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Team Capacity, Team Velocity - making Agile truly agile

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on
4/13/2022
Team Capacity, Team Velocity - making Agile truly agile

When it comes to Agile development, the best way to measure success is via team velocity. Those working on software development projects can struggle to increase their team velocity for any number of reasons; chief among them is that their team capacity simply isn’t adequate, but it will take a little more context and information to understand the full situation properly. 

Team velocity and its importance

According to Scrum Inc., team velocity is “a measure of the amount of work a team can tackle during a single sprint and is the key metric in Scrum.”

Tracking team velocity isn’t just a matter of generating a tidy report at the end of a project, but it helps a team understand how long each team member takes to complete a certain task. The velocity of past projects can help a team get more accurate future project timeline estimates and prevent issues like not managing to make a deadline. Additionally, an overview of work completed over time also reflects any extra time taken due to unforeseen circumstances like bugs or a sick teammate. 

Team velocity is one of the best ways to track how a team is performing during a software development project. 

How to avoid holding team velocity back

Team capacity refers to the ratio of units of work that a team takes on compared to the maximum units of work that a team can get through in a time period. 

When a team’s velocity is slow, the most common cause is that there is simply too much work for them to be able to complete in a certain time frame, I.e., their team capacity is simply not good enough.
There are a few ways to address this problem, but they each have their accompanying issues:

  • Decrease the amount of work that the team has to complete – not a possibility unless the project can have certain features added at a later date. 
  • Increase the amount of time that the team has to complete their tasks – some projects have tight deadlines. 
  • Increase the amount of people on the team – it can be difficult to find, interview, and then employ and onboard new employees, especially in the middle of a project. Additionally, there is the issue of domain knowledge. 

Domain knowledge

In software engineering, domain knowledge is knowledge about the environment in which the target system operates. It usually needs to be learned from software users in the domain (domain specialists and experts) rather than from software developers. An example is specific knowledge about a certain environment where the target system operates.

Domain knowledge can be a barrier when trying to increase team velocity. This is because it’s so significant and valuable; a specialist works and learns hard for a long time in order to obtain their knowledge, and it is often transformative in terms of the resulting experience that end-users have. 

Domain knowledge is priceless throughout the software life cycle. Some examples include:

  • Requirements definition
  • Translation of user needs into correct requirements
  • Decomposition of software requirements into specific application modules, operations, and objects. 

When team velocity is lacking due to a strain on team capacity, there is a way to increase it that circumvents all of the issues associated with the usual solutions (like adding more team members).

Team capacity can increase dramatically when low or moderate domain knowledge tasks are outsourced

NerdCloud can increase your team velocity

With NerdCloud, your team can be relieved of tasks that require low to moderate domain knowledge, so that they can focus on tasks that require more domain knowledge or are just tasks that they would like to do. 

We would take on:

  • Playground tasks – that don’t require extensive domain knowledge.
  • Unpreferred tasks – which the inhouse team would rather not do. 
  • Time-consuming tasks – that are either lengthy, repetitive, or both.

Outsourcing these types of tasks to us frees up your team to do what only they can do. In turn, this can mean that your project ends up enjoying a much higher standard of work because your in-house team has the time for and enjoys the tasks that they are doing, as well as not feeling as pressured as they would have without our support. 

Aside from this and turbo-charging your team velocity, there are many other benefits that come with outsourcing to NerdCloud.

Increased team capacity and velocity

NerdCloud can enhance your team capacity and allow you to deliver more work in the same time period. We free up time for your core team, so that they can tackle the tasks that only they can or want to do, and leave the rest to us.

What’s more is you have quality guaranteed when you work with us; all of our developers are senior and have a minimum of five years of experience, so as long a task doesn’t require extensive domain knowledge, we’ll get it done for you. 

If you’re interested and have some questions, feel free to look at our FAQs or get in touch with us today for more information, and find out exactly how much we can speed up your project.