Articles + Research

Calculating Velocity: A Free Open Source Tool!

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Calculating the team velocity in agile is easy...in a perfect world. Unfortunately, we operate in an imperfect world. I created a velocity tool to help in those imperfect times.


What is Velocity?


Velocity is the total amount of effort (or story) points completed after an iteration (sprint). Simple right? You plan to complete 50 points, but complete 48 points; therefore, 48 points is your velocity for that iteration. If you track it that way over multiple sprints, you can start to gauge your team's true velocity. Having this number is a great starting point to plan your iterations.


Easy right?


What about those extra meetings outside of planning, reviews, grooming, etc. that are already planned into your iterations? What about time off? What about those pesky bugs that need to be addressed? Oh, and those rollover points (2 in our example above). That planned effort of 48 points is starting to be a lot less going into the next iteration.


I created a tool that accounts for a team member’s time in that iteration. One team member, or someone who contributes to the effort points being completed, working for one week puts in 40 hours; however, in reality, works about 30 hours a week or six hours a day. For a two-week iteration, five team members work 300 total hours. A few meetings here, a day off there, and your total hours available are going down, but most teams will not account for that time not working, thus creating a velocity that could look like a roller coaster from iteration to iteration.


Velocity Tool Overview


The tool is quite simple and open source (Online Tool: https://danm9.github.io/minahan.dev/ or Source Code: https://github.com/danm9/minahan.dev). Here is an example iteration and velocity: