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49713Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: ORIGINAL POST Using points/velocity for productivity measure

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  • srinivas chillara
    Jan 5, 2011
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      Rreplying to original query:

      You should explain in as many different ways as you can think, that:

      1. Story points are a relative size measure within a given product backlog. Team A's story point is not equal to team B's story point. Therefore direct comparisions (across tems) are almost surely going to be meaningless and harmful.

      2. What the management should also understand (this could take months, people are often not very bright) is that they can't get thiscomparitive information reliabily as well as easily. Something like Heisenberg's uncertainity principle. If comparitive information is easy to get, it is not going to be reliable. NB: Comparing story points (or Velocity) across teams is easy.

      3. They should if at all use a fixed size measure like function points (FP) retrospectively and compare productivity over a period of say six months. However again it is dangerous to assess productivity in this manner to use it as a proxy for proficiency of the team. The same person has different productivity (even within a month) depending on environmental factors outside his/her control. So while this information is useful (that teamA's prodcutivity is higher that teamB's), what one does with this information is very important, and the watchword is "CAUTION".

      Would be happy to discuss this is greater length, should you wish.


      --- On Thu, 6/1/11, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:

      From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Using points/velocity for productivity measure
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, 6 January, 2011, 9:25 AM



      On 1/5/11 6:47 PM, Salil Prasad wrote:
      > I am having difficulty in challenging the management mindset that
      > comparing points and velocity across multiple teams should not be
      > measure of productivity. Can someone points me to resources where it
      > articulates clearly why this is a wrong notion and what are its pitfalls.

      The original blog posting is lost, but you can find this quote from Dave
      Nicolette on InfoQ

      "How many Elephant Points are there in the veldt? Let's conduct a poll
      of the herds. Herd A reports 50,000 kg. Herd B report 84 legs. Herd C
      reports 92,000 lb. Herd D reports 24 head. Herd E reports 546 elephant
      sounds per day. Herd F reports elephant skin rgb values of (192, 192,
      192). Herd G reports an average height of 11 ft. So, there are 50,000 +
      84 + 92,000 + 24 + 546 + 192 + 11 = 142,857 Elephant Points in the
      veldt. The average herd has 20,408.142857143 Elephant Points. We know
      this is a useful number because there is a decimal point in it."

      - George

      * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
      Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
      Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org

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