Progress is easy to visualize when we use the yardstick of calendar time. My wife and I spent 17 days in Europe. There are 197 shopping days until Christmas (as of June 12, 2018) — I expect presents this year. How long it takes to deliver a piece of work, in days, is something nearly every human can understand. Over the past few months, I have been cataloging questions I have heard. Well over 70% of work-related questions center on how long a piece of work will take and whether the answer to that question has value. Cycle time metrics are ways to generate answers to ‘how long’ questions in a manner that is valuable and predictable. (more…)

Cycle time?

In Part 1 we examined Work in Process and Story Escape Rate.  These two metrics are powerful but are not sufficient to provide a full picture of the flow of value through a process.  We continue with four more metrics to complete the pallet.
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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:

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 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…)