Sprint Velocity: What is It and How to Improve It

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Scrum teams usually prioritize increasing sprint velocity, but this may not always lead to greater productivity. Because of this, they now focus on how they can improve sprint velocity. This can be achieved by building consistency and increasing work quality within sprints. But what is sprint velocity? Keep reading to know the answer:

Sprint Velocity in Software Development

Sprint velocity concerns with the amount of work that a development team can complete in one sprint. This work includes completed tasks, like requirements, features, and stories. Sprint velocity can be used for forecasting when features can be delivered and the number of items that can be delivered in every sprint. Also, it can be used for planning sprints. 

Improving Sprint Velocity

A lot of scrum teams constantly find ways to improve sprint velocity. Here are tips for teams to achieve their goal:

Use Metrics in a Responsible Way

Comparing velocity across teams should be avoided. Team members vary in the way they rate story point values, which makes comparison undependable. Also, it is important to be careful about the use of this metric across projects. 

Metrics tend to get more dependable as teams gather more data. Similarly, they are more meaningful when utilized in combination. Thus, sprint velocity should be used in light of other agile metrics to make sure a team is working with complete information. The entire team should review and assess any metrics to be used.

Increase Quality

With high-quality work, the need for a fix or revision is reduced, which can increase productivity. It is imperative to emphasize why quality is important from the get-go. Also, increasing quality can minimize the risk of items ending up in the backlog again. By focusing on quality, artificial velocity inflation is eliminated. 

Avoid Retesting as Much as Possible

Tests should not be overlapped unless necessary. Tests for user interface and integration must be assessed because they cover a lot of components end-to-end and may be performed repeatedly.

Unless a code has changed, it should not be retested. Testing codes on the go may be enough to discover and fix any problems they contain, so retesting is not necessary. Also, testing must be limited to features seldom used. 

Emphasize the Importance of Consistency and Focus

Before a sprint begins, task priorities need to be defined. Team productivity will suffer if members need to switch between tasks because of changing demands or priorities. 

As teams manage scope, they can change features, but unnecessary changes must be avoided. Typically, changes in scope should occur only in-between sprints. 

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