How to improve a team’s velocity in Agile?

Agile Velocity, also known as throughput, is a metric of how much work can be done in a short period. These timeframes are referred to as sprints or iterations in an Agile model. Agile velocity should primarily be utilized as a planning tool, even though preserving consistency is essential. Agile Velocity is a helpful planning tool and can help a team plan their workload more precisely if they have a general idea of how much they can accomplish in an iteration. Additionally, it helps prevent burnout among team members by regulating capacity. Get more info about why Agile Velocity is the Most Dangerous Metric. 

Here are some ways you can enhance your team’s velocity in agile:

Do not compare velocities across teams:

As we have established, velocity is a great tool for gauging a group’s output, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for actual reality. It can greatly simplify things via data processing and reduce complicated events to their most basic numerical components. This is why comparing team velocities may not generate significant results and may prevent you from establishing reasonable expectations. The same logic holds when contrasting project-to-project velocities. 

Avoid context-switching:

Ensuring that a team is working on a single context is one method to increase team velocity. Context switching should be avoided wherever possible when working with Agile. Context switching happens when someone wants to shift topics, or what they are working on. They waste resources and time when they transition from finishing one project to starting another. It also slows down a team’s velocity. It is safe to claim that context-switching and agile are inherently incompatible.

Be practical in your approach:

Testing the features of the products that are only occasionally utilized is another technique to boost the velocity of your team. While ensuring product quality is crucial to creating an effective and satisfactory end product, you should also aim to be practical in your approach by determining whether the time investment is worthwhile given the benefits it will bring. 

Cross train:

Cross-training enables each member of an agile team to understand each other’s thought processes and, over time, become more aware of various mindsets. Each team member can understand the difficulties faced by those responsible for the specialized task and act as a better support system for them. 

Final thoughts:

While the aforementioned tip can help enhance the velocity of your team, it’s crucial to keep in mind that with Agile, velocity isn’t always a goal you should strive to surpass regularly as the members run the risk of rushing through the iteration, possibly skipping steps along the way, and generating subpar products.  

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