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Expecting high velocity

Last post 03:05 pm February 23, 2016 by Timothy Baffa
4 replies
09:20 am February 23, 2016


We are implementing Scrum a bit stricter and started with estimating the whole backlog. We did this with a game of three rounds to get the best agreement on the estimation.

After we mapped the outcome to the backlog it appears that we have 10% of the total effort in the current sprint of two weeks.

Everyone knows we wont have all the work done in 20 weeks so what to do?

I am expecting that we start with a velocity which is far to high and will only drop over time while it's more inspiring to have the velocity increase over time.

All ideas are welcome!

Best regards,

10:19 am February 23, 2016

> Everyone knows we wont have all the
> work done in 20 weeks so what to do?

Never mind what may or may not happen in 20 weeks. What does "everyone know" about the current Sprint forecast? Have the Development Team concurred that the Sprint Backlog is achievable, that a potentially releasable increment can be produced, and that the Sprint Goal is realistic?

10:25 am February 23, 2016

When we created the Sprint Backlog we didn't had an estimated effort yet but the team did decide that the work could be done in one sprint (which until today always failed to do)

12:52 pm February 23, 2016

If this sprint's capacity is representative, and the work being undertaken is thought to be realistic, then what reason is there to suppose that subsequent sprints will not be similarly productive?

03:05 pm February 23, 2016


Good that your team went through and estimated all of your stories in the backlog. A significant effort for sure. Keep in mind that estimates are never permanent, and the team should feel free to revisit any previous estimate in the backlog for accuracy as they learn more and more about the product they are creating.

Everyone knows we wont have all the work done in 20 weeks

Who is everyone, and what are they basing their conclusions on? A key tenet of Scrum is to focus on near-term goals (current sprint). Think of a road trip from New York to Los Angeles. Should you really care about a construction project in Denver as you start on your trip, or should your focus be on just heading west and what the road conditions may be for the next 200 miles or so?

You simply do not know what the team may discover after the first few sprints that may increase or decrease the scope of your 20-week projection. You also do not know what may pop up along the way that may derail your 20-week plan in favor of something else far more critical to the business.

The good news is that, if your Product Owner is diligent in maintaining the prioritization of stories in your backlog, your team will undoubtedly work on the items most critical to the business over that time period, and in the event the team does not get through the list, the only items remaining should be of the lowest priority variety (i.e. - "nice to have").

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