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Re: [scrumdevelopment] How to increase velocity

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  • Cass Dalton
    Ron, Do are you suggesting that said creative idea will increase the teams velocity? That sounds like a major process improvement or something similar. There
    Message 1 of 30 , Nov 30, 2012
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      Ron,
      Do are you suggesting that said creative idea will increase the teams velocity?  That sounds like a major process improvement or something similar.  There are exceptions to every rule and good teams will always be improving themselves.  But those types of improvements are not induced by outside control, which was the context of the question.  If you have managers asking "how can we increase velocity", they are not thinking "how can the team improve", they're thinking "what resources do we need to throw at the problem to meet our deadline".  Suggesting that that type of control is real is dangerous.  Team improvement will happen, and it can even be accelerated by a good scrum master.  It can not be accelerated by the type of manager that asks the second question.  So in the context of the question as I heard it, there is no method of increasing velocity.

      On Nov 30, 2012 6:42 AM, "Bret Wortman" <bret.wortman@...> wrote:
       

      I think the illusion is being able to directly manipulate the velocity. It's like my car's mileage. I can't make it more fuel-efficient directly, but I can change the way I drive, which will have an effect on my MPG.


      There's no "velocity" dial in scrum, but there are lots of other dials which can effect velocity indirectly (and unpredictably).


      On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
       

      Cass,


      On Nov 28, 2012, at 8:46 AM, Cass Dalton <cassdalton73@...> wrote:

      Trying to increase the velocity means that you've fallen into the illusion of control mind trap.  You can't change velocity.  It is inherent in the team and their ability to work the stories.  As long as the team is estimating stories honestly and consistently and the team makeup does not change, the true team velocity will be effectively a constant. 

      What if they learn something new? What if someone has a creative idea?

      Ron Jeffries
      I have two cats, and a big house full of cat stuff. 
      The cats fight and divide up the house, messing up their own lives. 
      Nice work cats. 
      Meow.




      --
      Bret Wortman
      The Damascus Group
      Fairfax, VA

    • Account
      I ve been hanging back and watching this really interesting discussion evolve and thought I d jump in. My advice would be to have the Scrum Team and management
      Message 2 of 30 , Dec 2, 2012
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        I've been hanging back and watching this really interesting discussion evolve and thought I'd jump in.

        My advice would be to have the Scrum Team and management get together to discuss this business problem. Why do we need to have this certain functionality (fixed scope) delivered by a certain date (fixed time)? If we assume management has noble intentions, perhaps they are trying to hit a market window, and the "certain functionality" is the minimally marketable features.

        Once we understand the business objectives and the goal, then we can inspect and adapt to the situation. What's missing is the visibility into management's reasoning.

        The point here is to be proactive, not reactive. Agile is about the "Art of the Possible.". For example: we figure out various implementation scenarios and we can explain the trade-offs with management. We can delivery sooner with fewer features to get early feedback, we can deliver all the desired features, but not go as deep with their functionality, etc.

        If management is arbitrarily asking the team to meet the goal (fixed date/fixed scope), then find out what's behind it. Do they want to set a challenging goal to help the team improve, has an Executive made a promise to a customer to close business, etc. Does management not understand how/why agile works and they need education. There can be many good explanations.

        Once you find out what is going on, it will change your mindset (paradigm shift) and many alternatives to solve the problem will emerge.

        Regards,
        Richard Knaster



        Original question:
        Your boss wants your team to deliver certain functionality by a certain date (deadline), but your velocity is unable to achieve that. What options/suggestions do you have for your management who really want this to get done? More people? Overtime? What else to increase the velocity?
      • Markus Gaertner
        There is a third option to improve the velocity within that analogy, that is improve the team working together. Your first point seems to be directed at
        Message 3 of 30 , Dec 3, 2012
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          There is a third option to improve the velocity within that analogy,
          that is improve the team working together. Your first point seems to
          be directed at individual skills, your second one on the team
          constellation. I experienced an out-performing team once we settled
          the interpersonal conflicts that were lurking in our team. Once we
          settled these, we were able to deliver more than we planned initially,
          and it took us two failed sprints to realize we had to work on our
          team issue.

