Agile PM Process Grid-4.10 Velocity


In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he creates an “agile project management process grid” which describes 87 processes used in agile project management.   These processes are divided into five process groups (Initiate, Plan, Iterate, Control, and Close), which are analogous to the five process groups in traditional project management, and seven knowledge areas which can be mapped, more or less, onto the ten knowledge areas in traditional project management.

I am now covering processes that are performed during the Control process group of an agile project.   Remember, after the Planning process group, an agile project does not go in a linear fashion from Iterate to Control to Close; rather, it cycles from Iteration to Iteration with periodic checkpoints (many times at the end of an iteration cycle) where you Control or make changes to a project to make sure it gets back on track.   Or sometimes, you even change the track itself if there is a change in the requirements.

In any case, I have covered those processes in the Control process group that relate to the first three knowledge areas of External Stakeholders Engagement, Value-Driven Delivery, and Adaptive Planning.   Now I am covering the two processes that relate to the fourth knowledge area of Team Performance.   In the last post, I covered 4.9 Task Board/Burn Down Chart Updates, and in this post I cover 4.10 Velocity.

Velocity is defined as the number of story points completed by the team during the iteration.

During the planning phase, an estimate of team velocity is used which is called forecast velocity.    In order to create this estimate, some assumptions must be made in order to make basic calculations, such as:

  • how many members will be on the development team
  • how many weeks there will be in the iteration
If you multiply these two, you will have the weeks of ideal time available during an iteration.   Then you estimate the number of days or weeks each story will take to complete, and you will have an estimate of how long the project will take to complete.
In the Control process group, however, you calculate the actual velocity based on the number of actual stories completed in each iteration.   By the fourth or fifth iteration, the velocity should stabilize.    This allows a more reliable estimate as to whether any given feature can be completed by a certain date.    This allows the work to be aligned to the release plan.
This completes the processes related to “Team Performance” done in the Control process group.   The next post will start discussing the processes related to Risk Management:
  • 5.11  Obstacle Removal
  • 5.12  Variance and Trend Analysis
  • 5.13  Escaped Defects

 

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