IDG Contributor Network: How to kick velocity addiction in agile development

Is your boss (or client) addicted to velocity? Are you? 

I don’t mean being addicted to working fast, but I have seen executives fixated on increasing velocity in a way that is… unhelpful. Their stress on velocity may be impeding their projects and their agile development teams.

It’s understandable. People hear “velocity” and they think “fast.” They think “productive,” and maybe even “nimble” or “effective.” Velocity seems to embody everything that is good about agile development.

Velocity is important, but you run into problems when developers and business stakeholders have different understandings of what it means. So let’s start with definitions. To developers, velocity is the amount of work, measured in story points, a particular team can deliver over a given number of sprints.

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