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Re: [XP] Re: Release Planning based on Velocity

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  • Jonathan Harley
    Hey Ron, I ve always viewed velocity as a fact rather than a goal, and use it to try to have a sense of what the team has been capable of, capacity-wise rather
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 1, 2012
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      Hey Ron,

      I've always viewed velocity as a fact rather than a goal, and use it to try
      to have a sense of what the team has been capable of, capacity-wise rather
      than a promise of delivery.

      Is your regret about use of velocity in Scrum and XP that it takes so long
      for management to understand the nuances thereby causing undue heartburn
      all around? Or is there some other deep seated reason that I've missed
      along the way? (My fault for not reading all the posts regularly?)

      Thanks - Jon

      On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > Oddly enough, yes
      > R
      >
      > On Jul 1, 2012, at 9:54 AM, MarvinToll.com wrote:
      >
      > > So... with your indulgence... let me combine my emerging thoughts with
      > your elbatoration and see if we are (however unlikely) on the same page:
      > >
      > > 1. That determining velocity is an enabler - not an end in itself.
      > > 2. That velocity enables workload planning - not predicting.
      > > 3. That extending a workload planning tool into a predicting tool can
      > damage the effectiveness of the planning tool.
      > > 4. That the type of predictability leadership (aka management) needs is
      > related to amount of value... not volume of work... so there is no reason
      > to damage the effectiveness of velocity as a tool for planning.
      >
      > Ron Jeffries
      > www.XProgramming.com
      > There's no word for accountability in Finnish.
      > Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been
      > subtracted.
      > --Pasi Sahlberg
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • RonJeffries
      ... Yes. It was originally used as yesterday s weather to help the team decide how much work to take on in the next iteration. Then we began using it in a
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 1, 2012
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        On Jul 1, 2012, at 11:25 AM, Jonathan Harley wrote:

        > I've always viewed velocity as a fact rather than a goal, and use it to try
        > to have a sense of what the team has been capable of, capacity-wise rather
        > than a promise of delivery.

        Yes. It was originally used as "yesterday's weather" to help the team decide how much work to take on in the next iteration.

        Then we began using it in a healthy way -- yes, that is actually possible -- to give an indication of progress, to get a sense of whether we would be done on time. I don't remember now why we felt the way we did.
        >
        > Is your regret about use of velocity in Scrum and XP that it takes so long
        > for management to understand the nuances thereby causing undue heartburn
        > all around? Or is there some other deep seated reason that I've missed
        > along the way? (My fault for not reading all the posts regularly?)


        In my opinion, "predicting" is not good thinking. Steering, by selecting high value things to do, is important. Having a potentially shippable "product increment" all the time, is important.

        Generally -- almost always -- management's focus on velocity is a focus on "doing more". This is -- almost always -- an indication that they are not focused on having an always-ready increment and always putting the most important new features into it. They are managing the cost end of the equation, not the value end.

        That way lies pain, mediocrity, and bad software.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        I know we always like to say it'll be easier to do it now than it
        will be to do it later. Not likely. I plan to be smarter later than
        I am now, so I think it'll be just as easy later, maybe even easier.
        Why pay now when we can pay later?



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ajithesh Hegde
        Hi, My clarifications on the two varying parameters: 1. Gradual increase in the team size in the beginning and gradual decrease in the team size towards the
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 2, 2012
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          Hi,

          My clarifications on the two varying parameters:

          1. Gradual increase in the team size in the beginning and gradual decrease
          in the team size towards the end of the project. Why should this happen?:

          Answer: I have seen such a practice in many of the projects as a
          tradition. In the beginning of a project, the core team is formed with a
          fewer members (generally the senior members). The initial ground work
          such as high level requirements and architecture starts happening.

          With the high level details reasonably worked out, the team size is
          increased with more members (generally relatively junior members).

          A size down happens when the project is nearing completion on similar
          grounds. As the project is well on the track and most of the project is
          done by now, more senior members are pulled out gradually and are put on
          newer projects.

          2. Iteration length. Why is this varied?
          I have seen the teams taking such a decision as part of their sprint
          retrospectives to experiment with different iteration lengths to find out
          which is the more optimal iteration length for their work. Sometimes,
          based on the theme that they are taking for the next iteration, I have seen
          the teams dynamically changing the iteration length as well.

