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SPaMCAST 473 features our essay on 6 Important Flow Metrics!  Getting the most value out of a process is important to any leader.  Balancing getting the most value with getting value sooner complicates the discussion.  In some cases, getting some value sooner is worth more than the same value delivered later.  Guiding the delivery of value is more complicated than a rank ordering a list of user stories and then magically hoping that everything will happen in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  Measurement is an important tool to help teams and organizations ask the right questions.  The 6 flow metrics provide process transparency into organizations that leverage continuous flow, scrumban, and/or Scrum as the basis for their Agile implementations.

We will also complete our discussion of part 3 (3 of 3) of chapter 20 of Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban  (buy a copy here).


Re-Read Saturday News

This week,  we tackle Chapter 8 of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction by Daniel S. Vacanti. Chapter 8 is titled, Conversion of Flow Part II.  Remember that requirement in Little’s Law.that work that enters the process, completes and leaves.  We do a deeper dive on why that is important.  Buy your copy today and read along! (more…)


Cycle time?

In a recent discussion of Agile metrics, I was asked whether there was a difference between cycle time and throughput.  The simplest answer is that they “feel” similar. Many in software measurement define throughput as the number of units of work (UoW) delivered per unit of time; while cycle time is the amount of time per unit of work (as defined in Actionable Agile Metrics).  The two metrics are the reciprocal of each other. These definitions are functional; however, the cycle time metric is an abridgment of the how the measure is defined in the broader process measurement world.  With the profusion of lean six sigma black belts in the software measurement world lack of precision in the definitions can lead to comical misunderstanding.  Cycle time, with and without lead time, tell interesting but very different stories and are both useful.   (more…)

A blur!

I was recently asked to explain the difference between a number of metrics.  One difference that seems to generate some confusion is that between velocity and cycle time.


Velocity is one of the common metrics used by most Agile teams.  Velocity is the average amount of “stuff” completed in a sprint.  I use the term stuff to encompass whatever measure a team is using to identify or size work.  For example, some teams measure stories in story points, function points or simply as units. If in three sprints, a team completes 20, 30 and 10 story points, the velocity for the team would be the average of these values; that is, 20 story points. The calculation would be the same regardless of the unit of measure.  

Typical Assumptions (more…)

A New Copy!

Today we tackle Chapter 5 of  Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability. Chapter 5, Flow Metrics and CFDs combines the concepts of flow metrics and cumulative flow diagrams (CFD). Cumulative flow diagrams are powerful data visualization techniques, combined with flow metrics the power becomes more evident. Buy your copy today and read along! (more…)

A New Copy!

Today we tackle Chapter 2 of  Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability. Chapter 2 is titled The Basic Metrics of Flow.  The concept of flow is critical to predictability.   Buy your copy today and read along! (more…)


A New Copy!

Today, Chapter 1 of  Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability. Chapter 1 is titled Flow, Flow Metrics, and Predictability.  Vacanti jumps directly into the deep end by suggesting a way to answer the age-old question, ”when are you going to deliver?”  Buy your copy today and read along! (more…)


Value, as we have noted, is often discussed and rarely defined.  Much in the same way personal or organizational values are tossed about, the value of a project, product or piece of work is used in the same mythic but nebulous fashion.  Kumar Javvaji, @solidwood described; “Value is a tangible contribution to meeting a critical need.” This is a credible definition; however, we still need to translate each tangible contribution into a language that can be understood by all of the stakeholders in the process. (more…)

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