Agile Metrics:    Velocity     is Not the                      Goal.Michael “Doc” Norton ◊ @DocOnDev ◊ doc@leandog.com
What’s “Agile” Velocity?
What’s “Agile” Velocity?Work units delivered over time
Trailing Indicator
Trailing IndicatorTells us about the health of the project
“You can’t manage  what you can’t    measure”
Says Who?
You can’tmanage what you  can’t measure.Dr. W. Edwards DemingFather of the Quality Evolution
Don’t be                                      O T                                     N ridiculous!                   in  ...
Running acompany on visible  figures alone [is deadly] Dr. W. Edwards Deming Father of the Quality Evolution
Seven Deadly Diseases         ofWestern Management
Seven Deadly Diseases         ofWestern ManagementLack of constancy of purposeEmphasis on short term profitsEvaluation of p...
The Hawthorn Effect
The Hawthorn EffectThat which is measured, will improve
What matters is not setting quantitative  goals but fixing themethod by which those  goals are attained
What matters is not setting quantitative  goals but fixing themethod by which those  goals are attained Repair the root cau...
Unstable Velocity
Unstable VelocityWhat does it mean?
Poor Story Composition
Poor Story CompositionYou want consistent (small) stories
Too Much WIP
Too Much WIPGet the highest value done first
Dependency on Other Teams
Dependency on Other TeamsGet everyone you need on the team
Stable Velocity
Stable VelocityIt won’t ever be perfect
Increase Velocity
Increase VelocityDo we always want to go faster?
Goodhart’s Law
Goodhart’s LawMaking a metric a target destroys the metric
What matters is not setting quantitative  goals but fixing themethod by which those  goals are attained Repair the root cause
What matters is not setting quantitative  goals but fixing themethod by which those  goals are attained Repair the root cau...
Velocity Graph
Velocity GraphWhat does it tell us?
Sample Backlog
Cumulative Flow
Cumulative FlowVelocity doesn’t always tell us enough
201510 5 0     1   2   3   4   5              6   7   8   9   10                         VelocityVelocity Graph
201510 5 0      1     2     3     4    5              6   7   8   9   10                                 VelocityVelocity ...
100 75 50 25  0      1        2     3          4         5                6      7          8           9        10       ...
100 75 50 25  0      1        2     3          4         5                6      7          8           9        10       ...
16    12     8     4     0         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10 11 12 13 14 15                                    ...
16       12        8        4        0            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10 11 12 13 14 15                     ...
16                                                             50       12                                                ...
16                                             50       12                                            37.5        8       ...
Remember
Remember•   Velocity is a trailing indicator•   That which is measured will improve (at a cost)•   Velocity can tell us se...
Thank YouMichael “Doc” Norton ◊ @DocOnDev ◊ doc@leandog.com
Velocity is not the Goal
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Velocity is not the Goal

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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? This presentation covers Hawthorne Effect and Goodhart’s Law to explain why setting goals for velocity can actually hurt a project's chances. Take a look at what can negatively impact velocity, ways to stabilize fluctuating velocity, and methods to improve velocity without the risks.

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  • Unemployment - when unemployment rises it means the economy has been doing poorly\nBody Temperature - Indicator of health; not the problem\n
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  • Something vaguely similar from Galileo\nMore similar from Tom DeMarco - "Controlling Software Projects: Management, Measurement, and Estimates," with the words: "You can't control what you can't measure."\n
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  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
  • Seven Deadly Diseases of Western Management\n
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  • Charles Goodhart\n1975 Paper - Chief Economic Advisor for Bank of England\nAny observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes.\n\nRewards for # of bugs found - lower importance, duplicate bugs reported\nReward for code coverage - increased coverage/decreased test quality\n\n
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  • Approval delays are a challenge\nTeam literally ran out of work once\nOur product owner is not well represented on this project\n
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  • Velocity is not the Goal

