Velocity doesn’t measure value

Velocity measures complexity. A 5 point ticket is 5 points of complexity, not 5 points of value. That ticket may be completely useless, or it may be the thing that doubles revenue. Either way, it’s 5 points.

Increased velocity doesn’t always mean increased value. Velocity measures output instead of outcome.

If you want to measure outcome/value (and you should), consider tracking Value Velocity. In addition to story points (or T-shirt sizes!), have the Product Owner give each ticket value points.

If velocity is a measure of the development team, then value velocity can be a measure of the Product Owner. It measures how well they are using the development team.

Then you can plot a graph of the backlog, where the X-axis is story points and the Y-axis is value points. Anything at the top left is high value and low complexity. That’s the sweet spot.

Whatever you do, stay away from the low value and high complexity stuff on the bottom right.

Thanks for reading! Subscribe via email or RSS, follow me on Twitter, or discuss this post on Reddit!

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close