While car is moving, its speed can be seen on the speedometer. But in other aspects of our life there is no speedometer and it’s sometimes hard to estimate the speed of something. If we imagine, that a speedometer is not working, the speed of the car can be calculated postfactum: for example, if at first a man has driven a car for 60 minutes and has covered a distance of 100 km, and after some time these numbers are 60 minutes and 120 km, then we may roughly calculate the average speed – 110 km/h. But if during the next hour he will stop at a gas station for 12 minutes, then stop at the diner for 15 minutes and then covers the distance of 55 km, his average speed will be 98 km/h.
Scrum also allows us to calculate speed, which is called Scrum Velocity.
It is very easy to calculate Velocity. Let’s imagine a graph, where the horizontal axis symbolizes the amount of Sprints, and the vertical axis symbolizes Story Points.
This graph displays Story Points and it allows us to calculate the average speed. But Velocity graph can be a different one: with a more simple display of Story Points which visually represent the trend.
If we continue our association with the car and the road, then the speed is influenced by the following factor.
- Road - obstacles
- Fuel – our motivation, what drives us
- Driver’s experience – knowledge, experience and competence of a developer
- Weather conditions – DEV-environment
- Visibility – transparency of the project
- Direction – goals of the project
- Traffic / driving rules – processes
- Point of destination – the product
Though it is necessary to add, that there are various opinions about the effectiveness of Velocity in Scrum, as some people tend to treat these graphs as useless and complicated when it comes to the identification of possible problems. Everyone agree, that the Velocity metric system should be used by a specialist as a kind of additional demonstration of effectiveness, which helps to correct the analytical work of a Scrum Master.