10X: Velocity by Certainty

About this report

The Velocity by Certainty report shows the actual velocity by Level of Effort (LOE) points completed, per sprint, for a specific PI tied to a program. The report displays the data in the form of a stacked bar chart; the LOE point totals are on the Y axis and the sprints in the selected PI are on the X axis. In this case, the LOE story points are categorized by certainty; certainty is a value placed on epics. Stories with LOE points are tied to epics--in this report, the certainty value is inherited by the story LOE points from the parent epic.

The certainty value is used to determine how much is known about an epic and how it will be built in relation to other epics; certainty has three categories:

  • High (the plan is known)
  • Medium
  • Low (many unknowns)

This report is designed to help a portfolio manager, Scrum Master, team leader, or release train engineer with planning. If many of the LOE points are categorized as low certainty, the chance of risks, impediments, and dependencies increases with the unknowns. Therefore, it may be beneficial to review the report with team members during pre- and post-PI meetings, general team meetings, and during sprint review meetings.

Navigation

  1. Select the Reports icon from the left Navigation menu.
  2. Start typing the report's name in the Search box. 
  3. Once found, select the report.

Note: You can also use the categories on the left to search for the needed reports.

Prerequisites

  1. PI must exist in the system and be tied to a program. 
  2. Epics must be created and tied to a program. 
  3. Sprints must be created and tied to a PI. 
  4. Stories must be created and tied to a sprint.
  5. Tasks must be created and tied to stories. 

How are report values calculated? 

  • Velocity = Sum of all LOE on accepted stories, for each sprint in the PI. LOE points are assigned to individual stories via the Story panel.
  • Certainty values = high, medium, or low; entered on the Epics panel.

Velocity_by_certainty.png

How to interpret this report

The "stacks" in the bars represent the three different certainty categories (high, medium, and low) on top of each other. The height of the resulting bar shows the combined result of the categories. Hover over any stack in a bar to see the velocity for that particular category.

Ideally, the fewer low-certainty LOE points, the better. More unknowns typically means more risk. Conversely, many high-certainty points is a good sign--it means plans are in place and risk has been lowered.

In terms of overall velocity, it is a common misconception that you want velocity to continually increase. The sign of a healthy, stable organization and team is that velocity stays steady. If you see many peaks and valleys in the LOE totals, this shows that teams may not be stable (for example, you engage members in other work continuously), or that work is not estimated accurately (for example, the stories are too large). Wide fluctuations indicate a poor level of predictability in scope of work that can be expected to be delivered. An ideal team velocity remains steady.

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