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The ability to respond to change and deliver the right outcomes quickly is more important than ever. Agile frameworks, such as Scrum, have become increasingly popular for their ability to achieve this. However, measuring the performance of Agile teams can be difficult and complex, particularly when taking into account the unique dynamics of each team.

Plain vanilla velocity

One of the key metrics used to measure Agile team performance is velocity. It is a measure of the amount of work a team completes within a specific timeframe (we call this a sprint). However, team composition changes and individual absences during a sprint can greatly affect velocity, making it a less accurate measure of a team’s performance.

Accuracy through normalized velocity

That's where normalized velocity comes in. This metric takes into account the number of team members available during a sprint, in addition to the amount of work completed. This results in a more accurate measurement of the team’s performance and helps teams track their performance over time, regardless of changes to the team size or workload.

Impact on team productivity

Normalized velocity offers a more accurate view, than plain vanilla velocity, of a team's performance and future workload bearing potential.  It therefore, also helps leaders make better informed decisions about resource allocation and scheduling.  We've compared the impact of using normalized velocity instead of velocity, on team productivity, across numerous teams.  We found that teams are encouraged and motivated by seeing their progress more correctly represented and management is more likely to set  accept more realistic future productivity expectations.   In fact, using the right numbers - based on the use of normalized velocity - consistently drives improvements in team productivity.

If you're interested in learning more about how to effectively measure your team's performance, contact us today.  We'll help you understand how normalized velocity, as well as other metrics, can drive your team's success.

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