          Best
          Markus

          On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM, akoelewijnk <yahoo@...> wrote:
          > Velocity is an indication of what a team is capable of (within its current environment). You could approach this like a sports team trying to improve its ranking:
          > 1) try to improve the effectiveness of the team members by getting in the right trainers * coaches, and training them to do a better at their job. I think any programmer/analyst/tester/... can become better with the right training, just like athletes are always training to improve.
          > 2) improve the team by replacing team members by more effective people. Sometimes people are very good, by not the right match for the team, sometimes there're just not good enough.
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Dipl.-Inform. Markus Gärtner
          Author of ATDD by Example - A Practical Guide to Acceptance
          Test-Driven Development
          http://www.shino.de/blog
          http://www.mgaertne.de
          http://www.it-agile.de
          Twitter: @mgaertne
        • Cass Dalton
          Well said
          Message 4 of 30 , Dec 3, 2012
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            Well said


            On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM, Account <richardknaster@...> wrote:
             

            I've been hanging back and watching this really interesting discussion evolve and thought I'd jump in.

            My advice would be to have the Scrum Team and management get together to discuss this business problem. Why do we need to have this certain functionality (fixed scope) delivered by a certain date (fixed time)? If we assume management has noble intentions, perhaps they are trying to hit a market window, and the "certain functionality" is the minimally marketable features.

            Once we understand the business objectives and the goal, then we can inspect and adapt to the situation. What's missing is the visibility into management's reasoning.

            The point here is to be proactive, not reactive. Agile is about the "Art of the Possible.". For example: we figure out various implementation scenarios and we can explain the trade-offs with management. We can delivery sooner with fewer features to get early feedback, we can deliver all the desired features, but not go as deep with their functionality, etc.

            If management is arbitrarily asking the team to meet the goal (fixed date/fixed scope), then find out what's behind it. Do they want to set a challenging goal to help the team improve, has an Executive made a promise to a customer to close business, etc. Does management not understand how/why agile works and they need education. There can be many good explanations.

            Once you find out what is going on, it will change your mindset (paradigm shift) and many alternatives to solve the problem will emerge.

            Regards,
            Richard Knaster

            Original question:
            Your boss wants your team to deliver certain functionality by a certain date (deadline), but your velocity is unable to achieve that. What options/suggestions do you have for your management who really want this to get done? More people? Overtime? What else to increase the velocity?


          • Michael James
            Richard, thank you for that dose of sanity. Our preoccupation with microefficiency is a habit from the industrial era when success depended on building more
            Message 5 of 30 , Dec 3, 2012
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              Richard, thank you for that dose of sanity.

              Our preoccupation with microefficiency is a habit from the industrial era when success depended on building more Model-T Fords, more B-17 bombers, more houses on the hillside made of ticky tacky.  There were even people like Frank Gilbreth doing time and motion studies in this quest to increase production quantity.

              But today success at knowledge work has more to do with being able to steer.  This means connecting the people implementing the product with the people who need the product, splitting the requirements into smaller portions, doing a great job at the top priority ones, keeping the feedback loop alive, and creating a *learning organization*.  The pursuit of speed at any cost is likely a symptom of one-way communication and broken feedback loops.

              --mj


              On Dec 2, 2012, at 1:44 PM, "Account" <richardknaster@...> wrote:

               

              I've been hanging back and watching this really interesting discussion evolve and thought I'd jump in.

              My advice would be to have the Scrum Team and management get together to discuss this business problem. Why do we need to have this certain functionality (fixed scope) delivered by a certain date (fixed time)? If we assume management has noble intentions, perhaps they are trying to hit a market window, and the "certain functionality" is the minimally marketable features.

              Once we understand the business objectives and the goal, then we can inspect and adapt to the situation. What's missing is the visibility into management's reasoning.

              The point here is to be proactive, not reactive. Agile is about the "Art of the Possible.". For example: we figure out various implementation scenarios and we can explain the trade-offs with management. We can delivery sooner with fewer features to get early feedback, we can deliver all the desired features, but not go as deep with their functionality, etc.

              If management is arbitrarily asking the team to meet the goal (fixed date/fixed scope), then find out what's behind it. Do they want to set a challenging goal to help the team improve, has an Executive made a promise to a customer to close business, etc. Does management not understand how/why agile works and they need education. There can be many good explanations.

              Once you find out what is going on, it will change your mindset (paradigm shift) and many alternatives to solve the problem will emerge.

              Regards,
              Richard Knaster

              Original question:
              Your boss wants your team to deliver certain functionality by a certain date (deadline), but your velocity is unable to achieve that. What options/suggestions do you have for your management who really want this to get done? More people? Overtime? What else to increase the velocity?


            • George Dinwiddie
              Michael, ... Thanks for THAT earworm. I haven t thought of that song in a long, long time. For those that haven t heard it:
              Message 6 of 30 , Dec 3, 2012
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                Michael,

                On 12/3/12 2:41 PM, Michael James wrote:
                > more houses on the hillside made of ticky tacky

                Thanks for THAT earworm. I haven't thought of that song in a long, long
                time. For those that haven't heard it:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlSpc87Jfr0

                - George

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