#18 – Velocity

Authors’ comments:

Velocity in Scrum is a measure of how much of the Product Backlog that a team can turn into a working increment during a sprint, usually measured in Story Points. The purpose of looking at velocity is for the Scrum team to inspect itself and continuously improve, and for the Product Owner to get an indication of how much to forecast.

When others outside the team start looking at the team’s velocity, especially if they don’t really understand Scrum and agile metrics, there is huge risk that the numbers will be misunderstood and misused. In worst case, velocity could be used to compare teams even though it doesn’t make any since, since no two teams have the exact same measure of story points and estimates. Here, educating “outsiders” on the purpose and nature of agile metrics that focus more on outcome (i.e., the qualitative, positive impact that the team’s work makes for the customer) is hopefully more valuable to measure for organisation.