    1. 1. Agile Metrics: Velocity is Not the Goal.Michael “Doc” Norton ◊ @DocOnDev ◊ doc@leandog.com
    2. 2. What’s “Agile” Velocity?
    3. 3. What’s “Agile” Velocity?Work units delivered over time
    4. 4. Trailing Indicator
    5. 5. Trailing IndicatorTells us about the health of the project
    6. 6. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”
    7. 7. Says Who?
    8. 8. You can’tmanage what you can’t measure.Dr. W. Edwards DemingFather of the Quality Evolution
    9. 9. Don’t be O T N ridiculous! in ly r t aC eDr. W. Edwards DemingFather of the Quality Evolution
    10. 10. Running acompany on visible figures alone [is deadly] Dr. W. Edwards Deming Father of the Quality Evolution
    11. 11. Seven Deadly Diseases ofWestern Management
    12. 12. Seven Deadly Diseases ofWestern ManagementLack of constancy of purposeEmphasis on short term profitsEvaluation of performance, merit rating, or annual reviewMobility of top managementRunning a company on visible figures aloneExcessive medical costsExcessive legal damage awards
    13. 13. The Hawthorn Effect
    14. 14. The Hawthorn EffectThat which is measured, will improve
    15. 15. What matters is not setting quantitative goals but fixing themethod by which those goals are attained
    16. 16. What matters is not setting quantitative goals but fixing themethod by which those goals are attained Repair the root cause Rather than the symptoms
    17. 17. Unstable Velocity
    18. 18. Unstable VelocityWhat does it mean?
    19. 19. Poor Story Composition
    20. 20. Poor Story CompositionYou want consistent (small) stories
    21. 21. Too Much WIP
    22. 22. Too Much WIPGet the highest value done first
    23. 23. Dependency on Other Teams
    24. 24. Dependency on Other TeamsGet everyone you need on the team
    25. 25. Stable Velocity
    26. 26. Stable VelocityIt won’t ever be perfect
    27. 27. Increase Velocity
    28. 28. Increase VelocityDo we always want to go faster?
    29. 29. Goodhart’s Law
    30. 30. Goodhart’s LawMaking a metric a target destroys the metric
    31. 31. What matters is not setting quantitative goals but fixing themethod by which those goals are attained Repair the root cause
    32. 32. What matters is not setting quantitative goals but fixing themethod by which those goals are attained Repair the root cause Rather than the symptoms
    33. 33. Velocity Graph
    34. 34. Velocity GraphWhat does it tell us?
    35. 35. Sample Backlog
    36. 36. Cumulative Flow
    37. 37. Cumulative FlowVelocity doesn’t always tell us enough
    38. 38. 201510 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 VelocityVelocity Graph
    39. 39. 201510 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 VelocityVelocity GraphWhat story does this tell?
    40. 40. 100 75 50 25 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Deployed Ready for Approval In Testing In Progress Ready To StartCumulative Flow
    41. 41. 100 75 50 25 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Deployed Ready for Approval In Testing In Progress Ready To StartCumulative FlowWhat story does this tell?
    42. 42. 16 12 8 4 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 VelocityBalanced Metrics
    43. 43. 16 12 8 4 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 VelocityBalanced MetricsWatch more than one
    44. 44. 16 50 12 37.5 8 25 4 12.5 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Velocity QualityBalanced MetricsWatch more than one
    45. 45. 16 50 12 37.5 8 25 4 12.5 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Velocity Quality Avg. HoursBalanced MetricsWatch more than one
    46. 46. Remember
    47. 47. Remember• Velocity is a trailing indicator• That which is measured will improve (at a cost)• Velocity can tell us several things• What matters is not the metric, but the behaviors that produce the results• Setting a goal on a metric negates the metric• Cycle and Lead Time can tell us more• Balance your metrics
    48. 48. Thank YouMichael “Doc” Norton ◊ @DocOnDev ◊ doc@leandog.com
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