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157800Re: [XP] Story sizes and productivity gains

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  • Dave Rooney
    Jun 21, 2012
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      Hi Paul,

      On 2012-06-21, at 1:27 PM, Paul Epps wrote:

      > I saw a presentation by Scott Downey last night at Agile SoCal on hyperproductive Scrum teams. Downey defines a hyperproductive team as a team that achieves a 500% increase over its initial velocity, as measured in story points.

      I saw Scott give a presentation with Jeff Sutherland at Agile 2010 about this. During the session, I called BS to all of the numbers he and Jeff said you should track, but the crowd ate it up. Clearly I was swimming upstream against a torrent.

      I had a discussion with another conference attendee afterwards, someone who had been a VP of development. His org had a policy that allowed employees to order pizza if they were working late into supper hours. He said the only metric he used to evaluate whether he needed to ask some questions was the number of pizzas ordered in a given week. He didn't need velocity, he didn't need utilization vs. capacity, he didn't need *any* of the BS numbers that Downey & Sutherland say are critical.

      This is my opinion, but I do know that it's shared with other people: Hyperproductivity is marketing BS that has done much more harm than good by being the Promised Land of Scrum. Your mileage (and opinion) may vary, of course. :)

      Dave Rooney

      > I've seen Ron Jeffries recommend not using story points, instead sizing stories consistently around a couple of days, and counting stories instead of points. That's always seemed like a good idea to me, but after Downey's presentation, I was trying to think about how to measure productivity gains when sizing stories at a couple of days.
      > To take a simple example, if I can do a story every two days, then I can do five stories in a two-week sprint. By definition (story = 2 days), I will continue to complete five stories per sprint forever. In order to demonstrate improvement over time, I would need a new measurement, e.g., value, right?
      > Any ideas on how to measure team productivity over time using consistent story sizes?
      > Thanks...
      > Paul Epps

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