Posts Tagged “velocity”

Superflu weekend struck our family — and all the families in our daughters’ playgroup. Based on preliminary reports (and my own condition) this could stretch into superflu fortnight.

This reminds me to ask the question: Has anyone planned for sick days in February?

I spotted a trend a few years back that I blogged about in 2009. Now I’m convinced that February is the Northern Hemisphere’s worst month for sick days. And I do account for February sick days in the delivery commitments that my teams make.

Of course, there are other perspectives. I once had a manager who, when contemplating the likelihood of illness-reduced delivery in February, rebutted: Plan at the standard velocity. That’ll encourage the healthy employees to work overtime and cover the shortfall.

He was all about morale, that one.

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Self-Reported Reasons for Sickness -- Eurofund Report NL0607NU04

I think I’m seeing a pattern here. For the second year in a row a blight of sick days has swept the office in the second half of February. Currently, we have multiple teams sorting through their iteration backlogs to account for and replan missed commitments.

This raises an interesting question. Next February, do I ask the project managers to account for potential sick days (basically, commit to less) in their iteration and release planning activities?

Perhaps that’s taking things too far. But I’m going to be on the lookout for this one next winter.

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There is a simple equation that is the basis for most of the planning and tracking calculations I use with projects and teams. One permutation of this equation–for calculating Velocity–is well-known to many Agilists. This common permutation can be expressed as: v=e/t or Velocity (v) = Effort (e) / Time (t).

Casual readers beware. As advertised above, this blog entry uses math. Read the rest of this entry »

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A team that I have been working with for some time has one project (we’ll call it Project X) that has had a problem getting traction over the last three months. What do I mean by “getting traction”? Specifically, on an ongoing basis the team plans the amount of work required to meet delivery commitments but consistently completes significantly less work than it plans. Read the rest of this entry »

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I get a variety of reactions from both doers and managers when I tell them that the average individual contributor on a project team only completes three effort days of delivery-related work in a week. Usually the reaction is surprise. Surprise the number is so low. Surprise I’m willing to admit the number is so low. And surprise that this is a perfectly acceptable amount of work to complete each week. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ve been using Ideal Days to help teams and help me plan work and measure progress since 1999. In most environments, this agile tool is far superior to the use of any duration or date-driven approach. Now, however, I much prefer the term Effort Days. Read the rest of this entry »

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