Velocity management is the key to a successful agile project. By monitoring the throughput of each team member, managers can ensure that projects remain on track and that deadlines are met.
It can help eliminate bottlenecks, identify areas for improvement, and make sure that developer resources are being used to their fullest potential.
In this tactical guide, we’ll explore the secrets to effectively managing velocity using historical data on your team’s performance. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be able to confidently implement velocity management techniques to maximize your team’s productivity and efficiency.
What Is Velocity Management?
Velocity management in the agile methodology is the practice of tracking your team performance to measure progress towards achieving goals.
It is used to inform future planning and decision-making, while providing an indication of whether or not the team is on track to reach its desired outcome.
Velocity management can also help identify areas for improvement for SCRUM teams, such as bottlenecks or impediments that are preventing the team from reaching its milestones.
Broadly speaking, velocity management can help agile teams in four key areas:
Improved Output Quality: Velocity management helps agile teams deliver better output by setting clear expectations for quality and speed. This results in end products that meet stakeholder requirements.
Increased Predictability: Velocity management provides data points that can be used to predict how long a project will take, what the resource requirements will be, and when the project will be completed. This helps teams plan better and reduces the risk of delays or unexpected timeline changes.
Improved Collaboration: By tracking velocity, team members can be on the same page as to who is working on what tasks and how much progress they are making. This allows for better collaboration between developers and a more efficient use of resources.
Improved Estimation Accuracy: Velocity management helps teams understand how much work they can complete in a certain timeframe, which makes effort estimation more accurate and reliable. This ensures that projects are completed on time while also avoiding costly overruns.
Best Practices for Managing Velocity in Agile Environments
Here are some tried and tested best practices for improving and maintaining a consistent velocity across your team in agile project management:
Map Story Points: Keeping track of the story points associated with each task within an agile project is one of the most effective ways to measure velocity.
However, the real key to good velocity management is to map story points in a way that’s both realistic and attainable. Identifying bottlenecks to pinpoint problematic stories in advance can save a lot of time down the line.
Monitor Cycle Time: Cycle time is an agile metric that tracks the amount of time it takes for a task to move from start to finish. Tracking cycle time allows you to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or areas where improvement is needed.
As you continue to collect historical data on cycle time, it helps you get better at estimating how long it will take to complete future tasks.
Track Defect Rates: Defects are inevitable, but tracking defect rates over time can allow you to assess team velocity and identify any issues that may be impacting productivity.
While speed matters in software development, quality matters even more. There’s no point in compromising code quality and delivering an incomplete product to hit unrealistic velocity goals.
Measure Developer Throughput: Throughput measures the number of tasks that are completed within a given timeframe, and provides insight into how quickly your team can complete tasks and deliver results.
Monitoring the throughput of individual developers, not as a way to penalize them but as a means for identifying gaps in the planning process, can help improve velocity across the board for your entire team.
Why Story Mapping Is the Real Key to Velocity Management
Story mapping is a powerful tool for improving velocity management because it allows teams to visualize their backlog items in an organized manner.
It helps to prioritize tasks and identify dependencies between them, which can enable teams to plan and manage the total amount of work across iterations more efficiently.
Story mapping also makes it easier to track progress and identify bottlenecks that could be hindering velocity. Additionally, it makes it easier to communicate the progress of projects with product owners as they can see the big picture and understand what tasks have been completed, what tasks are in progress, and what tasks still need to be done.
Managing Agile Velocity With Time Tracking for User Stories
If you measure how much time each user story takes to complete, you can make more accurate predictions about how much work your development team can take on in a given sprint or release cycle.
Time tracking also helps you identify areas where improvements can be made, such as reducing development time or increasing the efficiency of your team’s workflow. This helps you plan projects better and allocate resources more effectively across your product backlog.
Start by creating an estimate for each story and tracking the actual time it takes to complete it. Track the total number of hours spent on each story over multiple sprints or releases and compare it with your estimates. As your data points get stronger, so will your estimates become more accurate.
You can also use this data to adjust your development process as needed, ensuring that your team is able to meet its velocity goals more consistently.
7pace: The Best Velocity Management Platform for Agile Teams
7pace is a time tracking and performance evaluation tool for Azure DevOps and GitHub. It integrates directly with your preferred development environment and provides real-time data on your team’s performance.
What makes 7pace different from other time tracking tools?
It’s a time tracker that’s built by and for software developers. Instead of offering ways to micromanage your team, 7pace gives you everything you need to create a more efficient planning process that leads to better project estimates, deadlines, and budget outlines.
You can also take advantage of our CRUD API to modify existing parameters and integrate 7pace with any reporting tool of your choice. You can also use it in combination with various types of automation software to create the most efficient workflow.