Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction

Daniel S. Vacanti
“When will it be done?” That is probably the first question your customers ask you once you start working on something for them. Think about how many times you have been asked that question. How many times have you ever actually been right? We can debate all we want whether this is a fair question to ask given the tremendous amount of uncertainty in knowledge work, but the truth of the matter is that our customers are going to inquire about completion time whether we like it or not. Which means we need to come up with an accurate way to answer them. The problem is that the forecasting tools that we currently utilize have made us ill-equipped to provide accurate answers to reasonable customer questions. Until now. Topics Include Why managing for flow is the best strategy for predictability—including an introduction to Little’s Law and its implications for flow. A definition of the basic metrics of flow and how to properly visualize those metrics in analytics like Cumulative Flow Diagrams and Scatterplots. Why your process policies are the potentially the biggest reason that you are unpredictable.


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