10X: Velocity by Complexity

About this report

The Velocity by Complexity 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 complexity; complexity is a value placed on epics. Stories with LOE points are tied to epics--in this report, the complexity value is inherited by the story LOE points from the parent epic.

The complexity value is used to determine how complex an epic is in relation to other epics; complexity has three categories:

  • High (very complex)
  • Medium
  • Low 

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 highly complex, the chance of risks, research spikes, and the need for special skill sets increases. 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.
  • Complexity values = high, medium, or low; entered on the Epics panel.

Velocity_by_complexity.png

How to interpret this report

The "stacks" in the bars represent the three different complexity 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 high-complexity LOE points, the better. More complexity typically means more risk--it also requires more research and investigation, as well as skilled resources. 

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 you do not keep your teams stable (for example, you engage members in other work continuously), or that you do not estimate your work well (whether the stories are too large or estimates are wrong). 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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