          Rgds
          Ajithesh


          On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 9:06 PM, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

          > **
          >
          >
          >
          > On Jul 1, 2012, at 11:25 AM, Jonathan Harley wrote:
          >
          > > I've always viewed velocity as a fact rather than a goal, and use it to
          > try
          > > to have a sense of what the team has been capable of, capacity-wise
          > rather
          > > than a promise of delivery.
          >
          > Yes. It was originally used as "yesterday's weather" to help the team
          > decide how much work to take on in the next iteration.
          >
          > Then we began using it in a healthy way -- yes, that is actually possible
          > -- to give an indication of progress, to get a sense of whether we would be
          > done on time. I don't remember now why we felt the way we did.
          >
          > >
          > > Is your regret about use of velocity in Scrum and XP that it takes so
          > long
          > > for management to understand the nuances thereby causing undue heartburn
          > > all around? Or is there some other deep seated reason that I've missed
          > > along the way? (My fault for not reading all the posts regularly?)
          >
          > In my opinion, "predicting" is not good thinking. Steering, by selecting
          > high value things to do, is important. Having a potentially shippable
          > "product increment" all the time, is important.
          >
          > Generally -- almost always -- management's focus on velocity is a focus on
          > "doing more". This is -- almost always -- an indication that they are not
          > focused on having an always-ready increment and always putting the most
          > important new features into it. They are managing the cost end of the
          > equation, not the value end.
          >
          > That way lies pain, mediocrity, and bad software.
          >
          > Ron Jeffries
          > www.XProgramming.com
          > I know we always like to say it'll be easier to do it now than it
          > will be to do it later. Not likely. I plan to be smarter later than
          > I am now, so I think it'll be just as easy later, maybe even easier.
          > Why pay now when we can pay later?
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • George Dinwiddie
          Ajithesh, ... That s a tradition from a phased, plan-driven project lifecycle. It s a tradition that treats software development as an endeavor of a group of
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 2, 2012
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            Ajithesh,

            On 7/2/12 4:55 AM, Ajithesh Hegde wrote:
            > Hi,
            >
            > My clarifications on the two varying parameters:
            >
            > 1. Gradual increase in the team size in the beginning and gradual decrease
            > in the team size towards the end of the project. Why should this happen?:
            >
            > Answer: I have seen such a practice in many of the projects as a
            > tradition. In the beginning of a project, the core team is formed with a
            > fewer members (generally the senior members). The initial ground work
            > such as high level requirements and architecture starts happening.

            That's a tradition from a phased, plan-driven project lifecycle. It's a
            tradition that treats software development as an endeavor of a group of
            individuals rather than as a team activity.

            > With the high level details reasonably worked out, the team size is
            > increased with more members (generally relatively junior members).
            >
            > A size down happens when the project is nearing completion on similar
            > grounds. As the project is well on the track and most of the project is
            > done by now, more senior members are pulled out gradually and are put on
            > newer projects.

            That's always a good idea, so that the more senior members don't get
            tarred by the project failure during final integration and test. ;-)
            Seriously, I've seen that play out on a number of occasions in just such
            a fashion. It's one of the frequent plot lines of a serial project
            lifecycle, and one of the problems that an adaptive, team-driven
            lifecycle is intended to avoid.

            > 2. Iteration length. Why is this varied?
            > I have seen the teams taking such a decision as part of their sprint
            > retrospectives to experiment with different iteration lengths to find out
            > which is the more optimal iteration length for their work. Sometimes,
            > based on the theme that they are taking for the next iteration, I have seen
            > the teams dynamically changing the iteration length as well.

            Why do these teams dynamically change their iteration length?

            - George

            --
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
            Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
            Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          • Tim Ottinger
            Goodhart s law applied to software productivity. :-) Roughly, If you lean on a gauge, it quits providing useful information.   Tim Ottinger
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 2, 2012
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              Goodhart's law applied to software productivity. :-)

              Roughly, "If you lean on a gauge, it quits providing useful information."

               
              Tim Ottinger
              http://agileinaflash.blogspot.com/
              http://agileotter.blogspot.com/
            • Curtis Cooley
              Sorry for the top post, using my phone :-( Others have hinted but I ve not seen anyone say, building projects is easy, building teams is hard. On the off
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 2, 2012
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                Sorry for the top post, using my phone :-(

                Others have hinted but I've not seen anyone say, building projects is easy,
                building teams is hard. On the off chance you manage to build a high
                performance team, you already have plans to tear of down.

                I suggest you don't do that.
                On Jul 2, 2012 1:55 AM, "Ajithesh Hegde" <ajithesh.gh@...> wrote:


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • MarvinToll.com
                Is this akin to the notion that: If you push a metaphor too hard the wheels kind of fall off. [Richard Greene]
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 3, 2012
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                  Is this akin to the notion that:

                  "If you push a metaphor too hard the wheels kind of fall off." [Richard Greene]

                  --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Tim Ottinger <linux_tim@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Goodhart's law applied to software productivity. :-)
                  >
                  > Roughly, "If you lean on a gauge, it quits providing useful information."
                  >
                  >  
                  > Tim Ottinger
                  > http://agileinaflash.blogspot.com/
                  > http://agileotter.blogspot.com/
                  >
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