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Sunday, June 3, 2012

What is meant by project velocity?

The project velocity is one of the terms that you come across while discussing about the iteration planning and release planning! The project velocity has a got a very important and  not to be ignored part to play in these two mentioned planning processes but still most of us are not aware of its importance. 
This article is centred on the project velocity and has been discussed in detail. Like the normal physics velocity, the project velocity gives the speed of the development of a software project. 

In other words, the project velocity gives the amount of work being and efforts being spent on the software project. 

About Project Velocity

- The project is simply the summation of all the estimates of the user stories that were involved in the iteration. 
- For the release planning, you add up the estimates of the user stories and for the iteration planning the estimates of the programming tasks are added up. 
- But anyway, both the factors can employed for determining the project velocity in the case of the iteration planning. 
- In the iteration planning meeting, the number of the user stories chosen by the customer is same as it was in the previous iteration. 
- There is a rule that the project velocity of the consecutive iterations must not exceed their preceding iterations. 
- These programming tasks are nothing but a broken down or divided version of the user stories. 
- The development team is supposed to take up or sign up for only the same number of tasks that were present in the previous iteration. 
- Such an arrangement proves to be a great help to the developers when they stuck in a sticky situation and need to recover and clean up from it and thus getting the average for the estimates. 
- The project velocity is suppose to rise when the developers are allowed to question the customers for other user stories when they have already finished their work and tasks like cleaning up are also accomplished.

Please do not think that you will get the project velocity consistent throughout the development cycle! It is expected to follow through some ups and downs. 
- But if a dramatic change is observed in the project velocity, then it is an issue of concern. 
But there is no need to worry since all this can be kept in check by re- estimation and re- negotiation of the release plan. 
- It is not just in this case that the project velocity may change! 
- Even when the system is put under production for the maintenance tasks, again the project velocity is subjected to changes. 
- Division of the project velocity by the length of the iteration or the number of people involved. 
- Furthermore, the number of the people involved in the iteration is not an appropriate way for making comparisons between the productivity of two products. 
- This is so because each and every team has got its own different criteria for estimating the user stories and so we get some high estimation and some low estimation. 
- Important is to keep a track of the amount of work being done on the project so that a steady project velocity for the development can be maintained that can also be easily predicted.

The problem comes while making the first estimation! 
- At least for the following iterations you will have a clue that what project velocity is required. 
- If this measure is used properly you may be able to detect a major fault in your project much before the time at which you would have known with the help of the traditional development methods. 

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