## Re: [XP] Don't let them see our velocity?

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• ... Ron, you are 100% right. In your hypothetical situation with two teams working in parallel ceteris paribus the velocity numbers will show that one team is
Message 1 of 342 , Dec 30, 2007
--- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
<ronjeffries@...> wrote:
>
> Hello, Charlie. On Sunday, December 30, 2007, at 10:46:55 PM, you
> wrote:
>
> >> Isn't the velocity of the one team ten, and the other twenty?
>
> > I don't know what the velocity of either team is. If each team
> > estimated each of their stories as one point each, then yes.
>
> > What are the odds of that?
>
> Oh come on you guys. Same stories, all things equal except: one team
> does ten, other does twenty. However we calculate velocity, one will
> be twice the other, and the reason will be that they ARE twice as
> productive.
>
> One reason people ask for velocity is that in appropriate
> aggregates, it really does track productivity. Or so it seems to me.
> If this is true ... then what?

Ron, you are 100% right. In your hypothetical situation with two teams
working in parallel ceteris paribus the velocity numbers will show that
one team is twice as productive as the other. Unfortunately, ceteris
paribus is a phenomenon that only works in economics (well... OK... not
really there either!) The point is that from everything I have read and
experienced, even if you have two teams working on the same features,
same stories same everything, one will be measuring in apples and the
other in oranges. Now unless I know that two apples == one orange...
apples to oranges means nothing to me and I won't know who did twice as
much work.

Now if you are saying, the only thing that matters is *features*
completed or *stories* completed... then what you are saying makes
perfect sense. Because you can't hide that number. But don't most
teams count their "velocity" as the total of their estimates? And these
estimates are points, gummy bears or whatever other silly name we come
up with? So to say that I can look at a velocity number and figure out
the number of features completed doesn't make any sense to me.

So I guess if someone wanted to know velocity and I reported my 'stories
completed' number to them... that might be useful information. But if I
report my velocity as "we got 42 gummy bears done last week" I would
*hope* they would look at me like I had lost my mind... unless they were
a developer on the team that helped make the estimates in the first
place.

Matt

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• Hello, Ilja. On Saturday, February 16, 2008, at 6:23:42 PM, you ... Well, it sounds like it would take a pretty narrow set of ideas on how to improve
Message 342 of 342 , Feb 16, 2008
Hello, Ilja. On Saturday, February 16, 2008, at 6:23:42 PM, you
wrote:

> I expect this to increase our velocity in the middle run. And I'm all
> for measuring it.

> I doubt we would have even tried this event if we had focused on
> improving velocity.

> How does that sound to you?

Well, it sounds like it would take a pretty narrow set of ideas on
how to improve velocity. In a discussion on that, I would hope that
ideas like learning, better tools, higher morale, and better
communication would come up.

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
Anyone can make the simple complicated.
Creativity is making the complicated simple. -- Charles Mingus
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