Skip to main content

How should SM helps the team to increase the productivity?

Last post 05:10 pm September 24, 2019 by John Varela II
7 replies
02:29 pm September 24, 2019

Jeff Sutherland stated in his book "Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time" that after implementing Scrum, teams can increase productivity up to 400%.

How is it possible?

If a team is working together in 10th sprint with a consistent velocity of 120 story points per sprint, how can SM helps them to increase productivity?

02:39 pm September 24, 2019

How much did the team improve from their 1st to 10th Sprint? 

Perhaps the team in your example could focus on other areas of improvement aside from productivity if they've already made great strides and become fairly predictable in their delivery. These goals could indirectly impact productivity over the longer term...for example...implementing more automation into their testing or integration steps. 

02:58 pm September 24, 2019

Tony Divel,

The team hardly made any improvement in term of productivity. The team sticks to the same velocity right from the 2nd sprint.

03:15 pm September 24, 2019

If they're meeting their Sprint Goals and delivering consistent value to the customer perhaps increasing velocity or productivity may not need to be their top area of focus. 

Has the development team indicated any areas they believe they should focus on aside from productivity? 

03:24 pm September 24, 2019

If a team is in their 10th sprint I would question whether the 120 story points they currently have are the same as the 120 story points they completed in the 2nd sprint.  Over time their ability to estimate is going to improve as will their ability to work as a team relying on the skills and strengths of their members.  So while the 120 story point measurement hasn't visually changed it would be hard to comprehend that their actual productivity remained the same. 

I will also point out that story point velocity does not equal productivity.  Story point velocity measures the teams ability to estimate (i.e. guess) some level of measurement on the work that they are being asked to do.  Productivity is a measurement of the value delivered.  Look at the actual number of stories across those 10 sprints.  Did that remain the same? Look at the value of the work being delivered to the stakeholders across those 10 sprints? Did that remain the same? Productivity and story point velocity are two completely different things from my perspective. 

03:33 pm September 24, 2019

Tony Divel,

Has the development team indicated any areas they believe they should focus on aside from productivity? 

No, i am assuming the team is in their comfort zone. So they are happy how things are going. They are meeting the sprint goal which is perfect for them. 


03:54 pm September 24, 2019

It sounds like they're a pretty high performing team. I keep coming back to the type of improvements the team is interested in doing...and this could even expand outside of the team itself if it's something they're interested in... 

Perhaps things like.... establishing community of practices, lunch and learns for modeling good development practices, mentoring, etc. 

I'd be less concerned personally about pushing them to be 'more productive' in the sense of getting more user stories done, increasing velocity (this can be gamed), or anything related to activity over outcomes. 

05:10 pm September 24, 2019

I mean, improvements up to 400% is not exactly easy to measure so I'd suggest trying to help the team define success separately from performance. IF it's valuable for the team to compare snapshots, then sure compare everything from 2nd Sprint to 10th Sprint.

Productivity is the ability to stay on task without distractions (Performance), so I'd considering starting with Success = Predictability (size/scope/delivery date/meeting expectations/refactoring/etc).

Definitely don't want to be a high performing team who's not very successful.

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.