Challenges in Agile Software Development
You are responsible for business where Software Development and IT operations play a vital role in your success. While you started applying Kanban or Scrum successfully, You are not able to make accurate Judgments or Justifications about Capacity, Delivery Dates or Budgets.
You have Challenges like these:
- Budget & Customer’s Pressure
- Missing Transparency
- Unpredictable Delivery Time
- Missing Forecasting Methodology
While you are trying to understand, what is going on, You noticed Symptoms like these:
- Team losing Focus with Multi-Tasking & Delays
- Wasted Capacity in Fixing Many Defects
- Much Re-Planning & Re-Prioritizing
- Stakeholders do not understand Traditional Agile Metrics
- Estimation is a Guessing Game
Status quo of Predictability
Some agile teams struggle to finish work in progress. The reasons vary: sometimes, because of switching between many tasks, or because work lost priority so it is cancelled. This also happen, when other expedite work (such as new wishes or production problems) must finish as soon as possible. This leads to lower predictability.
While some reasons are quite understandable and cannot be avoided; however, in many cases, it is feasible to manage priorities better so that work finishes faster.
Estimation is often Guessing
Estimating new work is for many teams more or less like guessing. Stories that are estimated as same size vary in time and effort they need. Small user stories might take as long as biggest ones. The opposite applies too.
While many teams master different agile methods, they still struggle with estimating new work. Some teams are not even able to predict their capacity.
Metrics not always understood
Many agile teams use story points or ideal days as estimation units. The goal from this abstraction is to link two unrelated worlds (User Story and Functional Requirement).
Then, another term “Velocity” is used, which links to time. So for example, a team can deliver 20 story points per iteration/sprint.
The challenge with this approach is to teach customers and managers how to use all these abstractions in their budget and resource planning.
The Vision of Agile Metrics
We need metrics that help us focus on delivering valuable and high quality products to customers as soon as possible. So we shift our focus more on decomposing work into the smallest valuable increment from customer perspective, rather than on accurate estimates.
Pragmatic but near Accurate
We need simple but effective ways of monitoring/tracking projects. Rather than focusing on getting very accurate data in a scientific way, we are happy with near accurate but easy to get data.
Clean Base for Investigation
With clean data, visualizing flow is easy. The chances that performance problems will show up in the diagrams are high. Then analyzing problems and optimizing flow will be a relatively systematic approach.
Projections & Forecasting
With clean data and clear view of the process/flow, it will be easier to make simple projections. It will enable us to create simulation models and make accurate forecasting.
With understandable/clear metrics like elapsed time and number of stories per release, customers and management can meet much safer and more correct decisions regarding budgets, policies, teams structure…etc.
Agile Metrics Workshop aims at introducing proven Metrics, Methods and Tools to Kanban & Scrum teams. These allow for highly Predictable Delivery. Additionally, Management and Teams will be able to make Projections & Accurate Forecasting.