point throughput?
Obviously the throughput of the very smallest and very largest stories could be radically different and I do want story size to be as small as possible. It is my belief that over time I will get an average and a standard deviation that will give me the information I need to know.
We haven’t totally rejected estimating because cost is a factor the business needs to consider. However, we’ve greatly simplified our estimating process. (more soon)
Thanks for the quick reply. I think i see where you are headed. I will keep my eyes out for future posts.
BTW - I mistyped my blog’s url in my previous post. Is is corrected on this one.
Our team is still estimating size in story points, and then measuring story point throughput. I am thinking of making the fixed queue in front of WIP to be fixed on points, instead of number of work items.
>Who writes the stories?
We haven’t changed anything to do with the product owner/customer. They still write the stories and they still accept the stories. Nothing goes off the kanban until the PO takes it off. Then he puts the highest priority story into the WIP and a planning meeting is held.
We thought about using story points instead of stories to limit WIP, but that is what iterations already do if you are using velocity. Additionally I wanted to get away from anything more than the briefest amount of time estimating stories - I just don’t think there is much value added.
Comment from: Jeff Y
I understand the reasoning behind abandoning iterations. How about retrospectives? Will you still take time to reflect as a team and consider process improvements? If so, how often?
We still do retrospectives from time to time (no regular schedule). We don’t really wait for a retrospective to think about and implement process improvements.
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