What is the defenition of "Focus Factor"?

Last post 07:15 pm April 27, 2022
by Ian Mitchell
9 replies
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09:28 am September 25, 2019

Hello,

There is a confusion recently about the "Focus Factor" and its usage.

Understanding 1 : Its the % of availability in a sprint which will be focused on the user story execution - used for Sprint planning.

Understanding 2 : Its the ration between the completed story points Vs the Available Man days in a sprint- calculated for a completed sprint.

Just wanted to understand the real meaning and its usage.

 

Thanks,

Karthick.

05:13 pm September 25, 2019

What is the use of "Focus Factor", where do you need it for? How does having a definition of it help your team improve?

Be aware of the extremely slippery slope you are headed on when using any form of Focus Factor.

Because it is used in a different way in different organizations, I dont think there is a real hard definition.

05:05 am October 4, 2019

Hi Xander Ladage,

Thanks for the valuable response.

In both of my understanding, its related to the time factor which determines the productivity of the team.

Understanding 1 :would help in identifying the time limit which can exactly focused in the execution of the user stories. 

Understanding 2 : to calculate the productivity post the sprint.

If not focus factor, is there any method in scrum, to measure and improve the productivity of the team?

Thanks,

Karthick.

05:01 pm October 4, 2019

If not focus factor, is there any method in scrum, to measure and improve the productivity of the team?

How about the release of actual value into the marketplace, and the evaluation of how well each increment addresses stakeholder needs?

09:22 pm October 4, 2019

In both of my understanding, its related to the time factor which determines the productivity of the team.

Understanding 1 :would help in identifying the time limit which can exactly focused in the execution of the user stories. 

Understanding 2 : to calculate the productivity post the sprint.

@Karthick Mohanraj, What value would come out of micro-managing team productivity? ]

Is it realistically possible to identify the time limit which can exactly focus on executing something? Consider your travel time from your home to your office on a daily basis. If you applied the concept of a focus factor to it, would you really be able to "exactly" define the time it will take for your commute such that your focus factor tends to reach 1.0?

Let us assume you are able to arrive at some number, would that number be applicable the next day, and the day after or the subsequent days after?

Your original was to understand about this concept which confused you and I have to admit it really confused me too. To the extent, In my opinion, it is not a value add and a flawed attempt at making a precise forecast, and there lies the problem too. Can you really make a precise forecast?

01:50 am October 10, 2019

Makes sense.

Thanks for your opinions.

02:59 pm April 27, 2022

Hello,

 

I have a question regarding the Focus Factor if were are using percentages for example?

 

How can a team reach this metric to 100% focus factor? Is this even possible? 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Adrian

03:01 pm April 27, 2022

Hello,

I have a question regarding this topic?

Assuming we use this as a percentage. How can we get 100% focus time? Is this is even possible?

Example: If my team has seven members who are productive for six days each, and as a team they have a velocity of 31, then the focus factor is calculated as:

Focus factor = 31 / (7 x 6) *100 = 74%

Thanks in advance!

 

Adrian

05:57 pm April 27, 2022

How do you calculate your velocity?  Based on the answer of 31, I'm going to venture a guess that you use Story Points.  Story points are estimates relative to other estimates, not actual hours.  So your equation is already flawed by using a relative estimate divided by actual days and actual people. 

What is your definition of Focus Time?  As the previous responses say it can mean different things at different companies and even to different individuals within the same company.  I used my favorite internet search engine and searched for "what is focus time". I found a variety of answers.  But the most predominant theme was that is indicates uninterrupted periods of time that an individual can focus on a single specific activity.  Your calculation does not have anything to represent that data point

Anyone can put numbers together in an equation and get an result.  But that doesn't mean you are getting an answer.  I also used my favorite internet search engine to search for "equation to calculate focus time".  The top answers that were returned was how to calculate focus on a parabola. I am not sure where/how you came up with your equation but I would not use it based upon my above comments.

How can we get 100% focus time? Is this is even possible?

To answer those questions I have questions.  Why would you want 100% focus time? Would you, as an individual, want to focus 100% of the time on a single specific activity?  

07:15 pm April 27, 2022

I have a question regarding this topic

What are you actually trying to gauge which would not be better exposed by Little's Law, and better achieved by WIP limits and making workflow policies explicit?

Bear in mind that productivity is hard to measure without first considering value. A better ambition might be to improve the predictability through which value delivery may then be optimized.