Escape Velocity
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Escape Velocity

Better Metrics for Agile Teams

About the Book

Time and time again, I find teams struggling with Velocity as a genuinely helpful metric. In most cases, it is at best a weak tool for planning work and more often a poor tool for indicating what work will be done by when. In "Escape Velocity" we consider better alternatives to Velocity as a metric.

About the Author

Doc Norton
Doc Norton

Doc is passionate about working with teams to improve delivery and building great organizations. Once a dedicated code slinger, Doc has turned his energy toward helping teams, departments, and companies work better together in the pursuit of better software. Working with a wide range of companies such as Groupon, Nationwide Insurance, Belly, and many others, Doc has applied tenants of agile, lean, systems thinking, and host leadership to develop highly effective cultures and drastically improve their ability to deliver valuable software and products.

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • About
    • This Book
    • The Title
    • The Author
  • Preface
  • What is Velocity?
    • Velocity is a Vector
    • Velocity is a Lagging Indicator
    • Velocity as a Measure of a Complex System
    • Velocity By Way of Analogy
  • Velocity Anti-Patterns
    • Before We Get Started
    • Demand for Higher Velocity
    • Cross-team Velocity Comparisons
    • Estimation Teams
    • Estimating in Time
    • Comparing Estimates to Actuals
    • Measuring Individual Velocity
    • Iteration Packing
  • Potential Side Effects of Metrics
    • The Hawthorne Effect
    • Goodhart’s Law
    • Friedman’s Thermostat
    • Perverse Incentives
  • Variable Velocity
    • Velocity Should Stabilize
    • But What If Velocity Doesn’t Stabilize?
    • Poor Story Composition
    • Dependencies on Other Teams or Individuals
    • Too Much Work In Process
    • Silos
    • Various Forms of Mismanagement
  • Other Metrics
    • Lead Time
    • Cycle Time
    • Cumulative Flow Diagrams
    • Delivery Frequency
    • Code Quality
    • Team Joy
    • Forecasting
  • Customer Metrics
    • Outcomes Over Outputs
    • Feature Use
  • Looking for Correlations
    • Scatter Diagrams
  • Balanced Metrics
    • A Starting Point
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes

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