## 55080Re: Velocity Question

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• May 9 9:21 AM
As my mom used to say, "You can't have any dessert, because you didn't finish your vegetables."

I had a math teacher once who didn't give partial credit. He'd claim that almost getting the right answer doesn't help much when the spaceship crashes into the moon's surface.

When you finish your story, you can claim "credit" for delivering value to the business. If the business hands out chocolate sundaes for a completed story, I'm guessing that the team would be motivated to finish a story in the current Sprint. :-)

Frankly, I don't like the term "credit". Again, it smacks too much of gaming the system, with a focus on metrics, rather than delivering value.

Velocity is a rough planning tool. Trying to obtain precision is rather pointless. A running average is sufficient to smooth out the bumps caused by unfinished stories. The emphasis should always be on completing the stories, not getting "credit" for partial work.

Mark

--- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Bret Wortman <bret@...> wrote:
>
> I read the blog post and disagree with what I read.
>
> If the team worked on the story and didn't complete it, but the story gets
> re-estimated and the new point value is lowered because, as the blog author
> points out, " The amount of work left to do to finish the story is
> hopefully less than the original estimate. The work remaining to finish the
> story is the real effort going forward. After all, some of the work is
> done.", then some amount of work is simply lost -- that is, the differrence
> between portion of work completed during the current sprint, which isn't
> counted toward the current sprint because the story wasn't completed, and
> is now lost because the story is re-estimated and the value lowered to
> reflect the amount of work remaining.
>
> If I have a 10-point story at the start of sprint *n*, and the team gets it
> partially complete, but not Done-Done, and therefore we don't claim it in
> sprint *n, *then if we re-estimate the story and realize that there are now
> only 3 points of work to be completed in sprint *n+1*, and use that as our
> new estimate for sprint *n+1*, where did the other 7 points go? The team
> did those 7 points of work, but got no credit for them at all.
>
> The point is that the story was a 10 point story and we don't claim credit
> until all work is completed. The re-estimation of the story ignores this
> and tries to reassess, but does so at a disservice to the team. The team's
> velocity shouldn't ignore the 7 points of work that were completed.
> Ignoring that work is worse than splitting the story, claiming some of the
> work in sprint *n* and shifting the rest to sprint *n+1*.
>
> The team can discuss the work remaining to understand it, but shouldn't
> need to re-estimate the story to accomplish that....
>
> I disagree with the blog's author that you can't have full credit in the
> sprint where the work is finally completed. I think that's precisely where
> you can claim full credit for the originally estimated points, though I
> welcome discussion on that point.
>
>
> *Bret Wortman***
>
>
>
> On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM, gopinath <gopinath_ram@...> wrote:
>
> > **
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Mark,
> >
> > I am not trying to equate story points with duration. Not sure what made
> > it sound otherwise. Sorry if I was not clear enough.
> >
> > All I am trying to say is - no credit to be given for a partially
> > completed story in Sprint 1. And the work (i.e. in terms of size) which
> > remains in that story has to be treated as a new backlog item,
> > re-prioritized (if necessary) and re-estimated at the beginning of Sprint
> > 2. This will give a closer indication to the size/complexity of the work to
> > be undertaken in Sprint 2.
> >
> > Not sure whether you went through the link which I had given as reference
> > http://elegantcode.com/2008/09/16/what-to-do-with-left-over-stories/
> > This fully describes what I intended to convey.
> >
> > And yes as you rightly say,time should be spent discussing why the story
> > was not delivered and how to ensure that such occurrences are minimized.
> > This has to be done in during Sprint 1 retrospective.
> >
> > Gopinath
> >
> >
> > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "woynam" <woyna@> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > I have no problem re-estimating stories in the backlog that haven't
> > started.
> > >
> > > It sounds like you're trying to equate story points with duration. A
> > story point represents a measure of value/size, not duration. A point point
> > story not delivered is worth nothing to the business. If it's completed on
> > the first day of the next Sprint, then the full value of 5 points is
> > available at the end of the 2nd Sprint when the product is delivered.
> > >
> > > Velocity is intended to be a rough planning tool. Spending time
> > re-estimating work in progress is a smell. The time should be spent
> > discussing why the story was not delivered, rather than the amount of
> > effort required to complete it.
> > >
> > > Mark
> > >
> > >
> > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "gopinath" <gopinath_ram@>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Mark,
> > > >
> > > > I agree with you on "If you re-estimate the stories, the velocity will
> > not reflect their original size."
> > > >
> > > > Preserving the information about the original size estimate is one
> > approach. I won't say it is wrong. It may be useful while doing relative
> > estimation.
> > > >
> > > > But I tend towards re-prioritizing and re-estimating the unfinished
> > stories in the next Sprint as it reflects the current situation better.
> > > >
> > > > This blog post by David Starr explains very clearly why we need to do
> > so:
> > > > http://elegantcode.com/2008/09/16/what-to-do-with-left-over-stories/
> > > >
> > > > Gopinath
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "woynam" <woyna@> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > No, that is not correct. The velocity for Sprint 1 will not include
> > the unfinished stories. Thus, the full size of the stories will be part of
> > the velocity calculation for Sprint 2. If you re-estimate the stories, the
> > velocity will not reflect their original size.
> > > > >
> > > > > Again, this is the reason many recommend using a rolling average
> > when calculating velocity. A 5 point story that's completed during the
> > first day of the 2nd Sprint will contribute zero points towards the
> > velocity of the first Sprint, and 5 points towards the velocity of the 2nd
> > Sprint, even though there was only a small amount of work remaining.
> > > > >
> > > > > Mark
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "gopinath" <gopinath_ram@>
> > wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I am in agreement with previous responses to this question.
> > > > > > However at the beginning of Sprint 2 you should re-estimate the
> > story points for the two partially finished stories carried over from
> > Sprint 1.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Gopinath
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Rama Bharti <ramabharti@>
> > wrote:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Hi,
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I have a question on velocity.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > For instance, you have sprint 1 and sprint 2.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Sprint 1 has 5 stories which in total is 50 story points. Each
> > story
> > > > > > > is of size 10 story point.
> > > > > > > Sprint 2 has 5 stories which in total is 50 story points. Each
> > story
> > > > > > > is of size 10 story point.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Now sprint 1 ends with 3 stories completed and 2 story partially
> > > > > > > completed( 80 %done). What will be velocity of Sprint 1? I
> > assume it
> > > > > > > will be 30.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Now pending 2 stories are moved to sprint 2. and at the end of
> > sprint
> > > > > > > 2 , all seven stories are finished( 2 which were moved from
> > Sprint1
> > > > > > > and 5 Sprint2 stories). So velocity of sprint 2 is 70.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > How do you explain this difference in velocity to management?
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Thanks.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
>
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